Publications by authors named "Brian Hutton"

340 Publications

Perceptions around bone-modifying agent use in patients with bone metastases from breast and castration resistant prostate cancer: a patient survey.

Support Care Cancer 2021 May 22. Epub 2021 May 22.

Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Canada.

Background: Optimal use of bone-modifying agent (BMA) therapy in patients with bone metastases from breast and castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is evolving.

Methods: Patients receiving BMA for bone metastases from breast or CRPC were surveyed. Information was collected on patient and disease characteristics, BMA treatments and perceptions regarding BMA benefits and side effects. Interest in participation in trials of de-escalated BMA therapy was also gauged.

Results: Of 220 patients contacted, 172 eligible patients responded (response rate 78%). Median age was 67 (range: 21-91); 137 (80%) had breast cancer and 35 (20%) CRPC. Symptomatic skeletal events (SSEs) occurred prior to starting BMAs in 61% (84/137) of breast and 48% (17/35) of CRPC patients. Among breast cancer patients, 47, 33 and 13% received zoledronate, pamidronate and denosumab, respectively. Eighty-five percent (30/35) of CRPC patients received denosumab. De-escalation of therapy was more common among breast cancer patients. Although most patients correctly reported the goals of BMA therapy were to "help stop fractures" (62%) and "[improve] quality of life" (63%), 46.5% felt it prolonged survival and 54% felt it reduced bone progression. Most respondents (102/129, 79%) were comfortable with de-escalating to 6-monthly treatment after 2 years of BMA therapy. Patients considered the most important endpoints of de-escalation studies to be "stability of bone metastases" (45%), "quality of life" (22%) and "SSE rates" (14%).

Conclusion: Twelve weekly BMA was more common in breast than in prostate cancer. There remain misconceptions about the benefits of BMAs, highlighting potential gaps in patient education. Patients were interested in further BMA de-escalation after 2 years of prior BMA and provided study endpoints that were most important to them.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-021-06238-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140584PMC
May 2021

Validation of a combined image derived input function and venous sampling approach for the quantification of [F]GE-179 PET binding in the brain.

Neuroimage 2021 May 21;237:118194. Epub 2021 May 21.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK; MRI Unit, Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy, UK. Electronic address:

Blood-based kinetic analysis of PET data relies on an accurate estimate of the arterial plasma input function (PIF). An alternative to invasive measurements from arterial sampling is an image-derived input function (IDIF). However, an IDIF provides the whole blood radioactivity concentration, rather than the required free tracer radioactivity concentration in plasma. To estimate the tracer PIF, we corrected an IDIF from the carotid artery with estimates of plasma parent fraction (PF) and plasma-to-whole blood (PWB) ratio obtained from five venous samples. We compared the combined IDIF+venous approach to gold standard data from arterial sampling in 10 healthy volunteers undergoing [F]GE-179 brain PET imaging of the NMDA receptor. Arterial and venous PF and PWB ratio estimates determined from 7 patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) were also compared to assess the potential effect of medication. There was high agreement between areas under the curves of the estimates of PF (r = 0.99, p<0.001), PWB ratio (r = 0.93, p<0.001), and the PIF (r = 0.92, p<0.001) as well as total distribution volume (V) in 11 regions across the brain (r = 0.95, p<0.001). IDIF+venous V had a mean bias of -1.7% and a comparable regional coefficient of variation (arterial: 21.3 ± 2.5%, IDIF+venous: 21.5 ± 2.0%). Simplification of the IDIF+venous method to use only one venous sample provided less accurate V estimates (mean bias 9.9%; r = 0.71, p<0.001). A version of the method that avoids the need for blood sampling by combining the IDIF with population-based PF and PWB ratio estimates systematically underestimated V (mean bias -20.9%), and produced V estimates with a poor correlation to those obtained using arterial data (r = 0.45, p<0.001). Arterial and venous blood data from 7 TBI patients showed high correlations for PF (r = 0.92, p = 0.003) and PWB ratio (r = 0.93, p = 0.003). In conclusion, the IDIF+venous method with five venous samples provides a viable alternative to arterial sampling for quantification of [F]GE-179 V.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2021.118194DOI Listing
May 2021

Global prevalence of mental health issues among the general population during the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Sci Rep 2021 05 13;11(1):10173. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand.

To provide a contemporary global prevalence of mental health issues among the general population amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We searched electronic databases, preprint databases, grey literature, and unpublished studies from January 1, 2020, to June 16, 2020 (updated on July 11, 2020), with no language restrictions. Observational studies using validated measurement tools and reporting data on mental health issues among the general population were screened to identify all relevant studies. We have included information from 32 different countries and 398,771 participants. The pooled prevalence of mental health issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic varied widely across countries and regions and was higher than previous reports before the COVID-19 outbreak began. The global prevalence estimate was 28.0% for depression; 26.9% for anxiety; 24.1% for post-traumatic stress symptoms; 36.5% for stress; 50.0% for psychological distress; and 27.6% for sleep problems. Data are limited for other aspects of mental health issues. Our findings highlight the disparities between countries in terms of the poverty impacts of COVID-19, preparedness of countries to respond, and economic vulnerabilities that impact the prevalence of mental health problems. Research on the social and economic burden is needed to better manage mental health problems during and after epidemics or pandemics. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD 42020177120.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-89700-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8119461PMC
May 2021

Imitation learning for improved 3D PET/MR attenuation correction.

Med Image Anal 2021 Jul 16;71:102079. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, King's College London, London SE1 7EH, UK.

The assessment of the quality of synthesised/pseudo Computed Tomography (pCT) images is commonly measured by an intensity-wise similarity between the ground truth CT and the pCT. However, when using the pCT as an attenuation map (μ-map) for PET reconstruction in Positron Emission Tomography Magnetic Resonance Imaging (PET/MRI) minimising the error between pCT and CT neglects the main objective of predicting a pCT that when used as μ-map reconstructs a pseudo PET (pPET) which is as similar as possible to the gold standard CT-derived PET reconstruction. This observation motivated us to propose a novel multi-hypothesis deep learning framework explicitly aimed at PET reconstruction application. A convolutional neural network (CNN) synthesises pCTs by minimising a combination of the pixel-wise error between pCT and CT and a novel metric-loss that itself is defined by a CNN and aims to minimise consequent PET residuals. Training is performed on a database of twenty 3D MR/CT/PET brain image pairs. Quantitative results on a fully independent dataset of twenty-three 3D MR/CT/PET image pairs show that the network is able to synthesise more accurate pCTs. The Mean Absolute Error on the pCT (110.98 HU ± 19.22 HU) compared to a baseline CNN (172.12 HU ± 19.61 HU) and a multi-atlas propagation approach (153.40 HU ± 18.68 HU), and subsequently lead to a significant improvement in the PET reconstruction error (4.74% ± 1.52% compared to baseline 13.72% ± 2.48% and multi-atlas propagation 6.68% ± 2.06%).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.media.2021.102079DOI Listing
July 2021

Ticagrelor vs Clopidogrel in addition to Aspirin in minor ischemic stroke/ transient ischemic attack-Protocol for a systematic review and network meta-analysis.

