Publications by authors named "Huseyin Abali"

88 Publications

A Phase II Study of the Combination of Oxaliplatin, Capecitabine, and Trastuzumab and Chemoradiotherapy in the Adjuvant Setting in Operated Patients With HER2-positive Gastric or Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer (TOXAG Study): A Turkish Oncology Group Study.

Am J Clin Oncol 2021 May 12. Epub 2021 May 12.

Department of Medical Oncology, Acibadem Adana Hospital Departments of Radiation Medical Oncology, Baskent University, Adana Department of Medical Oncology, Hacettepe University Department of Medical Oncology, Dr. A.Y. Ankara Oncology Training and Research Hospital Department of Medical Oncology, Gazi University Department of Medical Oncology, Medical Park Ankara Hospital Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, Ankara Department of Medical Oncology, Marmara University Department of Medical Oncology, Ethica Incirli Hospital Roche Pharmaceuticals Department of Medical Pharmacology, Bahcesehir University School of Medicine Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, Koc University/MedStats Consulting, Istanbul Department of Medical Oncology, Necmettin Erbakan University Meram School of Medicine, Konya Department of Medical Oncology, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey.

Background: Trastuzumab prolonged the overall survival in patients with advanced gastric cancer with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) overexpression in combination with chemotherapy. In this phase II open-label prospective study, the tolerability and safety of trastuzumab with chemotherapy, and chemoradiotherapy for curatively resected patients with HER2-positive gastric carcinoma was investigated.

Methods: The patients with HER2-positive gastric, or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, after gastrectomy plus D2 dissection, were included. They received 3 cycles of oxaliplatin (100 mg/m2 intravenously day 1) plus capecitabine (850 mg/m2 orally days 1 to 14), trastuzumab (8 mg/kg intravenously day 1 in cycle 1, 6 mg/kg thereafter) every 21 days, followed by chemoradiotherapy. Trastuzumab was given for 1 year.

Results: Of the 212 patients screened, 35 were eligible, and 34 were treated. The median age was 56 years (minimum to maximum: 35 to 75 y), male patients constituted 73.5% (n=25), and 33 (97.1%) had gastric adenocarcinoma. R0 resection was performed in 30 (88.2%). The majority (26, 61.7%) were in stage III disease. Most of the adverse events were grade I/II, the most frequent grade III side effects were nausea (3, 8.8%), vomiting (3, 8.8%), diarrhea (2, 5.9%), and weight loss (n=2, 5.9%). Two patients died during the first 3 cycles of chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy; 1 secondary to pulmonary thromboembolism, and the other due to cerebral ischemia. After excluding 2 with early progression and 1 consent withdrawal, of the remaining 31 patients, 28 (90.3%) were able to complete the chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy part of the trial. After the 25 months follow-up period, 21 patients (61.8%) were alive. Overall survival at 12 and 24 months was 75.0% and 58.0%, while disease-free survival at 12 and 24 months was 65.7% and 55.0%, respectively.

Conclusions: Trastuzumab in combination with capecitabine, oxaliplatin following chemoradiotherapy as the adjuvant therapy for gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma was considered as safe and tolerable. The frequency of HER2 overexpression in curatively resected patients is comparable to that in patients with metastatic disease (trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov the identifier: NCT01748773, December 13, 2012, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01748773).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/COC.0000000000000825DOI Listing
May 2021

Association of illness perception with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting: a Turkish Oncology Group (TOG) study.

Future Oncol 2021 May 18;17(15):1933-1942. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Medical Oncology, School of Medicine, Acıbadem Mehmet Ali Aydınlar University, Adana, TR-01170, Turkey.

Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) may be linked to the psychological status of cancer patients. Therefore, the authors aimed to better understand the underlying risk factors for CINV using the Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire. A total of 238 patients were recruited during three cycles of chemotherapy. Patient, disease and treatment characteristics were noted at the onset of chemotherapy. The Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire was administered face-to-face prior to chemotherapy. The relationship between illness perceptions and CINV was analyzed using Spearman's rank correlation. Positive illness perception parameters, including personal and treatment control, were negatively correlated, whereas negative illness perception parameters, including consequences, timeline, identity, concern and emotions, were positively correlated with CINV after adjusting for age, sex and emetogenic potential of chemotherapy (p < 0.001). Illness perception may be an underlying risk factor for CINV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-0939DOI Listing
May 2021

Recurrence pattern in the presence of hepatosteatosis in breast cancer: does it facilitate liver metastasis?

Future Oncol 2020 Jun 1;16(18):1257-1267. Epub 2020 May 1.

Department of Medical Oncology, School of Medicine, Acıbadem Mehmet Ali Aydınlar University, Adana, Turkey.

We aimed to investigate the impact of hepatosteatosis (HS) severity on the recurrence pattern of breast cancer and to clarify whether HS causes affinity to recurrence with liver metastasis. The median follow-up was 80.0 (4-217) months and the mean age was 47.9 ± 11.3 years. Among all, 181 (39.9%) patients were diagnosed with grades 2 and 3 HS. Of total, 158 (34.8%) patients have experienced recurrence. While higher degree of HS was more common in patients presented with liver recurrence (odds ratio; 95% CI: 2.50; 1.27-4.92; p = 0.007), it was lesser in those with other metastatic sites (all were >0.05). Liver-recurrence-free survival was significantly worse in the group with higher degree of HS (hazard ratio; 95% CI: 2.46; 1.4-4.3; p = 0.002) together with younger age (hazard ratio; 95% CI: 2.44; 1.4-4.3; p = 0.002) in multivariate analysis. HS might have produced an affinity for liver metastasis in common types of breast cancer patients in remission independent from metabolic disorders or clinicopathologic features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2019-0634DOI Listing
June 2020

Re: Combination of radiotherapy and immunotherapy? Do timing and dose matter?

