Publications by authors named "Paul Nathan"

275 Publications

Breast Cancer Screening Among Childhood Cancer Survivors Treated Without Chest Radiation: Clinical Benefits and Cost-Effectiveness.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Jul 29. Epub 2021 Jul 29.

Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, MA.

Background: Early initiation of breast cancer screening is recommended for high-risk women, including survivors of childhood cancer treated with chest radiation. Recent studies suggest that female survivors of childhood leukemia or sarcoma treated without chest radiation are also at elevated early onset breast cancer risk. However, the potential clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of early breast cancer screening among these women are uncertain.

Methods: Using data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, we adapted two Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) breast cancer simulation models to reflect the elevated risks of breast cancer and competing mortality among leukemia and sarcoma survivors. Costs and utility weights were based on published studies and databases. Outcomes included breast cancer deaths averted, false-positive-screening results, benign biopsies, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs).

Results: In the absence of screening, the lifetime risk of dying from breast cancer among survivors was 6.8% to 7.0% across models. Early initiation of annual mammography with MRI screening between ages 25 and 40 would avert 52.6% to 64.3% of breast cancer deaths. When costs and quality of life impacts were considered, screening starting at age 40 was the only strategy with an ICER below the $100,000 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained cost-effectiveness threshold ($27,680 to $44,380 per QALY gained across models).

Conclusions: Among survivors of childhood leukemia or sarcoma, early initiation of breast cancer screening at age 40 may reduce breast cancer deaths by half and is cost-effective. These findings could help inform screening guidelines for survivors treated without chest radiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab149DOI Listing
July 2021

Clinical outcomes of patients with corticosteroid refractory immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced enterocolitis treated with infliximab.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Jul;9(7)

Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction, Imperial College London, London, UK

Introduction: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs) have changed the treatment landscape for many cancers, but also cause severe inflammatory side effects including enterocolitis. CPI-induced enterocolitis is treated empirically with corticosteroids, and infliximab (IFX) is used in corticosteroid-refractory cases. However, robust outcome data for these patients are scarce.

Methods: We conducted a multicenter (six cancer centers), cohort study of outcomes in patients treated with IFX for corticosteroid-refractory CPI-induced enterocolitis between 2007 and 2020. The primary outcome was corticosteroid-free clinical remission (CFCR) with Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) grade 0 for diarrhea at 12 weeks after IFX initiation. We also assessed cancer outcomes at 1 year using RECIST V1.1 criteria.

Results: 127 patients (73 male; median age 59 years) were treated with IFX for corticosteroid-refractory CPI-induced enterocolitis. Ninety-six (75.6%) patients had diarrhea CTCAE grade >2 and 115 (90.6%) required hospitalization for colitis. CFCR was 41.2% at 12 weeks and 50.9% at 26 weeks. In multivariable logistic regression, IFX-resistant enterocolitis was associated with rectal bleeding (OR 0.19; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.80; p=0.03) and absence of colonic crypt abscesses (OR 2.16; 95% CI 1.13 to 8.05; p=0.03). Cancer non-progression was significantly more common in patients with IFX-resistant enterocolitis (64.4%) as compared with patients with IFX-responsive enterocolitis (37.5%; p=0.013).

Conclusion: This is the largest study to date reporting outcomes of IFX therapy in patients with corticosteroid-refractory CPI-induced enterocolitis. Using predefined robust endpoints, we have demonstrated that fewer than half of patients achieved CFCR. Our data also indicate that cancer outcomes may be better in patients developing prolonged and severe inflammatory side effects of CPI therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002742DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8264884PMC
July 2021

Impact of the model of long-term follow-up care on adherence to guideline-recommended surveillance among survivors of adolescent and young adult cancers.

Cancer Med 2021 Jun 15. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Science, Toronto, Canada.

Purpose: Adolescent and young adult cancer survivors require lifelong healthcare to address the late effects of therapy. We examined the impact of different provider models of long-term follow-up (LTFU) care on adherence to recommended surveillance.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using administrative health databases in Ontario, Canada. Five-year survivors were identified from IMPACT, a database of patients aged 15-20.9 years at diagnosis of six cancers between 1992 and 2010. We defined three models of LTFU care hierarchically: specialized survivor clinics (SCCs), general cancer clinics (GCCs), and family physician (FP). We assessed adherence to the Children's Oncology Group surveillance guidelines for cardiomyopathy and breast cancer. Multistate models assessed adherence transitions and impacts of LTFU attendance.