PLoS One 2021 28;16(4):e0250553. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

University of Ottawa, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Introduction: Patients with minor ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack represent a high-risk population for recurrent stroke. No direct comparison exists comparing dual antiplatelet therapy regimens-namely, Ticagrelor and Aspirin versus Clopidogrel and Aspirin. This systematic review and network meta-analysis (NMA) will examine the efficacy of these two different antiplatelet regimens in preventing recurrent stroke and mortality up to 30 days.

Methods And Analysis: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) will be searched with the assistance of a medical information specialist. Two independent reviewers will screen studies for inclusion; eligible studies will include randomized controlled trials that enrolled adults presenting with acute minor ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack and compared one or more of the interventions against each other and/or a control. The primary outcomes will be recurrent ischemic stroke up to 30 days from symptom onset. Secondary outcomes will include safety outcomes (I.e. major bleeding and mortality), functional disability, and outcomes up to 90 days from symptom onset. A Bayesian approach to NMA will be implemented using the BUGSnet function in R Software. Between group comparisons for time-to-event (TTE) and dichotomous outcomes will be presented in terms of hazard ratios and odds ratios with 95% credible intervals, respectively. Secondary effect measures of treatment ranking will also be estimated.

Ethics And Dissemination: No formal research ethics approval are necessary. We will disseminate our findings through scientific conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications, and social media/the press. The findings from this review will aid clinicians in decision-making on the choice of antithrombotic therapy in a high-risk stroke population and could be important in the development of future treatment trials and guidelines. Registration ID with Open Science Framework: 10.17605/OSF.IO/XDJYZ.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0250553PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8081237PMC
April 2021

A multi-centre study comparing granulocyte-colony stimulating factors to antibiotics for primary prophylaxis of docetaxel-cyclophosphamide induced febrile neutropenia.

Breast 2021 Apr 1;58:42-49. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada; Cancer Therapeutics Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada.

Background: Primary febrile neutropenia (FN) prophylaxis with ciprofloxacin or granulocyte-colony stimulating factors (G-CSF) is recommended with docetaxel-cyclophosphamide (TC) chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer (EBC). A pragmatic randomised trial compared the superiority of G-CSF to ciprofloxacin and a cost-utility analysis were conducted.

Methods: EBC patients receiving TC chemotherapy were randomised to ciprofloxacin or G-CSF. The primary outcome was a composite of FN and non-FN treatment-related hospitalisation. Secondary outcomes included; rates of FN, non-FN treatment-related hospitalisation, chemotherapy dose reductions/delays/discontinuations. Primary analysis was performed with the intention to treat population. Cost-utility analyses were conducted from the Canadian public payer perspective.

Results: 458 eligible patients were randomised: 228 to ciprofloxacin and 230 to G-CSF. For the primary endpoint there was non-statistically significant difference (Risk difference = -6.7%, 95%CI = -13.5%-0.1%, p = 0.061) between ciprofloxacin patients (46,20.2%) and G-CSF (31,13.5%). Patients receiving ciprofloxacin were more likely to experience FN (36/228, 15.8% vs 13/230, 5.7%) than patients receiving G-CSF (p < 0.001). Non-FN treatment-related hospitalisation occurred in 40/228 (17.5%) of ciprofloxacin patients vs 28/230 (12.2%) of G-CSF patients (p = 0.12). There were no differences in other secondary outcomes. G-CSF was associated with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of C$1,760,796 per one quality-adjusted life year gained.

Conclusion: The primary endpoint of superiority of G-CSF over ciprofloxacin was not demonstrated. While there were reduced FN rates with G-CSF, there were no differences in chemotherapy dose delays/reductions or discontinuations. With the commonly used willingness to pay value of C$50,000/QALY, G-CSF use was not cost-effective compared to ciprofloxacin and deserves scrutiny from the payer perspective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.breast.2021.03.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8095051PMC
April 2021

Elderberry for prevention and treatment of viral respiratory illnesses: a systematic review.

BMC Complement Med Ther 2021 Apr 7;21(1):112. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Background: Elderberry has traditionally been used to prevent and treat respiratory problems. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been interest in elderberry supplements to treat or prevent illness, but also concern that elderberry might overstimulate the immune system and increase the risk of 'cytokine storm'. We aimed to determine benefits and harms of elderberry for the prevention and treatment of viral respiratory infections, and to assess the relationship between elderberry supplements and negative health impacts associated with overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review and searched six databases, four research registers, and two preprint sites for studies. Two reviewers independently assessed studies for inclusion, extracted data from studies, assessed risk of bias using Cochrane tools, and evaluated certainty of estimates using GRADE. Outcomes included new illnesses and the severity and duration of illness.

Results: We screened 1187 records and included five randomized trials on elderberry for the treatment or prevention of viral respiratory illness. We did not find any studies linking elderberry to clinical inflammatory outcomes. However, we found three studies measuring production of cytokines ex vivo after ingestion of elderberry. Elderberry may not reduce the risk of developing the common cold; it may reduce the duration and severity of colds, but the evidence is uncertain. Elderberry may reduce the duration of influenza but the evidence is uncertain. Compared to oseltamivir, an elderberry-containing product may be associated with a lower risk of influenza complications and adverse events. We did not find evidence on elderberry and clinical outcomes related to inflammation. However, we found evidence that elderberry has some effect on inflammatory markers, although this effect may decline with ongoing supplementation. One small study compared elderberry to diclofenac (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and provided some evidence that elderberry is as effective or less effective than diclofenac in cytokine reduction over time.

Conclusions: Elderberry may be a safe option for treating viral respiratory illness, and there is no evidence that it overstimulates the immune system. However, the evidence on both benefits and harms is uncertain and information from recent and ongoing studies is necessary to make firm conclusions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12906-021-03283-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026097PMC
April 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic: An opportunity to rethink and harmonise the frequency of follow-up visits for patients with early stage breast cancer.

Cancer Treat Rev 2021 Jun 23;97:102188. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Division of Medical Oncology (Department of Medicine), The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, Ottawa, Canada; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: While routine, in-person follow-up of early-stage breast cancer patients (EBC) after completion of initial treatment is common, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented changes in clinical practice. A systematic review was performed to evaluate the evidence supporting different frequencies of routine follow-up.