J Oncol Pharm Pract 2019 12 21;25(8):2062-2063. Epub 2019 Jun 21.

Medical Oncology, Adana Acıbadem Hospital, Adana, Turkey.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1078155219858176DOI Listing
December 2019

Addition of taxanes to combination chemotherapy in distal intestinal gastric cancer is more beneficial than proximal ones: A multicenter retrospective study of Turkish Oncology Group.

J BUON 2019 Mar-Apr;24(2):650-655

Department of Medical Oncology, Medical Faculty, Baskent University, Adana, Turkey.

Purpose: Advanced gastric cancer has a dismal prognosis. Platin/5-fluorouracil (PF) combination chemotherapy is the main treatment modality for metastatic gastric cancer patients. Third drug addition to PF is a controversial issue. The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive role of tumor localization and histopathology on choosing three- or two-drug combination regimens.

Methods: This study was designed as a hospital-based retrospective observational case-series study. A total of 516 patients with advanced gastric cancer has been treated at eight different oncology centers in Turkey between 2006 and 2016. Laboratory results and demographic data were collected and analyzed.

Results: The median patient age was 59 years (range 25-85). Proximal intestinal and distal intestinal cancers were found in 357 (69.2 %) and 159 (30.8 %) patients, respectively. 5-fluorouracil (5FU) and cisplatin (PF) and cisplatin+5FU+docetaxel (PFtax, also known as DCF) were administered to 240 (46.5%) and 276 (53.5%) patients, respectively. Median progression free survival (PFS) was 5.0 (95% CI 4.21-5.29) and 8 months (95% CI 7.22-8.77) for PF and PFtax groups, respectively (p=0.000). When tumor localization was used as stratum in PFS survival, PFtax produced significantly higher PFS rates only in distal intestinal type gastric cancer compared to PF (p=0.000). Median overall survival (OS) was 12 (95% CI 9.8-14.2) and 16 months (95% CI 13.6-18.4) for the PF and PFtax groups, respectively (p=0.01). When tumor localization was used as stratum in OS, PFtax showed significantly higher OS rates only in the distal intestinal type gastric cancer compared to PF (p=0.01) Conclusion: Pathology and tumor location in gastric cancer may affect the outcome. Addition of taxanes as a third drug may significantly increase PFS and OS rates only in distal intestinal type gastric cancer but not in patients with proximal type gastric cancer.
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December 2019

Prognostic factors for survival in patients with mucosal and ocular melanoma treated with ipilimumab: Turkish Oncology Group study.

J Oncol Pharm Pract 2020 Mar 29;26(2):267-272. Epub 2019 Mar 29.

Medical Oncology, Ankara University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.

Objective: To evaluate prognostic factors associated with the use of ipilimumab in patients with mucosal and uveal melanoma.

Methods: In this multicenter, retrospective study, 31 patients with uveal and mucosal melanoma diagnosed between 2010 and 2017 were enrolled. Patients' characteristics, metastatic disease sites, treatment before ipilimumab therapy, performance status, hemoglobin, lactate dehydrogenase levels, B-RAF and c-kit mutation status, toxicity, and survival data were assessed for patients with mucosal and uveal melanoma. SPSS version 17 was used for statistical analysis. Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis. The log-rank test was used for univariate analyses. The Cox regression analysis was used to test the association between multivariate variables and survival. The p-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: Twenty patients had uveal and eleven patients had mucosal melanoma. The median overall survival was seven months (95% confidence interval: 1.1-12.7). In univariate analysis, while bone metastasis, anemia, high lactate dehydrogenase level, and more metastatic sites were associated with lower overall survival, better treatment response and administration of ipilimumab in first or second lines were associated with favorable overall survival. In multivariate analysis, only treatment response status and administration of ipilimumab in first or second lines were found to be significant as independent prognostic factors for survival.

Conclusion: Ipilimumab therapy may be associated with increased survival, but this retrospective small N study makes that hard to definitely conclude.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1078155219840796DOI Listing
March 2020

Prognostic factors in patients with advanced extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma: A single center experience.

Medicine (Baltimore) 2019 Feb;98(8):e14556

Department of Medical Oncology, Acibadem University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey.

Extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ECC) is an aggressive malignancy causing a lot of fatalities and comorbidities. Endoscopic biliary stenting (EBS) is mostly needed for ECC. In this study, we aimed to investigate the prognostic factors for the overall survival (OS) and the factors predicting the patients eligible for chemotherapy after EBS in ECC.We retrospectively screened 153 advanced ECC patients who underwent EBS for jaundice to make the patients eligible for chemotherapy. Patient's clinical and laboratory parameters were recorded. OS was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. All parameters were assessed by binary logistic regression analysis to predict which patients are eligible for chemotherapy.The median OS of all patients was 12.0 months (10.1-13.8). The median OS of the patients treated with chemotherapy was 13.0 months (12.0-14.0), while it was 4.0 months (2.3-5.7) for patients unable for chemotherapy after EBS. Albumin, aspartate aminotransferase (ALT) and carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9) values were independent prognostic factors for OS. Higher albumin and lower prothrombin time (PT) levels were independent parameters to predict the patients eligible for chemotherapy after EBS.Being suitable for chemotherapy was the main determinant for prolonged survival and albumin and PT levels were independent predictors for chemotherapy eligibility after EBS. Albumin, ALT, and CA 19-9 values were independent prognostic factors for OS in ECC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000014556DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6408093PMC
February 2019

Hepatosteatosis may predict late recurrence of breast cancer: A single-center observational study.