Results: A total of 1574 survivors were followed for a mean of 9.2 years (range 4.3-13.9 years) from index (5-year survival). The highest level of LTFU attended in the first 2-years post-index was a GCC (47%); only 16.7% attended a SCC. By the end of study, 72% no longer attended any of the models of care and only 2% still attended an SCC. Among 188 survivors requiring breast cancer surveillance, 6.9% were adherent to their first required surveillance testing. Attendance at a SCC in the previous year and higher cumulative FP or GCC visits increased the rate of subsequently becoming adherent. Among 857 survivors requiring cardiomyopathy surveillance, 11% were adherent at study entry. Each subsequent SCC visit led to an 11.3% (95% CI: 1.05-1.18) increase in the rate of becoming adherent.

Conclusion: LTFU attendance and surveillance adherence are sub-optimal. SCC follow-up is associated with greater adherence, but few survivors receive such care, and this proportion diminished over time. Interventions are needed to improve LTFU attendance and promote surveillance adherence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.4058DOI Listing
June 2021

Role of Tumor-Infiltrating B Cells in Clinical Outcome of Patients with Melanoma Treated With Dabrafenib Plus Trametinib.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jun 9. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.

Purpose: Although patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma can experience long-term survival with BRAF- and MEK-targeted agents or immune checkpoint inhibitors over 5 years, resistance develops in most patients. There is a distinct lack of pretherapeutic biomarkers to identify which patients are likely to benefit from each therapy type. Most research has focused on the predictive role of T cells in antitumor responses as opposed to B cells.

Experimental Design: We conducted prespecified exploratory biomarker analysis using gene expression profiling and digital pathology in 146 patients with previously untreated V600-mutant metastatic melanoma from the randomized, phase III COMBI-v trial and treated with dabrafenib plus trametinib who had available tumor specimens from screening.

Results: Baseline cell-cycle gene expression signature was associated with progression-free survival ( = 0.007). Patients with high T-cell/low B-cell gene signatures had improved median overall survival (not reached [95% confidence interval (CI), 33.8 months-not reached]) compared with patients with high T-cell/high B-cell signatures (19.1 months; 95% CI, 13.4-38.6 months). Patients with high B-cell signatures had high B-cell infiltration into the tumor compartment, corresponding with decreased MAPK activity and increased expression of immunosuppressive markers.

Conclusions: B cells may serve as a potential biomarker to predict clinical outcome in patients with advanced melanoma treated with dabrafenib plus trametinib. As separate studies have shown an opposite effect for B-cell levels and response to immunotherapy, B cells may serve as a potential biomarker to facilitate treatment selection. Further validation in a larger patient cohort is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-3586DOI Listing
June 2021

Longitudinal Evaluation of Neuromuscular Dysfunction in Long-term Survivors of Childhood Cancer: A Report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 Jun 7. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Background: Children treated for cancer are at risk for neuromuscular dysfunction, but data are limited regarding prevalence, longitudinal patterns, and long-term impact.

Methods: Longitudinal surveys from 25,583 childhood cancer survivors ≥5 years from diagnosis and 5,044 siblings from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study were used to estimate the prevalence and cumulative incidence of neuromuscular dysfunction. Multivariable models adjusted for age, sex, race, and ethnicity estimated prevalence ratios (PR) of neuromuscular dysfunction in survivors compared with siblings, and associations with treatments and late health/socioeconomic outcomes.

Results: Prevalence of neuromuscular dysfunction was 14.7% in survivors 5 years postdiagnosis versus 1.5% in siblings [PR, 9.9; 95% confidence interval (CI), 7.9-12.4], and highest in survivors of central nervous system (CNS) tumors (PR, 27.6; 95% CI, 22.1-34.6) and sarcomas (PR, 11.5; 95% CI, 9.1-14.5). Cumulative incidence rose to 24.3% in survivors 20 years postdiagnosis (95% CI, 23.8-24.8). Spinal radiotherapy and increasing cranial radiotherapy dose were associated with increased prevalence of neuromuscular dysfunction. Platinum exposure (vs. none) was associated with neuromuscular dysfunction (PR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.5-2.1), even after excluding survivors with CNS tumors, cranial/spinal radiotherapy, or amputation. Neuromuscular dysfunction was associated with concurrent or later obesity (PR, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.1-1.2), anxiety (PR, 2.5; 95% CI, 2.2-2.9), depression (PR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.9-2.3), and lower likelihood of graduating college (PR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.90-0.94) and employment (PR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.8-0.9).