Methods: MEDLINE and the Cochrane Collaboration Library were searched from database inception to July 16, 2020 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective cohort studies (PCS) evaluating different frequencies of routine follow-up. Citations were assessed by pairs of independent reviewers. Risk of Bias (RoB) was assessed using the Cochrane RoB tool for RCTs and the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale for Cohort Studies. Findings were summarized narratively.

Results: The literature search identified 3316 studies, of which 7 (6 RCTs and 1 PCS) were eligible. Study endpoints included; quality of life (QoL; 5 RCTs and 1 PCS), disease free survival (DFS) (1 RCT), overall survival (OS) (1 RCT) and cost-effectiveness (1 RCT). The results showed reduction in follow-up frequency had no adverse effect on: QoL (6 studies, n = 920), DFS (1 trial, n = 472) or OS (1 trial, n = 472), but improved cost-effectiveness (1 trial, n = 472). Four RCTs specifically examined follow-up on-demand versus scheduled follow-up visits and found no statistically significant differences in QoL (n = 544).

Conclusion: While no evidence-based guidelines suggest that follow-up of EBC patients improves DFS or OS, routinely scheduled in-person assessment is common. RCT data suggests that reduced frequency of follow-up has no adverse effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctrv.2021.102188DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7986467PMC
June 2021

A multi-channel uncertainty-aware multi-resolution network for MR to CT synthesis.

Appl Sci (Basel) 2021 Feb 12;11(4):1667. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, King's College London, UK.

Synthesising computed tomography (CT) images from magnetic resonance images (MRI) plays an important role in the field of medical image analysis, both for quantification and diagnostic purposes. Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have achieved state-of-the-art results in image-to-image translation for brain applications. However, synthesising whole-body images remains largely uncharted territory involving many challenges, including large image size and limited field of view, complex spatial context, and anatomical differences between images acquired at different times. We propose the use of an uncertainty-aware multi-channel multi-resolution 3D cascade network specifically aiming for whole-body MR to CT synthesis. The Mean Absolute Error on the synthetic CT generated with the MultiRes network (73.90 HU) is compared to multiple baseline CNNs like 3D U-Net (92.89 HU), HighRes3DNet (89.05 HU) and deep boosted regression (77.58 HU) and shows superior synthesis performance. We ultimately exploit the extrapolation properties of the MultiRes networks on sub-regions of the body.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/app11041667DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610395PMC
February 2021

Adjuvant bisphosphonate use in patients with early stage breast cancer: a physician survey.

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2021 Jun 23;187(2):477-486. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Canada.

Purpose: Despite the increasing use of adjuvant bone-modifying agents (BMAs) such as zoledronate and clodronate in the treatment of patients with early stage breast cancer (EBC), little is known about real world practice patterns. A physician survey was performed to address this deficit and determine interest in clinical trials of alternative strategies for BMA administration.

Methods: Canadian oncologists treating patients with EBC were surveyed via an anonymized online survey. The survey collected information on: physician demographics, knowledge and interpretation of adjuvant bisphosphonate guidelines, and real world prescribing practices. Questions also determined thoughts around the design of future adjuvant BMA trials.

Results: Of 127 surveyed physicians, 53 eligible invitees responded (response rate 42%). The majority of physicians are offering high-risk postmenopausal patients adjuvant BMAs. The most common BMA regimen was adjuvant zoledronate (45/53, 85%) every 6 months for 3 years. Concerns around toxicities and repeated visits to the cancer centre were perceived as the greatest barriers to adjuvant bisphosphonate use. Respondents were interested in future trials of de-escalation of BMAs comparing a single infusion of zoledronate vs. 6-monthly zoledronate for 3 years. The most favoured primary endpoints for such a trial included disease recurrence and fragility fracture rates.

Conclusion: Questions around optimal use of adjuvant bisphosphonates in patients with EBC still exist. There is interest among physicians in performing trials of de-escalation of these agents. The results of this survey will assist in designing pragmatic clinical trials to address this question.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-021-06147-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7985746PMC
June 2021

A prospective multi-centre, randomized study comparing the addition of tapering dexamethasone to other standard of care therapies for taxane-associated pain syndrome (TAPS) in breast cancer patients.

Support Care Cancer 2021 Mar 19. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology, Department of Medicine, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Purpose: Taxane-associated pain syndrome (TAPS) is common with docetaxel and is characterised by myalgias and arthralgias starting 2-3 days after treatment and can last for up to 7 days. Anecdotal evidence suggests that corticosteroids can reduce TAPS. This multicentre, randomized trial evaluated the effect of additional tapering dexamethasone on TAPS.

Methods: 130 breast cancer patients commencing docetaxel were randomized to dexamethasone premedication (8 mg/twice daily for 3 days) or dexamethasone premedication followed by tapering dexamethasone (4 mg/daily for 2 days followed by 2 mg/daily for 2 days). The primary endpoint was absolute change in FACT-Taxane questionnaire during the first chemotherapy cycle. Secondary endpoints: proportion of patients with clinically significant TAPS, QoL, pain and toxicity.

Results: 110/130 patients had complete data included in the primary analysis. The fall in FACT-Taxane scores was lower in the experimental group on day 5 (p = 0.05), but not on day 7 (p = 0.21). There was no difference in FACT-Taxane scores over the entire study duration (p = 0.59). Fewer patients in the experimental arm reported TAPS on day 5 (30 vs. 47%). There was a borderline significant attenuation of impairment of QoL with experimental treatment on day 5 (p = 0.06), but not day 7 (p = 0.53). Tapered schedule was associated with more dyspepsia and insomnia.

Conclusion: A tapering schedule of dexamethasone was associated with a brief reduction in docetaxel-associated symptoms which was observed only during dexamethasone exposure and did not persist after discontinuation of the drug.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03348696.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-021-06142-8DOI Listing
March 2021

A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Alloderm-RTU with DermACELL in Immediate Subpectoral Implant-Based Breast Reconstruction.

Curr Oncol 2020 12 25;28(1):184-195. Epub 2020 Dec 25.

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1H 8L6, Canada.

Background: The effectiveness of different acellular dermal matrices (ADM) used for implant-based reconstruction immediately following mastectomy is an important clinical question. A prospective randomized clinical trial was performed to evaluate the superiority of DermACELL over Alloderm-RTU in reducing drain duration.

Methods: Patients undergoing mastectomy with subpectoral immediate and permanent implant-based breast reconstruction were randomized to Alloderm-RTU or DermACELL. The primary outcome was seroma formation, measured by the duration of postoperative drain placement. Secondary outcomes included: post drain removal seroma aspiration, infection, redbreast syndrome, wound dehiscence, loss of the implant, and unplanned return to the operating room.