Curr Probl Cancer 2019 12 23;43(6):100461. Epub 2019 Jan 23.

King Hamad Hematology-Oncology Center, Department of Medical Oncology, Bahrain.

Aim: The positive energy balance and insulin resistance caused by weight gain, physical inactivity, poor dietary quality are linked to a decreased breast cancer (BC)-specific survival. The aim of the present study was to assess whether or not hepatosteatosis, which reflect underlying insulin resistance, has a predictive value on recurrence in patients with nonmetastatic BC.

Material Method: All diagnosed nonmetastatic BC patients between 2005 and 2016 were included in this retrospective analysis. Patients' medical characteristics included for analysis were age, menopausal status, presence of obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and tumor features. Liver parenchyma was evaluated by ultrasonography, and then patients divided into 2 groups according to final follow-up findings; group 1: without hepatosteatosis or presence of grade 1 steatosis; group 2: presence of grades 2 and 3 hepatosteatosis. Survival distributions were estimated with the Kaplan-Meier method and compared between groups with the log-rank statistic.

Results: Four hundred twenty-four patients included in this study. The median follow-up period of all patients was 6.7 years (range, 0.6-13 years). The mean age was 48.2 ± 0.5 years. Of total, 154 (36.3%) patients experienced recurrence. In total, 171 (40.6%) patients had grades 2 and 3 hepatosteatosis, and the remaining had no, or grade 1 hepatosteatosis during last follow-up or at recurrence. The clinicopathologic characteristics of the participants were well balanced between the 2 groups. Younger age (odds ratio [OR]: 2.19; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.3-3.8, P = 0.005), and higher tumor stage (OR: 7.52; 95% CI: 1.2-48.5, P = 0.035 for stage Ia vs stage IIIC) were associated with recurrence of BC during the entire follow-up in multivariate analysis. Hepatosteatosis predicted late recurrence after 5 years in nonmetastatic BC after adjusted for age, diabetes, tumor stage, grade, and luminal type (OR: 2.45; 95% CI: 1.1-5.6, P = 0.034) and the hazard ratio was 0.40 (95% CI: 0.18-0.88, P = 0.023 adjusted value) for relapse-free survival after 5 years.

Conclusion: Higher degree of hepatosteatosis may predict recurrence after 5 years in BC survivors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.currproblcancer.2019.01.002DOI Listing
December 2019

Prognostic factors for survival in patients with metastatic malign melanoma treated with ipilimumab: Turkish Oncology Group study.

J Oncol Pharm Pract 2019 Oct 6;25(7):1658-1664. Epub 2018 Nov 6.

10 Medical Oncology, Acıbadem Mehmet Ali Aydınlar University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey.

Purpose: Studies in the last decade show survival improvement with checkpoint blocker therapy in patients with metastatic malign melanoma. Our purpose was to define the efficacy of ipilimumab according to the patient's baseline characteristics including absolute lymphocytes count.

Methods: We collected the data of 97 patients with advanced malign melanoma treated with ipilimumab (3 mg/kg, q3w) retrospectively. Log-rank test was used to analyze the univariate effects of patient's characteristics (age, gender, metastatic sites, ECOG PS, type of melanoma, lactic dehydrogenase levels, anemia, lymphocytes (L), neutrophils (N), N/L ratio), c-kit and BRAF status. Survival analyses were estimated with Kaplan-Meier method. Cox regression analysis was used to assess the possible factors identified with log-rank test.

Results: The median age was 58, and 58% were male and 90% of patients had at least one prior systemic therapy. The median survival was 9.7 months for all patients; and the 12- and 24-month survival rates were 43% and 19%, respectively. Absolute lymphocytes count, lactic dehydrogenase level, bone metastasis, the number of metastatic sites, and RECIST response were significantly related to survival. After Cox regression analysis, RECIST response (complete or partial response), absolute lymphocytes count (more than 1500/mm) and the number of metastatic sites (less than three sites) remained as significant independent prognostic factors for longer survival.

Conclusion: Ipilimumab improved survival of patients with metastatic malign melanoma. However, patients with fewer metastatic sites and higher absolute lymphocytes count have a significantly better benefit. To determine if these markers could be used to direct patient therapy, further validation analysis is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1078155218805539DOI Listing
October 2019

Tendency of cancer patients and their relatives to use internet for health-related searches: Turkish Oncology Group (TOG) Study.

J BUON 2016 May-Jun;21(3):714-9

Department of Medical Oncology, Kahramanmaras Necip Fazil City Hospital, Kahramanmaras, Turkey.

Purpose: This study aimed to reveal the habits of using internet by cancer patients and their relatives to access health-related information and services in Turkey.

Methods: An 18-item questionnaire survey was applied in cancer patients and their relatives.

Results: A total of 1106 patients (male, 37.3%, and female, 62.7%) and their relatives were included in the study. The responders had been using internet to obtain health information about oncological diseases, once a month (34.2%), 1-2 times a week (27.4%) or 2-3 times a month (21.9%). After diagnosis of cancer was made, participants more frequently (64.4%) investigated health-related issues, while 64.9% of them considered internet as an important search tool, and 16.7% of them had thought to give up cancer therapy under the influence of internet information. Some (33.1%) participants had used herbal medicine, and 16.7% of them had learnt these herbal products from internet. Still 12.7% of them had not questioned the accuracy of internet information, while 26.9% of them indicated that they had not shared the internet information about cancer with their physicians, and 13 % of them searched information in internet without asking their physicians.

Conclusion: Cancer patients and their relatives showed a higher tendency to use health-related internet information which may mislead them, and can result in treatment incompliance. Health professionals should offer evidence-based information to the patients and their relatives through internet.
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December 2016

An old enemy not to be forgotten during PET CT scanning of cancer patients: tuberculosis.

