Publications by authors named "Gro Aandahl"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Palliative Radiotherapy with or without Additional Care by a Multidisciplinary Palliative Care Team: A Retrospective Comparison.

ISRN Oncol 2014 30;2014:715396. Epub 2014 Mar 30.

Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Nordland Hospital, 8092 Bodø, Norway.

Purpose. To analyze pattern of care and survival after palliative radiotherapy (RT) in patients managed exclusively by regular oncology staff or a multidisciplinary palliative care team (MPCT) in addition. Methods. Retrospective analysis of 522 RT courses. Comparison of Two Groups: MPCT versus none. Results. We analyzed 140 RT courses (27%) with MPCT care and 382 without it. The following statistically significant differences were observed: 33% of female patients had MPCT care versus only 23% of male patients and 37% of patients <65 years had MPCT care versus only 22% of older patients. MPCT patients were more likely to have poor performance status and liver metastases. In the MPCT group steroid and opioid use was significantly more common. Dose-fractionation regimens were similar. Median survival was significantly shorter in the MPCT group, 3.9 versus 6.9 months. In multivariate analysis, MPCT care was not associated with survival. Adjusted for confounders, MPCT care reduced the likelihood of incomplete RT by 33%, P > 0.05. Conclusions. Patterns of referral and care differed, for example, regarding age and medication use. It seems possible that MPCT care reduces likelihood of incomplete RT. Therefore, the impact of MPCT care on symptom control should be investigated and objective referral criteria should be developed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/715396DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4004167PMC
July 2014

Impact of systemic treatment on survival after whole brain radiotherapy in patients with brain metastases.

Med Oncol 2014 Apr 20;31(4):927. Epub 2014 Mar 20.

Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Nordland Hospital, 8092, Bodø, Norway,

Most patients with brain metastases have active extracranial disease, which limits survival unless effective systemic therapy can be administered. Available options have increased over the last 5 years. Therefore, we analyzed patient cohorts treated with or without systemic treatment after completion of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT). This study included retrospective uni- and multivariate analyses of 189 patients. Two landmark analyses requiring minimum survival of 1 or 2 months from start of WBRT were performed. Age and Karnofsky performance status (KPS) requirements were also applied in order to resemble a prospective trial that would limit inclusion to patients with defined baseline characteristics such as adequate KPS. Irrespective of these different statistical scenarios, systemic treatment significantly improved survival. For example, the 2-month landmark analysis with upper age limit and inclusion of patients with KPS > 60 only showed median survival of 9.0 versus 3.7 months, p = 0.001. All patients alive after more than 2 years had received systemic treatment (chemotherapy, endocrine therapy, tyrosine kinase inhibitors or other drugs). After WBRT, systemic treatment is a prerequisite for long-term survival. The exact magnitude of improvement can only be assessed in randomized trials because retrospective cohort studies, even if carefully designed, are not able to correct for all potential imbalances.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12032-014-0927-2DOI Listing
April 2014

Active anticancer treatment during the final month of life in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

Anticancer Res 2014 Feb;34(2):1015-20

Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Nordland Hospital, P.O. Box 1480, 8092 Bodø, Norway.

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a major cause of cancer-related death and consumption of healthcare resources worldwide. Significant costs are generated shortly before death, partly because of continued oncological treatment during the terminal stage of disease. We analyzed factors predicting for the likelihood of active anticancer therapy during the final month of life. Patients who died from NSCLC (any stage and treatment) during the years 2006-2013 within a defined geographical region of northern Norway were included (n=266). Out of these, 28.6% received oncological treatment during the final month of life. Hospital death occurred in 70% of patients who received active treatment during their last month of life, compared to 41% of other patients (p=0.0001). Multivariate analysis showed that lack of documented resuscitation preference (p=0.001) and the presence of superior vena cava compression (p=0.039) were the most important predictors of active therapy during the last month of life. Trends were observed with regard to use of steroids for symptom palliation (p=0.067) and advanced T stage (p=0.071). Given that patients with documented resuscitation preference before their last month of life (typically a do not resuscitate order) were unlikely to receive active treatment during the final month (2% versus 35% in patients without documented preference), early discussion of prognosis, options for symptom control and resuscitation preference are crucial components in strategies for improving terminal care.
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February 2014

Development and validation of a model predicting short survival (death within 30 days) after palliative radiotherapy.

Anticancer Res 2014 Feb;34(2):877-85

Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Nordland Hospital, 8092 Bodø, Norway.