Results: 62 patients were randomized for 81 mastectomies (41 Alloderm-RTU, 40 DermACELL). Baseline characteristics were similar. There was no statistically significant difference in mean drain duration ( = 0.16), with a trend towards longer duration in the Alloderm-RTU group (1.6 days; 95%CI, 0.7 to 3.9). The overall rate of minor and major complications were statistically similar between the two groups; although patients with Alloderm-RTU had 3 times as many infections requiring antibiotics (7.9% vs. 2.5%) with a risk difference of 5.4 (95%CI -4.5 to 15.2), and twice as many unplanned returns to the operating room (15.8% vs. 7.5%) with a risk difference of 8.3 (95% CI -5.9 to 22.5) as DermACELL.

Conclusion: This is the first prospective randomized clinical trial comparing the two most commonly used human-derived ADMs. There was no statistically significant difference in drain duration, minor, or major complications between DermACELL over Alloderm-RTU in immediate subpectoral permanent implant-based breast reconstruction post-mastectomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28010020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7816190PMC
December 2020

Adjuvant bisphosphonate use in patients with early stage breast cancer: Patient perspectives on treatment acceptability and potential de-escalation.

J Bone Oncol 2021 Apr 19;27:100351. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.

Background: Despite the increasing use of adjuvant bisphosphonates for early stage breast cancer (EBC), little is known about the patient experience with such treatments. A patient survey was performed to identify current prescribing practices, perceptions around the role of treatment, the impact of treatment on patients' quality of life, and future trial designs.

Methods: EBC patients who had either completed or were currently receiving adjuvant bisphosphonates were sent an anonymized survey. The survey collected information on patient and disease characteristics, bisphosphonate scheduling, compliance, and tolerance. Questions also assessed patient interest in trials of de-escalated bisphosphonate therapy.

Results: A total of 255 patients were contacted, with 164 eligible respondents (eligible response rate 164/255, 64.3%). Median patient age was 52 years (range 28 to 82 years). The majority (111/163, 68.1%) were postmenopausal at the time of diagnosis, 23.3% (38/163) were premenopausal, and 7.4% (12/163) were perimenopausal. Most patients (78%) had received chemotherapy. Zoledronate was the most commonly used bisphosphonate (92%), with the majority receiving treatment every 6 months for 3 years (73%). While 66% (107/161) of respondents had experienced side effects with treatment, most had, or expected to, complete treatment (154/163, 94%). Provided there was no detriment in breast cancer outcomes, there was strong interest in future studies of de-escalating adjuvant bisphosphonate therapy.

Conclusion: While most patients tolerate their treatment, there is interest in performing trials of de-escalation of these agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbo.2021.100351DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7930351PMC
April 2021

Benefits and obstacles to cell therapy in neonates: The INCuBAToR (Innovative Neonatal Cellular Therapy for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia: Accelerating Translation of Research).

Stem Cells Transl Med 2021 Feb 11. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Clinical Epidemiology Program, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Cell-based therapies hold promise to substantially curb complications from extreme preterm birth, the main cause of death in children below the age of 5 years. Exciting preclinical studies in experimental neonatal lung injury have provided the impetus for the initiation of early phase clinical trials in extreme preterm infants at risk of developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Clinical translation of promising therapies, however, is slow and often fails. In the adult population, results of clinical trials so far have not matched the enticing preclinical data. The neonatal field has experienced many hard-earned lessons with the implementation of oxygen therapy or postnatal steroids. Here we briefly summarize the preclinical data that have permitted the initiation of early phase clinical trials of cell-based therapies in extreme preterm infants and describe the INCuBAToR concept (Innovative Neonatal Cellular Therapy for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia: Accelerating Translation of Research), an evidence-based approach to mitigate the risk of translating advanced therapies into this vulnerable patient population. The INCuBAToR addresses several of the shortcomings at the preclinical and the clinical stage that usually contribute to the failure of clinical translation through (a) systematic reviews of preclinical and clinical studies, (b) integrated knowledge transfer through engaging important stakeholders early on, (c) early economic evaluation to determine if a novel therapy is viable, and (d) retrospective and prospective studies to define and test ideal eligibility criteria to optimize clinical trial design. The INCuBAToR concept can be applied to any novel therapy in order to enhance the likelihood of success of clinical translation in a timely, transparent, rigorous, and evidence-based fashion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sctm.20-0508DOI Listing
February 2021

Optimising weight-loss interventions in cancer patients-A systematic review and network meta-analysis.

PLoS One 2021 4;16(2):e0245794. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada.

Background: Excess weight has been associated with increased morbidity and a worse prognosis in adult patients with early-stage cancer. The optimal lifestyle interventions to optimize anthropometric measures amongst cancer patients and survivors remain inconsistent.

Objective: To conduct a systematic review and network meta-analysis (NMA) of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing the effects of exercise and dietary interventions alone or in combination on anthropometric measures of adult cancer patients and survivors.

Methods: A systematic search of Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Trials Registry was performed. Outcomes of interest included changes in weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference. Screening and data collection were performed by two reviewers. Bayesian NMAs were performed.

Results: Overall, 98 RCTs were included; 75 were incorporated in NMAs (n = 12,199). Groups of intervention strategies included: 3 exercise interventions, 8 dietary interventions, 7 combination interventions of diet and exercise and standard care. Median intervention duration was 26 weeks. NMA suggested that diet alone (mean difference [MD] -2.25kg, 95% CrI -3.43 to -0.91kg) and combination strategies (MD -2.52kg, 95% CrI -3.54 to -1.62kg) were associated with more weight loss compared to standard care. All dietary interventions achieved a similar magnitude of weight loss (MD range from -2.03kg to -2.52kg). Both diet alone and combination strategies demonstrated greater BMI reductions versus standard care, and each of diet alone, exercise alone and combination strategies demonstrated greater reductions in waist circumference than standard care.

Conclusion: Diet and exercise alone or in combination are effective lifestyle interventions to improve anthropometric measures in cancer patients and survivors. All reputable diets appear to be similarly effective to achieve weight loss.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0245794PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7861370PMC
February 2021

Exposure to COVID-19-Related Information and its Association With Mental Health Problems in Thailand: Nationwide, Cross-sectional Survey Study.

J Med Internet Res 2021 02 12;23(2):e25363. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Pharmacoepidemiology and Statistics Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on both the physical and mental health of individuals worldwide. Evidence regarding the association between mental health problems and information exposure among Thai citizens during the COVID-19 outbreak is limited.