Contemp Oncol (Pozn) 2016 8;20(2):188-91. Epub 2014 Jul 8.

Department of Medical Oncology, Medical Faculty, Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey.

Aim Of The Study: Positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET CT) scan is commonly used in current medical oncology practice as an imaging method. In this study we present data from cancer patients who were followed at our clinic and suspected of having tuberculosis during PET CT scanning. After the biopsy, they were diagnosed with concomitant tuberculosis.

Material And Methods: In this study, 14 patients who applied to our clinic and followed up due to cancer, and had PET CT scanning for the preliminary staging or further evaluation, were included. The patients were diagnosed with metastatic or recurrent disease, and their biopsy results revealed tuberculosis.

Results: The mean age was 57.8 years with SD (standard deviation) 13.1 years and gender distribution of 78.6% (n = 11) females and 21.4% (n = 3) males. None of the patients had tuberculosis in their personal history (0%). Among the patients, 5 (35.7%) were diagnosed with tuberculosis during the preliminary staging, whereas 9 (64.3%) were diagnosed during the follow-up after the treatment. The median time to tuberculosis diagnosis was 11 months (min-max: 3-24 months) after the treatment. The most commonly involved lymph nodes during PET CT scanning were mediastinal in 8 (64.3%), axillary in 3 (21.4%) and para-aortic in 3 (21.4%) patients. The mean SUVmax (maximum standardised uptake value) of lymph node involved by PET CT scanning was defined as 8.5 (SD 2.6).

Conclusions: Despite all improvements in modern medicine, tuberculosis is still a serious public health problem. It should always be considered in differential diagnosis while evaluating PET CT scanning results of cancer patients, because it may cause false positive results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/wo.2014.43985DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4925724PMC
June 2016

Cutaneous melanoma in Turkey: analysis of 1157 patients in the Melanoma Turkish Study.

J BUON 2015 Jul-Aug;20(4):1137-41

Acibadem University School of Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Istanbul, Turkey.

Purpose: To develop a large Turkish National Melanoma registry in order to define demographic and clinicopathologic characteristics of patients with melanoma.

Methods: The data was collected from 1635 patients with melanoma through a web-based registry system in 22 centers. Herein we present the results of 1157 patients with cutaneous melanoma.

Results: The patient median age was 56.4 years and 646 (55.8%) were males. The commonest subtype was superficial spreading type (357, 30.9%). The commonest primary site was the lower extremities (N=353, 30.5%). The most common Breslow thickness was 1-2 mm (361 patients, 43.5%). Only 104 (12.5%) patients had a thickness <1mm. Among 694 patients with available data, 136 (19.6%) presented with stage 4 disease while the most frequent stage was stage 3, encountered in 393 (56.6% patients).

Conclusion: Our melanoma registry is the largest in our country providing a snapshot view of cutaneous melanoma and its care. Our patients presented with more advanced stages and they had worse prognosis compared to SEER database.
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November 2015

Durable clinical benefit to trastuzumab and chemotherapy in a patient with metastatic colon adenocarcinoma harboring ERBB2 amplification.

Oncoscience 2015 1;2(6):581-4. Epub 2015 Jul 1.

University of Florida College of Medicine Gainesville, FL, USA.

Somatic ERBB2 amplification or activating mutations occur in approximately 2-5% of metastatic colorectal adenocarcinomas and are presumed to be oncogenic drivers, but limited evidence exists to suggest these lesions are sensitive to targeted monotherapy in patients. Here we present the case of a patient with advanced CRC with pulmonary metastases, who had progressed on both standard of care cytotoxic chemotherapy and anti-EGFR targeted therapy. Comprehensive genomic profiling (FoundationOne(®)) identified amplification of ERBB2 and a TP53 mutation in the metastatic lesion. Treatment with trastuzumab with a chemotherapy backbone elicited stable disease/minor response in the patient over a one year course of therapy, reducing tumor burden and significantly improving quality of life. This report demonstrates the application of personalized targeted therapy guided by comprehensive genomic profiling in metastatic colorectal adenocarcinoma.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4506361PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncoscience.175DOI Listing
August 2015

Erratum to: Docetaxel, cisplatin, and fluorouracil combination in neoadjuvant setting in the treatment of locally advanced gastric adenocarcinoma: Phase II NEOTAX study.

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2015 Jul;76(1):217

Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.

Erratum to: Cancer Chemother Pharmacol (2014), 74:1139–1147, DOI 10.1007/s00280‑014‑2586‑6. Unfortunately, the part of acknowledgement detail was omitted in the published article and the below line must be considered as the last sentence: "This study is a Turkish Oncology Group trial".
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00280-015-2797-5DOI Listing
July 2015

Gemcitabine + platinum combination chemotherapy in patients with metastatic cancer who suffer from severe and irreversible hepatic impairment: a single center experience.

Hepatogastroenterology 2014 Oct;61(135):1895-900

There is limited information on chemotherapeutic agent doses suitable for patients with metastatic cancer who suffer from and irreversible hepatic impairment and who could potentially benefit from chemotherapy and on their results. In this retrospective study, we aimed to share our center’s experience of Gemcitabine + Platinum Combination chemotherapy in these patients. Data of 13 patients matching the criteria were analyzed. In our study the patients were treated with a dose of Gemcitabine + Platinum Combination, 50% of the original dose and the dose was increased gradually on the following days. Thirteen of one patient was given Gemcitabine & Carboplatin protocol and the others were given Gemcitabine & Cisplatin . In 42 chemotherapy cycles in total grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia occurred after 7 cycles, grade 3-4 neutropenia was not observed. While liver functions in 8 patients improved slightly, no change was observed in 2 patients and in 3 patients they deteriorated. Total survival period was calculated as 3.78 (95CI% : 0,17-7.54) months. As a consequence, Gemcitabine + Platinum Combination chemotherapy in patients with metastatic cancer who suffer from severe and irreversible hepatic impairment can be implemented when clinical benefits are expected.
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October 2014

Patients with distal intestinal gastric cancer have superior outcome with addition of taxanes to combination chemotherapy, while proximal intestinal and diffuse gastric cancers do not: does biology and location predict chemotherapy benefit?