Conclusions: Neuromuscular dysfunction is prevalent in childhood cancer survivors, continues to increase posttherapy, and is associated with adverse health and socioeconomic outcomes.

Impact: Interventions are needed to prevent and treat neuromuscular dysfunction, especially in survivors with platinum and radiation exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-21-0154DOI Listing
June 2021

Material, behavioral, and psychological financial hardship among survivors of childhood cancer in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.

Cancer 2021 Jun 1. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Background: Medical financial burden includes material, behavioral, and psychological hardship and has been underinvestigated among adult survivors of childhood cancer.

Methods: A survey from 698 survivors and 210 siblings from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study was analyzed. The intensity of financial hardship was estimated across 3 domains: 1) material, including conditions that arise from medical expenses; 2) behavioral, including coping behaviors to manage medical expenses; and 3) psychological hardship resulting from worries about medical expenses and insurance, as measured by the number of instances of each type of financial hardship (0, 1-2, and ≥3 instances). Multivariable logistic regressions were conducted to examine the clinical and sociodemographic predictors of experiencing financial hardship (0-2 vs ≥3 instances).

Results: The intensity of financial hardship did not significantly differ between survivors and siblings. Survivors reported more instances of material hardship than siblings (1-2 instances: 27.2% of survivors vs 22.6% of siblings; ≥3 instances: 15.9% of survivors vs 11.4% siblings; overall P = .03). In multivariable regressions, insurance was protective against all domains of financial hardship (behavioral odds ratio [OR], 0.12; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.06-0.22; material OR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.19-0.71; psychological OR, 0.10; 95% CI, 0.05-0.21). Survivors who were older at diagnosis, female, and with chronic health conditions generally had higher levels of hardship. Brain radiation and alkylating agents were associated with higher levels of hardship.

Conclusions: Material, behavioral, and psychological financial burden among survivors of childhood cancer is common.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33613DOI Listing
June 2021

Determinants of surveillance for late effects in childhood cancer survivors: a qualitative study using the Theoretical Domains Framework.

J Cancer Surviv 2021 May 6. Epub 2021 May 6.

Women's College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care, Women's College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Purpose: Most adult survivors of childhood cancer do not complete the recommended surveillance tests for late effects of their treatment. We used a theory-informed method to elucidate the barriers and enablers among childhood cancer survivors to accessing such tests.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were completed with adult survivors of childhood cancer. Participants were eligible for the surveillance tests of interest (echocardiogram, mammogram/breast MRI and/or colonoscopy) but had not attended a specialised aftercare clinic in over five years. The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF), a tool specifically developed for implementation research to identify influences on desired behaviour(s), informed the interview guide and analysis; interview transcripts were coded line-by-line and mapped to domains in accordance with the framework.

Results: Thirty childhood cancer survivors were interviewed (ages 25-60). The TDF domains described by survivors included: intention to complete the tests, which was facilitated by the fear of another cancer (emotion), confidence in the benefits of early detection (beliefs about consequences), and supportive reminders (memory, attention, and decision-making). In contrast, a lack of knowledge of late effects and relevant guidelines and the burden of arranging tests (social identity) were key barriers.

Conclusion: Interventions seeking to increase surveillance testing for late effects may be more effective if they feature components that explicitly address all the theory-informed determinants identified.

Implications For Cancer Survivors: Awareness about the recommendations among survivors and their physicians is a necessary (but likely not sufficient) step towards implementation of guidelines regarding surveillance for late effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11764-021-01050-6DOI Listing
May 2021

Medical Financial Hardship in Survivors of Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer in the United States.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 Apr 11. Epub 2021 Apr 11.

Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Background: Cancer and its treatment can result in lifelong medical financial hardship, which we aimed to describe among adult survivors of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancers in the United States.

Methods: We identified adult (aged ≥18 years) survivors of AYA cancers (diagnosed ages 15-39 years) and adults without a cancer history from the 2010-2018 National Health Interview Surveys. Proportions of respondents reporting measures in different hardship domains (material [eg, problems paying bills], psychological [eg, distress], and behavioral [eg, forgoing care due to cost]) were compared between groups using multivariable logistic regression models and hardship intensity (cooccurrence of hardship domains) using ordinal logistic regression. Cost-related changes in prescription medication use were assessed separately.