Objective: This study aimed to explore the relationship between information exposure and mental health problems during the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand.

Methods: Between April 21 and May 4, 2020, we conducted a cross-sectional, nationwide online survey of the general population in Thailand. We categorized the duration of exposure to COVID-19-related information as follows: <1 h/day (reference group), 1-2 h/day, and ≥3 h/day. Mental health outcomes were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 scale, the Perceived Stress Scale-10, and the Insomnia Severity Index for symptoms of depression, anxiety, perceived stress, and insomnia, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate the relationship between information exposure and the risk of developing the aforementioned symptoms. An ancillary analysis using multivariable multinomial logistic regression models was also conducted to assess the possible dose-response relationship across the severity strata of mental health problems.

Results: Of the 4322 eligible participants, 4004 (92.6%) completed the online survey. Of them, 1481 (37.0%), 1644 (41.1%), and 879 (22.0%) participants were exposed to COVID-19-related information for less than 1 hour per day, 1 to 2 hours per day, or 3 or more hours per day, respectively. The major source of information related to the COVID-19 pandemic was social media (95.3%), followed by traditional media (68.7%) and family members (34.9%). Those exposed to information for 3 or more hours per day had a higher risk of developing symptoms of depression (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.35, 95% CI 1.03-1.76; P=.03), anxiety (adjusted OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.43-2.46; P<.001), and insomnia (adjusted OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.17-1.97; P=.001) than people exposed to information for less than 1 hour per day. Meanwhile, people exposed to information for 1 to 2 hours per day were only at risk of developing symptoms of anxiety (adjusted OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.08-1.69; P=.008). However, no association was found between information exposure and the risk of perceived stress. In the ancillary analysis, a dose-response relationship was observed between information exposure of 3 or more hours per day and the severity of mental health problems.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that social media is the main source of COVID-19-related information. Moreover, people who are exposed to information for 3 or more hours per day are more likely to develop psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Longitudinal studies investigating the long-term effects of COVID-19-related information exposure on mental health are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/25363DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7886375PMC
February 2021

Clinical and pharmacokinetic/dynamic outcomes of prolonged infusions of beta-lactam antimicrobials: An overview of systematic reviews.

PLoS One 2021 22;16(1):e0244966. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Objective: This overview of reviews aims to map and compare of objectives, methods, and findings of existing systematic reviews to develop a greater understanding of the information available about prolonged beta-lactam infusions in hospitalized patients with infection.

Design: Overview of systematic reviews.

Data Sources: Medline, Embase, PROSPERO and the Cochrane Library were systematically searched from January, 1990 to June, 2019 using a peer reviewed search strategy. Grey literature was also searched for relevant reviews.

Eligibility Criteria For Selecting Reviews: Systematic reviews were sought that compared two or more infusion strategies for intravenous beta-lactam antimicrobials and report clinical cure or mortality. Populations of included reviews were restricted to hospitalized patients with infection, without restrictions on age, infection type, or disease.

Data Extraction And Analysis: Abstract screening, data extraction, quality and risk of bias assessment were conducted by two independent reviewers. Overlap between reviews was assessed using a modified corrected covered area. Overview findings are reported in accordance with Cochrane's recommendation for overview conduct. Clinical outcomes extracted included survival, clinical cure, treatment failure, microbiological cure, length of stay, adverse events, cost, and emergence of resistance.

Results: The search strategy identified 3327 unique citations from which 21 eligible reviews were included. Reviews varied by population, intervention and outcomes studied. Between reviews, overlap of primary studies was generally high, methodologic quality generally low and risk of bias variable. Nine of 14 reviews that quantitatively evaluated mortality and clinical cure identified a benefit with prolonged infusions of beta lactams when compared with intermittent infusions. Evidence of mortality and clinical cure benefit was greater among critically ill patients when compared to less sick patients and lower in randomized controlled trials when compared with observational studies.

Conclusions: Findings from our review demonstrate a consistent and reproducible lack of harm with prolonged infusions of beta-lactam antibiotics with variability in effect size and significance of benefits. Despite 21 systematic reviews addressing prolonged infusions of beta-lactams, this overview supports the continued need for a definitive systematic review given variability in populations, interventions and outcomes in the current systematic reviews. Subsequent systematic reviews should have more rigorous and transparent methods, only include RCTs and evaluate the proposed benefits found in various subgroup-analyses-i.e. high risk of mortality.

Trial Registration: Prospero registry, CRD42019117118.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244966PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7822342PMC
May 2021

Screening for depression in children and adolescents: a protocol for a systematic review update.

Syst Rev 2021 01 12;10(1):24. Epub 2021 Jan 12.

Knowledge Synthesis Group, Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Centre for Practice-Changing Research, 501 Smyth Road, Box 201, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L6, Canada.

Background: Major depressive disorder is common, debilitating, and affects feelings, thoughts, mood, and behaviors. Childhood and adolescence are critical periods for the development of depression and adolescence is marked by an increased incidence of mental health disorders. This protocol outlines the planned scope and methods for a systematic review update that will evaluate the benefits and harms of screening for depression in children and adolescents.

Methods: This review will update a previously published systematic review by Roseman and colleagues. Eligible studies are randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing formal screening in primary care to identify children or adolescents not already self-reporting symptoms of, diagnosed with, or treated for depression. If no or only a single RCT is available, we will consider controlled studies without random assignment. Studies of participants with characteristics associated with an elevated risk of depression will be analyzed separately. Outcomes of interest are symptoms of depression, classification of major depressive disorder based on a validated diagnostic interview, suicidality, health-related quality of life, social function, impact on lifestyle behavior (e.g., substance use, school performance, lost time at work, or school), false-positive results, overdiagnosis, overtreatment, labeling, and other harms such as those arising from treatment. We will search MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, and grey literature sources. Two reviewers will independently screen the titles and abstracts using the liberal accelerated method. Full-text screening will be performed independently by two reviewers using pre-specified eligibility criteria. Data extraction and risk of bias assessments will be performed independently by two reviewers. Pre-planned analyses, including subgroup and sensitivity analyses, are detailed within this protocol. Two independent reviewers will assess and finalize through consensus the certainty of evidence using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach, and prepare GRADE evidence profiles and summary of findings tables for each outcome of interest.

Discussion: The systematic review will provide a current state of the evidence of benefits and harms of depression screening in children and adolescents. These findings will be used by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care to inform the development of recommendations on depression screening.

Systematic Review Registration: PROSPERO CRD42020150373.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13643-020-01568-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7802305PMC
January 2021

Feasibility outcomes of a randomised, multicentre, pilot trial comparing standard 6-monthly dosing of adjuvant zoledronate with a single one-time dose in patients with early stage breast cancer.