Med Oncol 2015 Feb 9;32(2):476. Epub 2015 Jan 9.

Department of Medical Oncology, Medical Faculty, Baskent University, Adana, Turkey.

Gastric cancer, with one million new cases observed annually, and its dismal prognosis, is one of the leading causes of cancer-related mortalities. Systemic chemotherapy is the main treatment modality in advanced gastric cancer patients. We aim to evaluate the predictive role of tumor localization and histopathology on choosing three or two-drug combination regimens. Consecutive 110 metastatic gastric adenocarcinoma patients who were admitted to the Baskent University Department of Medical Oncology and the Van Research and Training Hospital were included in the study. Data of patients were analyzed retrospectively. Median age of patients was 58 years (range 30-80). Proximal intestinal, distal intestinal, and diffuse gastric cancers were found in 35 (32 %), 64 (58 %), and 11 (10 %) patients, respectively. 5-fluoracil and platinum (PF) and PFtax were administered to 47 (43 %) and 63 (57 %) patients, respectively. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 4.0 (95 % CI 2.5-5.6) and 7.4 months (95 % CI 6.0-8.7) for PF and PFtax groups, (p = 0.034). When we used tumor localization as strata in the PFS survival curve, PFtax produced significantly higher PFS rates only in distal intestinal-type gastric cancer, compared with PF (p = 0.03). Median overall survival (OS) was 9.0 (95 % CI 5.2-12.3) and 17.3 months (95 % CI 7.8-27) for PF and PFtax groups, (p = 0.010). When we used tumor localization as strata in the OS survival curve, PFtax produced significantly higher OS rates only in distal intestinal-type gastric cancer compared with PF (p = 0.015). Pathology and tumor location in gastric cancers may affect the outcome, the addition of taxanes as a third drug may significantly increase PFS and OS rate purely in distal intestinal-type gastric cancer but not in patients with proximal and diffuse-type gastric cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12032-014-0476-8DOI Listing
February 2015

Efficacy and safety of first line vincristine with doxorubicin, bleomycin and dacarbazine (ABOD) for Hodgkin's lymphoma: a single institute experience.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2014 ;15(20):8715-8

Department of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Yildirim Beyazit University, Ankara, Turkey E-mail :

Background: ABVD (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine (Vb) and dacarbazine) is the standard regimen in Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL).Vincristine (O) is a mitotic spindle agent like Vb. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of O as a part of ABOD in HL.

Materials And Methods: Patients who had ABOD were enrolled. Stage I-II HL were evaluated for unfavorable risk factors according to NCCN. National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria was used for toxicity.

Results: Seventy-nine HL patients in our center between 2003 and 2007 were evaluated retrospectively. Median follow-up was 54 months. Most of the patients were male in their third decade. Median ABOD cycles were 6 (2-8). Primary refractory disease rate was 17.7% whereas it was 5.1% for early relapse and 5.1% for late relapse disease. Response rates were as 82.3% for complete response, 11.4% for partial response, 5.1% for stable disease and 1.3% for progressive disease. Half of relapsed patients had autologous stem cell transplantation. Estimated 5-year failure-free survival was 71% and significantly longer in early stage patients without risk factors, bulky disease or radiotherapy (RT) (p=0.05, p<0.0001, p=0.02; respectively). Estimated 5-year overall survival was 74% and significantly longer in those who had no RT (p=0.001). Dose modification rate was 5.1% and chemotherapy delay rate was 19%. There were no toxicity- related deaths.

Conclusions: ABOD seems to be effective with managable toxicity in HL, even in those with poor prognostic factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/apjcp.2014.15.20.8715DOI Listing
July 2015

Continuous distress in an oncology clinic in Turkey: should we make use of the distress thermometer mandatory as a precautionary measure for physicians?

J BUON 2014 Jul-Sep;19(3):807-11

Mustafa Kemal University, Medical Faculty, Department of Medical Oncology, Hatay, Turkey.

Purpose: To study the data on the distress scale points (DSP) of patients in oncology clinics in relation to age, the reasons for admission to the hospital, the educational status and the family support.

Methods: Six hundred and fifty three patients diagnosed with malignancies were enrolled. All of the patients were asked to fill in a questionnaire that included data about their demographic characteristics, diagnoses, the cause of hospital admission and the educational status. The family support of each patient was observed and noted by clinicians and other healthcare providers during the clinical visits.

Results: The mean patient age was 54.8 years (± SD 13.7). Of the patients 314 (48.1%) were male and 339 (51.9%) female. The median DSP for the group that included patients <35 years of age was 3; this was 5 for the 36-49 age group, 4 for the 50-69 age group and 4.5 for the >70 age group. A statistically significant difference in DSP between these groups was noticed (p=0.035). The DSP for patients <35 years of age was lower than that of the other age groups. The median DSP for the patients presenting to the outpatient clinic for adjuvant therapy was 5; this was 5 for patients presenting for palliative therapy, and 3 in the active surveillance group, and a statistically significant relationship was determined between the DSP and the reason for admission to the outpatient clinic (p<0.001). The patients that had presented to the outpatient clinic for active surveillance had statistically significantly lower DSP compared to the other groups (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Distress in oncology clinics seems to be continuous; thus, the use of distress thermometer as a precautionary measure for distress development in patients with malignancies should be mandatory to help medical oncologists understand the psychosocial needs of their patients and start to treat them as a human beings.
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November 2014

Docetaxel, cisplatin, and fluorouracil combination in neoadjuvant setting in the treatment of locally advanced gastric adenocarcinoma: Phase II NEOTAX study.