Results: A total of 2588 AYA cancer survivors (median = 31 [interquartile range = 26-35] years at diagnosis; 75.0% more than 6 years and 50.0% more than 16 years since diagnosis) and 256 964 adults without a cancer history were identified. Survivors were more likely to report at least 1 hardship measure in material (36.7% vs 27.7%, P < .001) and behavioral (28.4% vs 21.2%, P < .001) domains, hardship in all 3 domains (13.1% vs 8.7%, P < .001), and at least 1 cost-related prescription medication nonadherence (13.7% vs 10.3%, P = .001) behavior.

Conclusions: Adult survivors of AYA cancers are more likely to experience medical financial hardship across multiple domains compared with adults without a cancer history. Health-care providers must recognize this inequity and its impact on survivors' health, and multifaceted interventions are necessary to address underlying causes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab013DOI Listing
April 2021

Impact of Risk-Adapted Therapy for Pediatric Hodgkin Lymphoma on Risk of Long-Term Morbidity: A Report From the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jul 25;39(20):2266-2275. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN.

Purpose: To determine the incidence of serious chronic health conditions among survivors of pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), compare by era of therapy and by selected cancer therapies, and provide estimates of risks associated with contemporary therapy.

Methods: Assessing 2,996 5-year HL survivors in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study diagnosed from 1970 to 1999, we examined the cumulative incidence of severe to fatal chronic conditions (grades 3-5) using self-report conditions, medically confirmed subsequent malignant neoplasms, and cause of death based on the National Death Index. We used multivariable regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) per decade and by key treatment exposures.

Results: HL survivors were of a mean age of 35.6 years (range, 12-58 years). The cumulative incidence of any grade 3-5 condition by 35 years of age was 31.4% (95% CI, 29.2 to 33.5). Females were twice as likely (HR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.8 to 2.4) to have a grade 3-5 condition compared with males. From the 1970s to the 1990s, there was a 20% reduction (HR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.7 to 0.9) in decade-specific risk of a grade 3-5 condition ( trend = .002). In survivors who had a recurrence and/or hematopoietic cell transplant, the risk of a grade 3-5 condition was substantially elevated, similar to that of survivors treated with high-dose, extended-field radiotherapy (HR, 1.2; 95% CI, 0.9 to 1.5). Compared with survivors treated with chest radiotherapy ≥ 35 Gy in combination with an anthracycline or alkylator, a contemporary regimen for low-intermediate risk HL was estimated to lead to a 40% reduction in risk of a grade 3-5 condition (HR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4 to 0.8).

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that risk-adapted therapy for pediatric HL has resulted in a significant reduction in serious long-term outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01186DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8260906PMC
July 2021

Circulating tumour DNA in patients with advanced melanoma treated with dabrafenib or dabrafenib plus trametinib: a clinical validation study.

Lancet Oncol 2021 03 12;22(3):370-380. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

NYU Langone Health, New York, NY, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Melanoma lacks validated blood-based biomarkers for monitoring and predicting treatment efficacy. Cell-free circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) is a promising biomarker; however, various detection methods have been used, and, to date, no large studies have examined the association between serial changes in ctDNA and survival after BRAF, MEK, or BRAF plus MEK inhibitor therapy. We aimed to evaluate whether baseline ctDNA concentrations and kinetics could predict survival outcomes.

Methods: In this clinical validation study, we used analytically validated droplet digital PCR assays to measure BRAF-mutant ctDNA in pretreatment and on-treatment plasma samples from patients aged 18 years or older enrolled in two clinical trials. COMBI-d (NCT01584648) was a double-blind, randomised phase 3 study of dabrafenib plus trametinib versus dabrafenib plus placebo in previously untreated patients with BRAF mutation-positive unresectable or metastatic melanoma. Patients had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1. COMBI-MB (NCT02039947) was an open-label, non-randomised, phase 2 study evaluating dabrafenib plus trametinib in patients with BRAF mutation-positive metastatic melanoma and brain metastases. Patients in cohort A of COMBI-MB had asymptomatic brain metastases, no previous local brain-directed therapy, and an ECOG performance status of 0 or 1. Biomarker analysis was a prespecified exploratory endpoint in both trials and performed in the intention-to-treat populations in COMBI-d and COMBI-MB. We investigated the association between mutant copy number (baseline or week 4 or zero conversion status) and efficacy endpoints (progression-free survival, overall survival, and best overall response). We used Cox models, Kaplan-Meier plots, and log-rank tests to explore the association of pretreatment ctDNA concentrations with progression-free survival and overall survival. The effect of additional prognostic variables such as lactate dehydrogenase was also investigated in addition to the mutant copy number.