J Bone Oncol 2021 Feb 13;26:100343. Epub 2020 Dec 13.

Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.

Background: Adjuvant zoledronate is widely used in patients with early stage breast cancer (EBC), but its optimal duration and dosing interval is still unknown. While a single-dose of zoledronate can improve bone density for many years, a proper evaluation of its effects on breast cancer-related outcomes would require a large trial. In this pilot study we evaluated the feasibility of performing such a trial.

Methods: Eligible patients with EBC were randomised to receive either one dose of zoledronate or 7 doses (6-monthly dosing for 3 years). Feasibility was assessed by a combination of primary outcomes including: activation of at least 6 Ontario sites within a year, active participation (i.e. approaching eligible patients for study participation) of at least half of the medical oncologists, and enrolment of at least 100 patients across all sites within 9 months of the sixth site being activated.

Results: All 6 sites were activated within 1 year and of 47 medical oncologists, 27 (57%) approached patients. Between November 2018 and April 2020, 211 eligible patients were randomised, 106 (50.2%) to a single dose of zoledronate and 105 (49.8%) to 6-monthly dosing. Baseline characteristics of randomised patients included; median age 59 (range 36-88), ER and/or PR positive (85%), Her2 positive (23%), menopausal status (premenopausal [19%], perimenopausal [6.7%] and postmenopausal [74%]) and 74% received neo/adjuvant chemotherapy.

Conclusions: All study feasibility endpoints were met in this trial comparing alternative schedules for adjuvant zoledronate. We will now seek funding for performing a larger efficacy trial.Trial registration: NCT03664687.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbo.2020.100343DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7782555PMC
February 2021

Evaluating comparative effectiveness of psychosocial interventions adjunctive to opioid agonist therapy for opioid use disorder: A systematic review with network meta-analyses.

PLoS One 2020 28;15(12):e0244401. Epub 2020 Dec 28.

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Background: Guidelines recommend that individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) receive pharmacological and psychosocial interventions; however, the most appropriate psychosocial intervention is not known. In collaboration with people with lived experience, clinicians, and policy makers, we sought to assess the relative benefits of psychosocial interventions as an adjunct to opioid agonist therapy (OAT) among persons with OUD.

Methods: A review protocol was registered a priori (CRD42018090761), and a comprehensive search for randomized controlled trials (RCT) was conducted from database inception to June 2020 in MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Established methods for study selection and data extraction were used. Primary outcomes were treatment retention and opioid use (measured by urinalysis for opioid use and opioid abstinence outcomes). Odds ratios were estimated using network meta-analyses (NMA) as appropriate based on available evidence, and in remaining cases alternative approaches to synthesis were used.

Results: Seventy-two RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Risk of bias evaluations commonly identified study limitations and poor reporting with regard to methods used for allocation concealment and selective outcome reporting. Due to inconsistency in reporting of outcome measures, only 48 RCTs (20 unique interventions, 5,404 participants) were included for NMA of treatment retention, where statistically significant differences were found when psychosocial interventions were used as an adjunct to OAT as compared to OAT-only. The addition of rewards-based interventions such as contingency management (alone or with community reinforcement approach) to OAT was superior to OAT-only. Few statistically significant differences between psychosocial interventions were identified among any other pairwise comparisons. Heterogeneity in reporting formats precluded an NMA for opioid use. A structured synthesis was undertaken for the remaining outcomes which included opioid use (n = 18 studies) and opioid abstinence (n = 35 studies), where the majority of studies found no significant difference between OAT plus psychosocial interventions as compared to OAT-only.

Conclusions: This systematic review offers a comprehensive synthesis of the available evidence and the limitations of current trials of psychosocial interventions applied as an adjunct to OAT for OUD. Clinicians and health services may wish to consider integrating contingency management in addition to OAT for OUD in their settings to improve treatment retention. Aside from treatment retention, few differences were consistently found between psychosocial interventions adjunctive to OAT and OAT-only. There is a need for high-quality RCTs to establish more definitive conclusions.

Trial Registration: PROSPERO registration CRD42018090761.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244401PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7769275PMC
March 2021

Musculoskeletal Injuries Among Females in the Military: A Scoping Review.

Mil Med 2020 Dec 24. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada.

Introduction: Musculoskeletal injuries (MSKi) are a common challenge for those in military careers. Compared to their male peers, reports indicate that female military members and recruits are at greater risk of suffering MSKi during training and deployment. The objectives of this study were to identify the types and causes of MSKi among female military personnel and to explore the various risk factors associated with MSKi.

Materials And Methods: A scoping review was conducted over a 4-month time frame of English language, peer-reviewed studies published from 1946 to 2019. Search strategies for major biomedical databases (e.g., MEDLINE; Embase Classic + Embase; and the following EBM Reviews-Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects, Health Technology Assessment, and the NHS Economic Evaluation Database) were developed by a senior medical information specialist and included 2,891 titles/abstracts. Study selection and data collection were designed according to the Population, Concept, and Context framework. Studies were included if the study population provided stratified data for females in a military context.

Results: From a total of 2,287 citations captured from the literature searches, 168 peer-reviewed publications (144 unique studies) were eligible for inclusion. Studies were identified from across 10 countries and published between 1977 and 2019. Study designs were primarily prospective and retrospective cohorts. Most studies assessed both prevalence/incidence and risk factors for MSKi (62.50%), with few studies assessing cause (13.69%). For MSKi of female recruits compared to active female members, the prevalence was higher (19.7%-58.3% vs. 5.5%-56.6%), but the incidence (0.02%-57.7% vs. 13.5%-71.9%) was lower. The incidence of stress fractures was found to be much higher in female recruits than in active members (1.6%-23.9% vs. 2.7%). For anthropometric risk factors, increased body fat was a predictor of MSKi, but not stress fractures. For physiological risk factors for both female military groups, being less physically fit, later menarche, and having no/irregular menses were predictors of MSKi and stress fractures. For biomechanical risk factors, among female recruits, longer tibial length and femoral neck diameter increased the risk of stress fractures, and low foot arch increased risk of an ankle sprain. For female active military members, differences in shoulder rotation and bone strength were associated with risk of MSKi. For biological sex, being female compared to male was associated with an increased risk of MSKi, stress fractures, and general injuries. The consequences of experiencing MSKi for active military included limited duties, time off, and discharge. For recruits, these included missed training days, limited duty days, and release.

Conclusions: This scoping review provides insight into the current state of the evidence regarding the types and causes of MSKi, as well as the factors that influence MSKi among females in the military. Future research endeavors should focus on randomized controlled trials examining training paradigms to see if women are more susceptible. The data presented in the scoping review could potentially be used to develop training strategies to mitigate some of the identified barriers that negatively impact women from pursuing careers in the military.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usaa555DOI Listing
December 2020

Digital health interventions for children with ADHD.