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2014 Dec 19;74(6):1139-47. Epub 2014 Sep 19.

Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara Numune Training and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.

Purpose: This phase II trial aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of docetaxel, cisplatin, and fluorouracil (DCF) combination in neoadjuvant setting in patients with locally advanced gastric adenocarcinoma.

Methods: Fifty-nine patients with resectable or unresectable locally advanced gastric and gastroesophageal cancer were recruited in this multicenter, single-arm, open-label, local clinical phase II study conducted at three centers from Turkey between June 2006 and March 2012. Patients had T3-4 or lymph node-positive disease. After staging with imaging and laparotomy or laparoscopy, they received three cycles of DCF with lenograstim. Imaging studies were repeated after the last two cycles. Patients who underwent surgery were followed up for at least 1 year after the surgery. Toxicity and response were evaluated in accordance with NCI-CTC version3.0 and RECIST 1.0.

Results: At baseline, 66.1 % of patients were considered resectable. In 47 patients evaluable, partial response in 16 (34.0 %), stable disease in 27 (57.5 %), and progressive disease in four (8.5 %) were observed. Forty-six patients underwent surgery. In 38 (64.4 %; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 52.2-76.6 %) out of 59 patients, complete resection (R0) was achieved. Median overall and disease-free survival were 19.1 months (95 % CI 13.5-24.7) and 11.6 months (95 % CI 5.9-17.4), respectively. The most frequent grade 3-4 adverse events were neutropenia (52.5 %), febrile neutropenia (11.9 %), leukopenia (39.0 %), and diarrhea (10.5 %). One patient died from an unknown cause.

Conclusions: Classical DCF triplet with lenograstim showed a good clinical response with acceptable safety profile in the treatment of locally advanced gastric and gastroesophageal cancer with a significant R0 rate and manageable toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00280-014-2586-6DOI Listing
December 2014

Being a medical oncologist near the war area.

J BUON 2014 Apr-Jun;19(2):580

Mustafa Kemal University School of Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Hatay, Turkey.

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September 2014

Malignant pleural mesothelioma: a single-center experience in Turkey.

Med Sci Monit 2014 May 20;20:825-32. Epub 2014 May 20.

Department of Medical Oncology, Başkent University, Medical Faculty, Adana, Turkey.

Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare lethal malignancy caused by asbestos exposure. It is more frequently seen in certain regions in Turkey. In this retrospective study, we aimed to analyse demographic, clinical, and pathological data and treatment-related features in 54 patients.

Material And Methods: The study included 54 patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma that were followed and treated.

Result: Of the 54 patients, 34 (55.6%) were male. The median age in men and women were 60.3 (38.2-77.2) and 65.8 (37.7-77.5) years, respectively. In 35 (64.8%), exposure to asbestosis was present. Epithelial type was found in 27 (50.0%), followed by mixed type in 7 (13.0%) patients, and in 20 (37.0%) patients the subtype could not be determined. The disease was staged as IV in 37 (68.5%) patients. In 28 patients (51.9%), it was right-sided and in 1 (1.9%) it was bilateral. The most frequent metastatic sites (in decreasing order) were lungs, mediastinum, diaphragm, liver, and thoracal wall. Of the 54 patients, 36 (66.6%) received 1st-line chemotherapy and 20 (37%) 2nd-line chemotherapy. Eighteen patients (33.3%) received radiotherapy; 11 (20.3%) with palliative intention and 7 (12.9%) with curative intention. Median overall survival (OS) was 12.03 months (95% CI 7.2-16.8). OS was not affected by sex (p=0.32), smoking history (p=0.51), alcohol consumption (p=0.36), family history (p=0.67), pleural effusion presence (p=0.80), operation (p=0.14), clinical stage (p=0.072), symptom at presentation (p=0.66), having mixed type histology (p=0.079), asbestos exposure (p=0.06), and type of 1st-line chemotherapy (p=0.161). On the contrary, it may be positively affected by good ECOG PS (0-1) (p<0.01), age below 65 (p=0.03), left-sided disease (p=0.01), receiving chemotherapy (p<0.01), having unilateral pleural effusion (p=0.018), and type of 2nd-line chemotherapy (p=0.025).

Conclusions: OS of our patients was better than that found in the literature, seeming to be positively affected by early stages, better ECOG PS, age below 65 years, left side involvement, and having second-line chemotherapy with cisplatin-gemcitabine or 3M. Overall treatment success seems to be comparable to what is currently expected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12659/MSM.890020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4038637PMC
May 2014

Can serial monitoring of serum Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), Nitric Oxide (NO), and Angiotensin II (ANGII) levels have predictive role during Bevacizumab treatment?

Med Sci Monit 2014 Mar 15;20:428-33. Epub 2014 Mar 15.

Depertment of Medical Oncology, Başkent University Medical Faculty, Adana, Turkey.

Background: Standard treatment of colorectal cancer includes both cytostatic chemotherapy and targeted therapies. Bevacizumab, targeting the VEGF receptor, is one of the primary targeted therapies that achieve better response rate and survival rate as compared to combination chemotherapy. To the best of our knowledge, there is no established single marker that can be used as a predictive marker in bevacizumab therapy.