Findings: In COMBI-d, pretreatment plasma samples were available from 345 (82%) of 423 patients and on-treatment (week 4) plasma samples were available from 224 (53%) of 423 patients. In cohort A of COMBI-MB, pretreatment and on-treatment samples were available from 38 (50%) of 76 patients with intracranial and extracranial metastatic melanoma. ctDNA was detected in pretreatment samples from 320 (93%) of 345 patients (COMBI-d) and 34 (89%) of 38 patients (COMBI-MB). When assessed as a continuous variable, elevated baseline BRAF mutation-positive ctDNA concentration was associated with worse overall survival outcome (hazard ratio [HR] 1·13 [95% CI 1·09-1·18], p<0·0001 by univariate analysis), independent of treatment group and baseline lactate dehydrogenase concentrations (1·08 [1·03-1·13], p=0·0020), in COMBI-d. A ctDNA cutoff point of 64 copies per mL of plasma stratified patients enrolled in COMBI-d as high risk or low risk with respect to survival outcomes (HR 1·74 [95% CI 1·37-2·21], p<0·0001 for progression-free survival; 2·23 [1·73-2·87], p<0·0001 for overall survival) and was validated in the COMBI-MB cohort (3·20 [1·39-7·34], p=0·0047 for progression-free survival; 2·94 [1·18-7·32], p=0·016 for overall survival). In COMBI-d, undetectable ctDNA at week 4 was significantly associated with extended progression-free and overall survival, particularly in patients with elevated lactate dehydrogenase concentrations (HR 1·99 [95% CI 1·08-3·64], p=0·027 for progression-free survival; 2·38 [1·24-4·54], p=0·0089 for overall survival).

Interpretation: Pretreatment and on-treatment BRAF-mutant ctDNA measurements could serve as independent, predictive biomarkers of clinical outcome with targeted therapy.

Funding: Novartis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30726-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8034833PMC
March 2021

Adolescents and young adult acute myeloid leukemia outcomes at pediatric versus adult centers: A population-based study.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2021 Aug 8;68(8):e28939. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Division of Haematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.

Background: Adolescents and young adult (AYA) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) outcomes remain poor. The impact of locus of care (LOC; adult vs pediatric) in this population is unknown.

Procedure: The IMPACT cohort comprises detailed data for all Ontario, Canada, AYA aged 15-21 years diagnosed with AML between 1992 and 2012, linked to population-based health administrative data. We determined the impact of LOC on event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS), treatment-related mortality (TRM), and relapse/progression.

Results: Among 140 AYA, 51 (36.4%) received therapy at pediatric centers. The five-year EFS and OS for the whole cohort were 35.0% ± 4.0% and 53.6% ± 4.2%. Cumulative doses of anthracycline were higher among pediatric center AYA [median 355 mg/m , interquartile range (IQR) 135-492 vs 202 mg/m , IQR 140-364; P = 0.003]. In multivariable analyses, LOC was not predictive of either EFS [adult vs pediatric center hazard ratio (HR) 1.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.8-2.2, P = 0.27] or OS (HR 1.0, CI 0.6-1.6, P = 0.97). However, patterns of treatment failure varied; higher two-year incidence of TRM in pediatric centers (23.5% ± 6.0% vs.10.1% ± 3.2%; P = 0.046) was balanced by lower five-year incidence of relapse/progression (33.3% ± 6.7% vs 56.2% ± 5.3%; P = 0.002).

Conclusions: AYA AML survival outcomes did not vary between pediatric and adult settings. Causes of treatment failure were different, with higher intensity pediatric protocols associated with higher TRM but lower relapse/progression. Careful risk stratification and enhanced supportive care may be of substantial benefit to AYA with AML by allocating maximal treatment intensity to patients who most benefit while minimizing the risk of TRM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28939DOI Listing
August 2021

Incidence and Predictors of Mental Health Outcomes Among Survivors of Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer: A Population-Based Study Using the IMPACT Cohort.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Mar 25;39(9):1010-1019. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Division of Haematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Purpose: Risk and predictors of long-term mental health outcomes in survivors of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancers are poorly characterized. Mental health is consequently neglected in long-term follow-up.

Methods: We identified all AYA in Ontario, Canada age 15-21 years when diagnosed with one of six common cancers between 1992-2012 using a population-based database, and compared them with matched controls. Linkage to provincial healthcare data allowed analysis of rates of outpatient (family physician and psychiatrist) visits for psychiatric indications and time to severe psychiatric events (emergency room visit, hospitalization, and suicide). Demographic-, disease-, and treatment-related predictors of adverse outcomes, including treatment setting (adult pediatric), were examined.