Lancet Digit Health 2020 04 24;2(4):e150-e151. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; School of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2589-7500(20)30058-3DOI Listing
April 2020

Real-world practice patterns and attitudes towards de-escalation of bone-modifying agents in patients with bone metastases from breast and prostate cancer: A physician survey.

J Bone Oncol 2021 Feb 10;26:100339. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.

Background: There remain questions around the optimal use of bone-modifying agents (BMAs) in patients with bone metastases from breast and castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). A physician survey was performed to identify current practices, as well as perceptions around long-term BMA use, BMA de-escalation, and further BMA de-escalation after 2 years of use.

Methods: Canadian oncologists treating breast cancer or CRPC were surveyed via an anonymized online survey. The survey collected physician demographics, current practice patterns, perception on risk of symptomatic skeletal events (SSE) and BMA-associated toxicities, and attitudes towards further de-escalation of BMAs after 2 years of treatment.

Results: A total of 334 physicians in Canada were contacted, of which 295 were eligible on initial screening, and 65 completed the survey (response rate 22%): 35 treated breast cancer, 25 treated prostate cancer and 5 treated both. The most common BMA regimens in patients with no limitation in drug coverage were denosumab q4wks for 3-4 months followed by a de-escalation to q12wks (breast cancer) and denosumab q4wks (prostate cancer). In patients with provincial health coverage only the common choices were zoledronate q4wks for 3-4 months followed by de-escalation to q12wks (breast cancer) and denosumab q4wks (prostate cancer). There was equipoise regarding the benefit of continuing BMA beyond 2 years and interest in further trials of de-escalation of BMA in both breast and prostate cancer. The most favored alternative primary study endpoints to SSE were BMA toxicity (67.2%), pain (46.9%), and physical function (48.4%).

Conclusion: Despite their extensive use and costs, questions around optimal use of BMAs still exist. Practice varies according to patient insurance coverage. However, most physicians are de-escalating BMAs. There is interest amongst clinicians in performing trials of de-escalation, especially after 2 years of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbo.2020.100339DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7689398PMC
February 2021

Protocol for a scoping review of outcomes in clinical studies of interventions for venous thromboembolism in adults.

BMJ Open 2020 12 7;10(12):e040122. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Department of Medicine, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Introduction: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a common, potentially fatal yet treatable disease. Several advances in treatment of VTE have been made over the past decades, but definition and reporting of outcomes across those studies are inconsistent. Development of an international core outcome set for clinical studies of interventions for VTE addresses this lack of standardisation. The first step in the development of a core outcome set is to conduct a scoping review which aims to generate an inclusive list of unique outcomes that have been reported in previous studies.

Methods And Analysis: MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials will be searched with no language restriction for prospective studies reporting on interventions for treatment of VTE in patients who are adult and non-pregnant. Records will be sorted in reverse chronological order. Study screening and data extraction will be independently performed by two authors in blocks based on date of publication, starting with 2015 to 2020 and subsequent 1-year periods, until no new outcome measures are identified from the set of included studies. After homogenising spelling and combining outcomes with the same meaning, a list of unique outcomes will be determined. Those outcomes will be grouped into outcome domains. Qualitative analysis and descriptive statistics will be used to report results.

Ethics And Dissemination: Ethical approval is not required for this study. The results of this scoping review will be presented at scientific conferences, published in a peer-reviewed journal, and they will provide candidate outcome domains to be considered in subsequent steps in the development of a core outcome set for clinical studies of interventions for VTE. PROTOCOL REGISTRATION DETAILS: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/40459.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-040122DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7722803PMC
December 2020

A scoping review characterizing "Choosing Wisely®" recommendations for breast cancer management.

Breast Cancer Res Treat 2021 Feb 6;185(3):533-547. Epub 2020 Nov 6.

Department of Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Purpose: Choosing Wisely (CW)® was created by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to promote patient-physician conversations about unnecessary medical interventions. Similarly, other countries created their own panels of experts called "CW® campaigns" which review recommendations submitted by that country's oncology societies. We performed a scoping review to consolidate CW® recommendations from different groups with respect to breast cancer care.

Methods: A systematic search of Medline and Embase was designed by an information specialist for publications presenting CW® recommendations for breast cancer care practices from 2011-2020. We also reviewed the websites of all CW® campaigns and reference sections of each CW® recommendation. Two reviewers independently screened studies for inclusion and performed data extraction. Findings were summarized narratively.

Results: Review of ABIM CW® recommendations showed 19 breast cancer-related recommendations pertaining to; screening (n = 4), radiological staging (n = 2), treatment (n = 10), surveillance (n = 2), and miscellaneous (genetic testing; n = 1). Of 22 countries with CW® campaigns, 10 published recommendations for breast cancer. Over half (57%) of recommendations were supported by more than one country. No recommendations were refuted between campaigns. Two campaigns developed 3 novel recommendations on new topics, including chemotherapy in ductal carcinoma in situ (Italy) and comparison of screening imaging modalities (Portugal).

Conclusions: CW® recommendations focus on reducing overutilization of investigations and treatments. There was a high rate of consensus between different CW® campaigns. As health care systems globally move attention to reduce low-value care, further studies are required to address adherence to these current recommendations and develop new recommendations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10549-020-06009-2DOI Listing
February 2021

Amyloid-PET and F-FDG-PET in the diagnostic investigation of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

Lancet Neurol 2020 11;19(11):951-962

Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK; Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden; Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Mölndal, Sweden; UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London, London, UK.

Various biomarkers are available to support the diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases in clinical and research settings. Among the molecular imaging biomarkers, amyloid-PET, which assesses brain amyloid deposition, and F-fluorodeoxyglucose (F-FDG) PET, which assesses glucose metabolism, provide valuable and complementary information. However, uncertainty remains regarding the optimal timepoint, combination, and an order in which these PET biomarkers should be used in diagnostic evaluations because conclusive evidence is missing. Following an expert panel discussion, we reached an agreement on the specific use of the individual biomarkers, based on available evidence and clinical expertise. We propose a diagnostic algorithm with optimal timepoints for these PET biomarkers, also taking into account evidence from other biomarkers, for early and differential diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases that can lead to dementia. We propose three main diagnostic pathways with distinct biomarker sequences, in which amyloid-PET and F-FDG-PET are placed at different positions in the order of diagnostic evaluations, depending on clinical presentation. We hope that this algorithm can support diagnostic decision making in specialist clinical settings with access to these biomarkers and might stimulate further research towards optimal diagnostic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(20)30314-8DOI Listing
November 2020

A randomized clinical trial comparing physician-directed or fixed-dose steroid replacement strategies for incomplete dexamethasone dosing prior to docetaxel chemotherapy.