Material And Methods: We enrolled 24 patients with the diagnosis of metastatic colorectal cancer in our study. During the study, 2 blood samples were drawn from patients before the first cycle and after the sixth cycle of bevacizumab therapy. Serum levels of VEGF, ANG II, and NO were recorded.

Results: While the change across VEGF levels was found to be a statistically significant decreasing trend (p=0.009), this decrease was not found to be correlated with treatment response and hypertension development. Additionally, no statistically significant difference was found in terms of NO and ANG II levels.

Conclusions: This study showed a significant decrease in serum VEGF, but failed to show a significant change in NO and ANG II levels during bevacizumab treatment. Although no significant correlation was found between the presence of hypertension and markers, most patients (83%) had an increase in their blood pressure. Our results suggest that dynamic monitoring of NO and ANG II, along with VEGF, may not be useful as predictive markers for bevacizumab treatment in colorectal cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12659/MSM.889945DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3962326PMC
March 2014

Is it rational to continue anti-neoplastics with minimal toxicity even after progression in patients with no other options? Possibly yes.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2014 ;15(2):1061-2

Oncology Clinic, Mustafa Kemal University Medical Faculty Antakya Hatay Turkey E-mail :

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http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/apjcp.2014.15.2.1061DOI Listing
November 2014

Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio predicts PSA response, but not outcomes in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer treated with docetaxel.

Int Urol Nephrol 2014 Aug 13;46(8):1531-5. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

Tıp FakültesiTıbbiOnkoloji BD, Mustafa Kemal Üniversitesi, Hatay, Turkey,

Purpose: The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) is a marker of systemic inflammatory response and evidences for the relationship between NLR and the response to treatment gradually increases in cancer patients. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of the pretreatment NLR and other factors related to the patient on predicting the outcome of docetaxel + prednisone chemotherapy in prostate cancer patients who become castration resistant.

Materials And Methods: Thirty-three metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer patients those who were treated between 2009 and 2013 were included in our study. All data of the patients, including pathological, clinical, radiological, biochemical and hematological data, were assessed retrospectively using our database system.

Results: The median progression-free survival (PFS) was determined as 23.9 months (range 0.36-118.7) with androgen suppression therapy and 9.5 months (range 1.7-39.4) with docetaxel + prednisone therapy. NLR was found to be correlated with only posttreatment psa levels. In the NLR ≤3 group, the PSA levels were statistically significantly lower than the other group (r = 0.002). Furthermore, the relationships between the clinical response and PFS and the other pretreatment parameters of the patients were evaluated in order to predict which group would respond better to docetaxel + prednisone therapy after becoming androgen resistant. No relationship was found between any of the parameters and the response to therapy.

Conclusion: Although NLR was found effective in predicting the PSA response in docetaxel + prednisone therapy, neither NLR nor any other clinical parameter was found effective in predicting the outcome and the role of NLR in the future of CRPC is questionable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11255-014-0664-7DOI Listing
August 2014

Low serum levels of vitamin D in metastatic cancer patients: a case-control study.

Med Oncol 2014 Mar 4;31(3):861. Epub 2014 Feb 4.

Division of Medical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Mustafa Kemal University, 31000, Antakya, Hatay, Turkey,

Accompanying comorbidities observed during the cancer treatment usually affect the course and outcome of the therapy. Hypovitaminosis D, which is one of these conditions, is a resolvable problem, if recognized. In this study, we investigated whether the serum 25(OH)D levels of the patients who were presented to our outpatient clinic were different from the serum levels of the healthy population living in the same area. Our study included 90 patients who were presented to the Medical Oncology outpatient clinic and 90 age, gender, body mass index and ethnic origin matched controls without a known disease, who were presented to the outpatient clinics of the Departments of Internal Diseases and Family Medicine for routine controls. Blood count tests, detailed biochemistry tests (including serum levels of Cr, Ca and P), measurement of serum 25(OH)D levels and C-reactive protein were performed in serum samples of all of the patients and controls. Mean serum levels of 25(OH)D were 13.5 ng/ml (SD 5.1) in all cancer patients, 13.1 ng/ml (SD 4.2) in the patients who were presented for adjuvant therapy, 13.8 ng/ml (SD 5.5) in the patients who were presented at metastatic stage and 18.4 ng/ml (SD 12.5) in the controls. Mean serum CRP levels were 5.4 mg/dl (SD 1.2) in the control group, 8.4 mg/dl (SD 4.3) in the adjuvant therapy group and 20.3 (SD 16.8) in the patients with metastatic disease. Generally, all cancer patients (p 0.003) and the patients with metastatic cancer (p 0.004) had lower serum 25(OH)D levels compared to controls, and there was an inverse correlation between serum 25(OH)D and CRP levels in patients with metastatic cancer (p 0.036). In metastatic cancer patients, hypovitaminosis D may be a comorbidity and it is recommended to consider during initial evaluation and follow-up. Because it might improve these patients quality of life and chemotherapy adherence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12032-014-0861-3DOI Listing
March 2014

Who benefits most from adjuvant interferon treatment for melanoma?

Am J Ther 2015 Jan-Feb;22(1):54-60

1First Department of Medicine, Athens University Medical School, Athens, Greece; 2Division of Medical Oncology, Baskent University School of Medicine, Adana, Turkey; 3Unit of Medical Oncology and Innovative Therapy, Istituto Nazionale Tumori Fondazione "G. Pascale," Naples, Italy; 4Department of Biotherapy, Blokhin Cancer Center, Moscow, Russia; 5Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; 6Department of Dermatology, Institute Gustave Roussy, Villejuif Cedex, France; 7Department of Oncology, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel; 8Department of Dermatologie, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany; and 9Oncology Service, Hospital La Paz, Madrid, Spain.