Results: Among 2,208 survivors and 10,457 matched controls, 5-year survivors experienced higher rates of outpatient mental health visits than controls (671 visits per 1,000 person-years 506; adjusted rate ratio [RR] 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.5; = .006). Risk of a severe psychiatric episode was also increased among survivors (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1 to 1.4, = .008). Risk of a psychotic disorder-associated severe event was doubled in survivors (HR, 2.0, 95% CI, 1.3 to 2.4; = .007) although absolute risk remained low (15-year cumulative incidence 1.7%; 95% CI, 1.0 to 2.7). In multivariable analysis, survivors treated in adult centers experienced substantially higher outpatient visit rates compared with those treated in pediatric settings (RR 1.8; 95% CI, 1.0 to 3.1; = .04).

Conclusion: Survivors of AYA cancer are at substantially increased risk of adverse mental health outcomes, with those treated in adult centers at particular risk. Although absolute incidence was low, survivors were at increased risk of psychotic disorder-associated severe events. Long-term mental health surveillance is warranted, as is research into effective interventions during or after cancer treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.02019DOI Listing
March 2021

Challenges associated with retrospective analysis of left ventricular function using clinical echocardiograms from a multicenter research study.

Echocardiography 2021 02 24;38(2):296-303. Epub 2021 Jan 24.

The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, USA.

Background: Retrospective multicenter research using echocardiograms obtained for routine clinical care can be hampered by issues of individual center quality. We sought to evaluate imaging and patient characteristics associated with poorer quality of archived echocardiograms from a cohort of childhood cancer survivors.

Methods: A single blinded reviewer at a central core laboratory graded quality of clinical echocardiograms from five centers focusing on images to derive 2D and M-mode fractional shortening (FS), biplane Simpson's ejection fraction (EF), myocardial performance index (MPI), tissue Doppler imaging (TDI)-derived velocities, and global longitudinal strain (GLS).

Results: Of 535 studies analyzed in 102 subjects from 2004 to 2017, all measures of cardiac function could be assessed in only 7%. While FS by 2D or M-mode, MPI, and septal E/E' could be measured in >80% studies, mitral E/E' was less consistent (69%), but better than EF (52%) and GLS (10%). 66% of studies had ≥1 issue, with technical issues (eg, lung artifact, poor endocardial definition) being the most common (33%). Lack of 2- and 3-chamber views was associated with the performing center. Patient age <5 years had a higher chance of apex cutoff in 4-chamber views compared with 16-35 years old. Overall, for any quality issue, earlier era of echo and center were the only significant risk factors.

Conclusion: Assessment of cardiac function using pooled multicenter archived echocardiograms was significantly limited. Efforts to standardize clinical echocardiographic protocols to include apical 2- and 3-chamber views and TDI will improve the ability to quantitate LV function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/echo.14983DOI Listing
February 2021

Expenditures among young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia by site of care.

Cancer 2021 Jun 19;127(11):1901-1911. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama.

Background: Individuals diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) between the ages of 22 and 39 years experience worse outcomes than those diagnosed when they are 21 years old or younger. Treatment at National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers (CCC) mitigates these disparities but may be associated with higher expenditures.

Methods: Using deidentified administrative claims data (OptumLabs Data Warehouse), the cancer-related expenditures were examined among patients with ALL diagnosed between 2001 and 2014. Multivariable generalized linear model with log-link modeled average monthly health-plan-paid (HPP) expenditures and amount owed by the patient (out-of-pocket [OOP]). Cost ratios were used to calculate excess expenditures (CCC vs non-CCC). Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) compared CCC and non-CCC monthly visit rates. Models adjusted for sociodemographics, comorbidities, adverse events, and months enrolled.

Results: Clinical and sociodemographic characteristics were comparable between CCC (n = 160) and non-CCC (n = 139) patients. Higher monthly outpatient expenditures in CCC patients ($15,792 vs $6404; P < .001) were driven by outpatient hospital HPP expenditures. Monthly visit rates and per visit expenditures for nonchemotherapy visits (IRR = 1.6; P = .001; CCC = $8247, non-CCC = $1191) drove higher outpatient hospital expenditures among CCCs. Monthly OOP expenditures were higher at CCCs for outpatient care (P = .02). Inpatient HPP expenditures were significantly higher at CCCs ($25,918 vs $13,881; ꞵ = 0.9; P < .001) before accounting for adverse events but were no longer significant after adjusting for adverse events (ꞵ = 0.4; P = .1). Hospitalizations and length of stay were comparable.