Support Care Cancer 2021 Jun 15;29(6):3113-3120. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

Division of Medical Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre, Ottawa, Canada.

Purpose: Prior to docetaxel chemotherapy, incomplete dosing of steroid premedication is common. The lack of standardized steroid replacement strategies can lead to variability in care and delays in starting docetaxel.

Methods: This randomized trial compared physician-directed with fixed-dose dexamethasone. Patients who had missed at least one dose of steroid premedication were randomized to physician-directed replacement (any choice of steroid, dose or route) or to dexamethasone 8 mg oral before starting docetaxel. The primary outcome was time from randomization to starting docetaxel. Secondary outcomes included rates of acute and delayed hypersensitivity reactions, fluid retention and skin toxicity.

Results: Of 60 eligible patients, 30 (50%) and 30 (50%) were randomized to physician-directed and fixed-dose arms, respectively. Overall tumour types: breast (42 [70%]), gastrointestinal (7 [12%]), prostate (7 [12%]) and lung (3 [7%]). Dexamethasone was most commonly incompletely taken with cycles 1 (28 [48%]) and 2 (13 [22%]) of docetaxel. Seven different replacement strategies were used in the physician-choice arm. Patients in the fixed-dose arm received docetaxel a mean of 21.2 (95% CI for the difference is 2.1 to 44.6) minutes earlier than the physician-choice arm (p = 0.033 Wilcoxon rank sum test or p = 0.073 two-sample t test). Median time to docetaxel was 47.5 vs 61 min (mean 62.2 vs 83.4 min) by arm, respectively. No significant difference in toxicity rates was observed.

Conclusion: While not meeting our predefined criteria of improving the time from randomization to starting docetaxel by 30 min, the fixed-dose replacement strategy reduced both the time to starting docetaxel and treatment variability. Fixed dosing with oral dexamethasone 8 mg should be the preferred standard of care. REGISTRATION: www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT02815319 REGISTRATION DATE: June 28, 2016.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-020-05791-5DOI Listing
June 2021

A protocol for a scoping review of equity measurement in mental health care for children and youth.

Syst Rev 2020 10 7;9(1):233. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

Departments of Geography, Paediatrics, Health Studies, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Children's Health Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.

Background: Mental health (MH) problems are among the most important causes of morbidity and mortality for children and youth. Problems of lack of equity in child and youth MH services (CYMHS)-including, but not limited to, problems in inaccessibility and quality of services-are widespread. Characterizing the nature of equity in CYMHS is an ongoing challenge because the field lacks a consistent approach to conceptualizing equity. We will conduct a scoping review of how equity in MH services for children and youth has been defined, operationalized, and measured. Our objectives are to discover: (1) What conceptual definitions of equity are used by observational studies of CYMHS?; (2) What service characteristics of CYMHS care do indices of equity cover?; (3) What population dimensions have been used to operationalize equity?; (4) What statistical constructs have been used in indices that measure CYMHS equity?; and (5) What were the numerical values of those indices?

Methods: The following databases will be searched: Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, Cochrane Controlled Register of Trials, CINAHL, EconLit, and Sociological Abstracts. Searches will be conducted from the date of inception to the end of the last full calendar year (December 2019). Studies will be included if they include an evaluation of a mental health service for children or youth (defined as those under 19 years of age) and which quantify variation in some aspect of child or youth mental health services (e.g., accessibility, volume, duration, or quality) as a function of socio-demographic and/or geographic variables. Study selection will occur over two stages. Stage one will select articles based on title and abstract using the liberal-accelerated method. Stage two will review the full texts of selected titles. Two reviewers will work independently on full-text reviewing, with each study screened twice using pre-specified eligibility criteria. One reviewer will chart study characteristics and indices to be verified by a second reviewer. Reviewers will resolve full-text screening and data extraction disagreements through discussion. Synthesis of the collected data will focus on compiling and mapping the types and characteristics of the indices used to evaluate MH services equity.

Discussion: The planned, systematic scoping review will survey the literature regarding how equity in MH services for children and youth has been operationalized and help inform future studies of equity in CYMHS.

Systematic Review Registration: Open Science Foundation ID SYSR-D-19-00371, https://osf.io/58srv/ .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13643-020-01495-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7542722PMC
October 2020

A randomised trial of 4- versus 12-weekly administration of bone-targeted agents in patients with bone metastases from breast or castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Eur J Cancer 2021 01 3;142:132-140. Epub 2020 Oct 3.

Clinical Epidemiology Program, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and University of Ottawa, 501 Smyth Road, Box 511, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8L6, Canada.

Background: Optimal dosing of bone-targeted agents (BTAs), in patients with bone metastases remains an important clinical question. This trial compared 4-weekly versus 12-weekly therapy.

Patients And Methods: Patients with bone metastases from breast or castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), who were going to start or already on BTAs, were randomised 1:1 to 4-weekly or 12-weekly BTA treatment for one year. Primary end point was change in health-related quality of life (HRQoL)-physical function European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)-QLQ-C30). Secondary end points included pain (EORTC-QLQ-BM22), global health status (EORTC-QLQ-C30), symptomatic skeletal events (SSEs) rates and time to SSEs. Primary analysis was per protocol and a non-inferiority margin of 5 points was used.

Results: Of 263 patients (160 breast cancer, 103 CRPC), 133 (50.6%) and 130 (49.4%) were randomised to the 4- and 12-weekly groups, respectively. BTAs included denosumab (56.3%), zoledronate (24.0%) and pamidronate (19.8%). Using repeated-measures analysis, across all time points, patients in the 4-weekly arm had a mean HRQL-physical subdomain score which was 1.2 (95% confidence interval: -1.6 to 4.0) higher than the 12-weekly arm. The study met the definition of non-inferiority for our primary outcome. Secondary outcomes showed no significant difference in scores for pain, global health status, SSE rates and SSE-free survival between arms. Subgroup analyses for cancer type, prior BTA use or BTA type showed no significant difference between arms.

Conclusion: These results in addition to those previously reported for de-escalating zoledronate and systematic reviews in both breast and prostate cancers, would support that de-escalation of commonly used BTAs is a reasonable treatment option.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.08.019DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7532126PMC
January 2021

The Top 20 Surgical Procedures Associated with the Highest Risk for Blood Transfusion.

Br J Surg 2020 12 3;107(13):e642-e643. Epub 2020 Oct 3.

Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bjs.12005DOI Listing
December 2020