Metastatic melanoma has a poor prognosis; the median survival for patients with stage IV melanoma ranges from 8 to 18 months after diagnosis. Interferon-α provides significant improvement in disease-free survival at the cost of poor tolerability. Identifying patients who benefit the most may improve the cost:benefit ratio. In addition, no data exist for the role of adjuvant therapy in noncutaneous melanoma. Molecular profiles may help to identify patients who benefit the most from adjuvant interferon therapy. In this review, the American Joint Commission on Cancer 2009 staging criteria and emerging biomarker data to guide adjuvant treatment decisions will be discussed. Several criteria to guide selection of patients are discussed in detail. These include Breslow thickness, number of positive lymph nodes, whether or not the primary lesion has ulcerated, immunologic markers, and cytokine profiles. Substantial progress has been made in deciding which patients benefit from interferon-α adjuvant therapy. Interferon-α is the only agent currently approved for the adjuvant treatment of this deadly disease, despite its side effect profile. More effective drugs with better tolerability are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MJT.0b013e31829e883dDOI Listing
September 2015

Effect of port-care frequency on venous port catheter-related complications in cancer patients.

Int J Clin Oncol 2014 Aug 27;19(4):761-6. Epub 2013 Aug 27.

Department of Medical Oncology, Ankara Numune Education and Research Hospital, 06100, Sihhiye, Ankara, Turkey.

Purpose: Subcutaneous central venous port catheters (SCVPC) are of great importance in the treatment of patients with malignancies since they provide secure vascular access. Our aim was to assess the impact of long-term catheter care frequency on the frequency of port-related complications.

Patients And Methods: Two hundred and seven patients who had not been on active chemotherapy through their SCVPC for at least 3 months were enrolled into the study. Those who received catheter care every 3 months or more frequently were assigned to the frequent care group, and the others to the infrequent care group. The patients were examined for port-related complications and thrombosis including port occlusion. Routinely in our clinic, catheter care was done by using 300 IU of heparin.

Results: According to the frequency of SCVPC care, 49 (23.7 %) patients were in the frequent care group and 158 (76.3 %) were in the infrequent care group. Median follow-up of all patients was 671 days (range 133-1712). Median frequency of port care in the frequent care group was 90 days (range 30-90), but 441.5 days in the infrequent care group (range 91-1630). None of the patients experienced port-related severe complications during the follow-up time. None of them presented with port occlusion. When the groups were analysed for thrombus (symptomatic and asymptomatic), there was no statistically significant difference (6.4 vs 13.8 %, p = 0.17). Those patients who had received more than first-line chemotherapy were found to have more thrombi than the patients who were treated with only one type of chemotherapy protocol (28.6 vs 10.2 %, p = 0.01), and the patients who had metastatic disease at the last control were found out to have thrombi more frequently than the non-metastatic patients (24.3 vs 9.3 %) (p = 0.01).

Conclusions: In the present study, there was no difference in port-related severe complications between frequent and infrequent care groups during follow-up. However, the rate of thrombosis was slightly higher in the infrequent port care group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10147-013-0609-7DOI Listing
August 2014

A case of inoperable malignant insulinoma with resistant hypoglycemia who experienced the most significant clinical improvement with everolimus.

Case Rep Endocrinol 2013 8;2013:636175. Epub 2013 May 8.

Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Adana Medical Center, Baskent University School of Medicine, Dadaloglu Mah. Serin Evler 39, Sok. No. 6 Yuregir, 01250 Adana, Turkey.

Metastatic insulinomas may sometimes present with recurrent life-threatening hypoglycemia episodes. Such patients usually fail to respond to various therapeutic agents which causes constant dextrose infusion requirement. Herein, we present a resistant case of inoperable malignant insulinoma who was treated with many therapeutic agents and interventions including somatostatin analogues, Yttrium-90 radioembolization, everolimus, radiotherapy, and chemoembolization. Close blood sugar monitorization during these therapies showed the most favourable response with everolimus. Everolimus treatment resulted in rapid improvement of hypoglycemia episodes, letting us discontinue dextrose infusion and discharge the patient. However, experience with everolimus in such patients is still limited, and more precise data can be obtained with the increasing use of this agent for neuroendocrine tumours.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/636175DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664472PMC
June 2013

Smoking habits of relatives of patients with cancer: cancer diagnosis in the family is an important teachable moment for smoking cessation.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2013 ;14(1):475-9

Department of Preventive Oncology, Institute of Oncology, Hacettepe University Ankara, Turkey.

Background: In this study we aimed to determine the rate and habitual patterns of smoking, intentions of cessation, dependence levels and sociodemographic characteristics of relatives of patients with a diagnosis of cancer.

Materials And Methods: This study was designed by the Turkish Oncology Group, Epidemiology and Prevention Subgroup. The relatives of cancer patients were asked to fill a questionnaire and Fagerstrom test of nicotine dependence.

Results: The median ages of those with lower and higher Fagerstrom scores were 40 years and 42 years, respectively. We found no evidence of variation between the two groups for the remaining sociodemographic variables, including the subject's medical status, gender, living in the same house with the patient, their educational status, their family income, closeness to their cancer patients or spending time with them or getting any help or wanting to get some help. Only 2% of the subjects started smoking after cancer was diagnosed in their loved ones and almost 20% of subjects had quit smoking during the previous year.

Conclusions: The Fagerstrom score is helpful in determining who would be the most likely to benefit from a cigarette smoking cessation program. Identification of these people with proper screening methods might help us to pinpoint who would benefit most from these programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/apjcp.2013.14.1.475DOI Listing
December 2013