Conclusions: Young adults with ALL at CCCs have higher expenditures, likely reflecting differences in facility structure, billing practices, and comprehensive patient care. It would be reasonable to consider CCCs comparable to the oncology care model and incentivize the framework to achieve superior outcomes and long-term cost savings.

Lay Summary: Health care expenditures in young adults (aged 22-39 years) with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are higher among patients at National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers (CCC) than those at non-CCCs. The CCC/non-CCC differences are significant among outpatient expenditures, which are driven by higher rates of outpatient hospital visits and outpatient hospital expenditures per visit at CCCs. Higher expenditures and visit rates of outpatient hospital visits among CCCs may also reflect how facility structure and billing patterns influence spending or comprehensive care. Young adults at CCCs face higher inpatient HPP expenditures; these are driven by serious adverse events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33413DOI Listing
June 2021

Perspectives in immunotherapy: meeting report from the "Immunotherapy Bridge" (December 4th-5th, 2019, Naples, Italy).

J Transl Med 2021 01 6;19(1):13. Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY, USA.

Over the last few years, numerous clinical trials and real-world experience have provided a large amount of evidence demonstrating the potential for long-term survival with immunotherapy agents across various malignancies, beginning with melanoma and extending to other tumours. The clinical success of immune checkpoint blockade has encouraged increasing development of other immunotherapies. It has been estimated that there are over 3000 immuno-oncology trials ongoing, targeting hundreds of disease and immune pathways. Evolving topics on cancer immunotherapy, including the state of the art of immunotherapy across various malignancies, were the focus of discussions at the Immunotherapy Bridge meeting (4-5 December, 2019, Naples, Italy), and are summarised in this report.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-020-02627-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7789268PMC
January 2021

The Future of Childhood Cancer Survivorship: Challenges and Opportunities for Continued Progress.

Pediatr Clin North Am 2020 12;67(6):1237-1251

Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, St. Jude. Children's Research Hospital, MS 735, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.

As treatment evolves and the population who survive childhood cancer ages and increases in number, researchers must use novel approaches to prevent, identify and mitigate adverse effects of treatment. Future priorities include collaborative efforts to pool large cohort data to improve detection of late effects, identify late effects of novel therapies, and determine the contribution of genetic factors along with physiologic and accelerated aging among survivors. This knowledge should translate to individual risk prediction and prevention strategies. Finally, we must utilize health services research and implementation science to improve adoption of survivorship care recommendations outside of specialized pediatric oncology centers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pcl.2020.07.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7773506PMC
December 2020

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Challenges After Treatment of Childhood Cancer.

Pediatr Clin North Am 2020 12;67(6):1155-1170

Childhood Cancer Research Platform, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern, Mittelstrasse 43, Bern 3012, Switzerland; Department of Pediatrics, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Mittelstrasse 43, Bern 3012, Switzerland.

Childhood cancer survivors are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease and pulmonary disease related to cancer treatment. This might not become apparent until many years after treatment and varies from subclinical to life-threatening disease. Important causes are anthracyclines and radiotherapy involving heart, head, or neck for cardiovascular disease, and bleomycin, busulfan, nitrosoureas, radiation to the chest, and lung or chest surgery for pulmonary disease. Most effects are dose dependent, but genetic risk factors have been discovered. Treatment options are limited. Prevention and regular screening are crucial. Survivors should be encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and modifiable risk factors should be addressed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pcl.2020.07.007DOI Listing
December 2020

Subsequent Primary Neoplasms: Risks, Risk Factors, Surveillance, and Future Research.

Pediatr Clin North Am 2020 12;67(6):1135-1154

Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA.

The authors' objective is to provide a brief update on recent advances in knowledge relating to subsequent primary neoplasms developing in survivors of childhood cancer. This includes a summary of established large-scale cohorts, risks reported, and contrasts with results from recently established large-scale cohorts of survivors of adolescent and young adult cancer. Recent evidence is summarized concerning the role of radiotherapy and chemotherapy for childhood cancer and survivor genomics in determining the risk of subsequent primary neoplasms. Progress with surveillance, screening, and clinical follow-up guidelines is addressed. Finally, priorities for future research are outlined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pcl.2020.07.006DOI Listing
December 2020

Questionnaires assessing the use of complementary health approaches in pediatrics and their measurement properties: A systematic review.

Complement Ther Med 2020 Sep 26;53:102520. Epub 2020 Jul 26.