The present study aimed to develop a predictive model that would allow for reduced utilization of palliative radiotherapy (PRT) during the final 30 days of life in patients with incurable cancer. We performed uni- and multivariate analyses of factors predicting PRT during the final 30 days of life for all PRT courses administered at a dedicated PRT facility between 20.06.2007 and 31.12.2009. We also developed a predictive model by recursive partitioning analysis (RPA), followed by independent validation of its performance in patients treated during 2010 and 2011. We analyzed 579 PRT courses. Median survival was 6.3 months. In 53 cases (9%) PRT was administered during the final 30 days of life. RPA resulted in a model consisting of six parameters (lung or bladder cancer, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 3-4, low hemoglobin, opioid analgesic use, steroid use, known progressive disease outside PRT volume), which correctly identified 75% of PRT courses administered during the final 30 days of life. Maximum survival of patients fulfilling all criteria was 69 days. Death within 40 days occurred in 83% of patients. In the independent validation data set, similar results were obtained: 74% (30 days), 84% (40 days), while maximum survival was 92 days. As demonstrated here and in other recent studies, assigning the right patient to the right palliative approach is challenging. We suggest that patients with lung or bladder cancer and the adverse features mentioned above are at high risk of dying shortly after initiation of PRT. Our model might support decision-making (best supportive care versus PRT) and is the first decision aid specifically addressing PRT near end of life.
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February 2014

Correlation between article download and citation figures for highly accessed articles from five open access oncology journals.

Springerplus 2013 Dec 13;2(1):261. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Nordland Hospital, Bodø, 8092 Norway ; Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, 9038 Norway.

Different approaches can be chosen to quantify the impact and merits of scientific oncology publications. These include source of publication (including journal reputation and impact factor), whether or not articles are cited by others, and access/download figures. When relying on citation counts, one needs to obtain access to citation databases and has to consider that results differ from one database to another. Accumulation of citations takes time and their dynamics might differ from journal to journal and topic to topic. Therefore, we wanted to evaluate the correlation between citation and download figures, hypothesising that articles with fewer downloads also accumulate fewer citations. Typically, publishers provide download figures together with the article. We extracted and analysed the 50 most viewed articles from 5 different open access oncology journals. For each of the 5 journals and also all journals combined, correlation between number of accesses and citations was limited (r = 0.01-0.30). Considerable variations were also observed when analyses were restricted to specific article types such as reviews only (r = 0.21) or case reports only (r = 0.53). Even if year of publication was taken into account, high correlation coefficients were the exception from the rule. In conclusion, downloads are not a universal surrogate for citation figures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2193-1801-2-261DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3698439PMC
December 2013

Best supportive care in patients with brain metastases and adverse prognostic factors: development of improved decision aids.

Support Care Cancer 2013 Oct 18;21(10):2671-8. Epub 2013 May 18.

Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Nordland Hospital, 8092, Bodø, Norway,

Purpose: This study aimed to develop a survival prediction model that might aid decision making when choosing between best supportive care (BSC) and brain radiotherapy (RT) for patients with brain metastases and limited survival expectation.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 124 patients treated with BSC, whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT), or radiosurgery was conducted. All patients had adverse prognostic features defined as 0-1.5 points according to the diagnosis-specific graded prognostic assessment score (DS-GPA) or GPA if primary tumor type was not among those represented in DS-GPA. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were compared between patients treated with BSC or RT in different scenarios, reflecting more or less rigorous definitions of poor prognosis. If survival was indistinguishable and this result could be confirmed in multivariate analysis, BSC was considered appropriate.

Results: Irrespective of point sum examined, DS-GPA by itself was not a satisfactory selection parameter. However, we defined a subgroup of 63 patients (51 %) with short survival irrespective of management approach (only 5 % of irradiated patients survived beyond 6 months; they had newly diagnosed, treatment-naïve lung cancer), i.e., patients in whom foregoing RT was unlikely to compromise survival. These were patients with 0-1.5 points and aged ≥ 75 years, had Karnofsky performance status ≤ 50, or had uncontrolled primary tumor with extracranial metastases to at least two organs.

Conclusions: BSC is a reasonable choice in patients with limited life expectancy. After successful external validation of the selection criteria developed in this analysis, identification of patients who are unlikely to benefit from WBRT might be improved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00520-013-1840-5DOI Listing
October 2013

Radiotherapy versus best supportive care in patients with brain metastases and adverse prognostic factors.

Clin Exp Metastasis 2013 Aug 8;30(6):723-9. Epub 2013 Feb 8.

Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Nordland Hospital, 8092, Bodø, Norway,

Several previous studies have suggested that patients with brain metastases should be treated with individualized approaches taking into account prognostic factors that influence survival. Whether or not radiotherapy represents overtreatment in patients with adverse prognostic features is currently being addressed in the randomized QUARTZ trial (best supportive care (BSC) vs. whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT)). However, inclusion is limited to patients with primary non-small cell lung cancer. Therefore, we analyzed a broader patient population with different primary tumors managed with BSC or WBRT (intended total dose 20 or 30 Gy). Survival was examined by uni- and multivariate analyses including matched pairs. Median overall survival of all 113 patients was 2 months. No significant difference between BSC and 20 Gy WBRT was observed. A slight but significant improvement was observed in the 30 Gy WBRT group (median 2.2 vs. 1.7 months). The magnitude of difference is not clinically meaningful. Subgroup analyses revealed that improved survival after 30 Gy WBRT was limited to patients with primary small cell lung cancer. In conclusion, these results confirm and extent interim results from the QUARTZ trial, suggesting that BSC is a reasonable choice in patients with limited survival expectation. Further efforts are necessary to improve identification of patients who are likely to benefit from WBRT, e.g. by refining available survival prediction tools, and to confirm that management of those with small cell lung cancer should include a less restricted use of WBRT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10585-013-9573-xDOI Listing
August 2013

A case of brain metastases from breast cancer treated with whole-brain radiotherapy and eribulin mesylate.

Case Rep Oncol Med 2012 16;2012:537183. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Nordland Hospital, P.O. Box 1480, 8092 Bodø, Norway.

Patients with triple receptor-negative breast cancer often develop aggressive metastatic disease, which also might involve the brain. In many cases, systemic and local treatment is needed. It is important to consider the toxicity of chemo- and radiotherapy, especially when newly approved drugs become available. Randomised studies leading to drug approval often exclude patients with newly diagnosed brain metastases. Here we report our initial experience with eribulin mesylate and whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) in a heavily pretreated patient with multiple brain, lung, and bone metastases from triple receptor-negative breast cancer. Eribulin mesylate was given after 4 previous lines for metastatic disease. Two weeks after the initial dose, that is, during the first cycle, the patient was diagnosed with 5 brain metastases with a maximum size of approximately 4.5 cm. She continued chemotherapy and received concomitant WBRT with 10 fractions of 3 Gy. After 3 cycles of eribulin mesylate, treatment was discontinued because of newly diagnosed liver metastases and progression in the lungs. No unexpected acute toxicity was observed. The only relevant adverse reactions were haematological events after the third cycle (haemoglobin 9.5 g/dL, leukocytes 3.1 × 10(9)/L). The patient died from respiratory failure 18.5 months from diagnosis of metastatic disease, and 2.7 months from diagnosis of brain metastases. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on combined WBRT and eribulin mesylate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/537183DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3431070PMC
September 2012

Comorbidity, use of common medications, and risk of early death in patients with localized or locally advanced prostate cancer.

ScientificWorldJournal 2011 Jun 9;11:1178-86. Epub 2011 Jun 9.

Department of Oncology and Palliative Medicine, Nordland Hospital, Bodø, Norway.

In this paper, we analyze predictive factors for early death from comorbidity (defined as death within 3 years from diagnosis and unrelated to prostate cancer) in patients with localized or locally advanced prostate cancer. Such information may guide individually tailored treatment or observation strategies, and help to avoid overtreatment. We retrospectively analyzed baseline parameters including information on comorbidity and medication use among 177 patients (median age at diagnosis 70 years). Actuarial survival analyses were performed. During the first 3 years, two patients (1.1%) died from progressive prostate cancer after they had developed distant metastases. The risk of dying from other causes (3.4%) was numerically higher, although not to a statistically significant degree. Six patients who died from other causes had age-adjusted Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) scores ≥5 (CCI is a sum score where each comorbid condition is assigned with a score depending on the risk of dying associated with this condition). The main comorbidity was cardiovascular disease. The two statistically significant predictive factors were medication use and age-adjusted CCI score ≥5 (univariate analysis). However, medication use was not an independent factor as all patients with age-adjusted CCI score ≥5 also used at least one class of medication. Median survival was 30 months in patients with age-adjusted CCI score ≥5. Prediction of non-prostate cancer death may be important to prevent overtreatment in patients who are more threatened by comorbidity. Our data suggest that simple parameters such as use of medications vs. none, or presence of serious cardiac disease vs. none, are not sufficient, and that age-adjusted CCI scores outperform the other factors included in our analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2011.121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5719988PMC
June 2011
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