University of Toronto, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, 155 College Street, Suite 130, Toronto, ON M5T 1P8, Canada; The Hospital for Sick Children, Child Health Evaluation Sciences, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1X8, Canada.

Objectives: To identify questionnaires assessing the use of complementary health approaches (CHA) in pediatrics, describe their content, and appraise the methodological quality of the studies and the measurement properties of the questionnaires.

Method: Major electronic databases were searched from 2011 to 2020. Studies which aimed to assess the use of CHA and studies which reported developing and validating CHA questionnaires in pediatrics were included. Two reviewers independently screened the studies, extracted the data, and rated the methodological quality of the studies and measurement properties of the questionnaires using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) checklist. When consensus was not reached, a third reviewer was consulted.

Results: Thirty-eight studies were included. From these studies, 35 CHA questionnaires with a variety of different items were identified. Only two studies aimed to evaluate the measurement properties of two questionnaires. One questionnaire, available as a self- and proxy-report, was initially validated in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and the other, available as an interviewer-administered questionnaire, was validated in children with cancer. According to the COSMIN, the methodological quality of both studies was inadequate or doubtful, and both questionnaires was not thoroughly validated.

Conclusion: This systematic review showed a lack of a thoroughly validated CHA questionnaire in pediatrics. However, two questionnaires were found to hold promise. To address this gap, one of the existing questionnaires should be adapted and further validated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102520DOI Listing
September 2020

Adjuvant Sorafenib for Renal Cell Carcinoma at Intermediate or High Risk of Relapse: Results From the SORCE Randomized Phase III Intergroup Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2020 12 14;38(34):4064-4075. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit at University College London (UCL), Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology, London, United Kingdom.

Purpose: SORCE is an international, randomized, double-blind, three-arm trial of sorafenib after surgical excision of primary renal cell carcinoma (RCC) found to be at intermediate or high risk of recurrence.

Patients And Methods: We randomly assigned participants (2:3:3) to 3 years of placebo (arm A), 1 year of sorafenib followed by 2 years of placebo (arm B), or 3 years of sorafenib (arm C). The initial sorafenib dose was 400 mg twice per day orally, amended to 400 mg daily. The primary outcome analysis, which was revised as a result of external results, was investigator-reported disease-free survival (DFS) comparing 3 years of sorafenib versus placebo.

Results: Between July 2007 and April 2013, we randomly assigned 1,711 participants (430, 642, and 639 participants in arms A, B, and C, respectively). Median age was 58 years, 71% of patients were men, 84% had clear cell histology, 53% were at intermediate risk of recurrence, and 47% were at high risk of recurrence. We observed no differences in DFS or overall survival in all randomly assigned patients, patients with high risk of recurrence, or patients with clear cell RCC only. Median DFS was not reached for 3 years of sorafenib or for placebo (hazard ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.23; = .95). We observed nonproportional hazards; the restricted mean survival time (RMST) was 6.81 years for 3 years of sorafenib and 6.82 years for placebo (RMST difference, 0.01 year; 95% CI, -0.49 to 0.48 year; = .99). Despite offering treatment adaptations, more than half of participants stopped treatment by 12 months. Grade 3 hand-foot skin reaction was reported in 24% of participants on sorafenib.

Conclusion: Sorafenib should not be used as adjuvant therapy for RCC. Active surveillance remains the standard of care for patients at intermediate or high risk of recurrence after nephrectomy and is the appropriate control of our current international adjuvant RCC trial, RAMPART.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.01800DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7768344PMC
December 2020

Combined PD-1, BRAF and MEK inhibition in advanced BRAF-mutant melanoma: safety run-in and biomarker cohorts of COMBI-i.

Nat Med 2020 10 5;26(10):1557-1563. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney and Royal North Shore and Mater Hospitals, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Immune and targeted therapies achieve long-term survival in metastatic melanoma; however, new treatment strategies are needed to improve patients' outcomes. We report on the efficacy, safety and biomarker analysis from the single-arm safety run-in (part 1; n = 9) and biomarker (part 2; n = 27) cohorts of the randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 3 COMBI-i trial (NCT02967692) of the anti-PD-1 antibody spartalizumab, in combination with the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib and MEK inhibitor trametinib. Patients (n = 36) had previously untreated BRAF V600-mutant unresectable or metastatic melanoma. In part 1, the recommended phase 3 regimen was identified based on the incidence of dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs; primary endpoint): 400 mg of spartalizumab every 4 weeks plus 150 mg of dabrafenib twice daily plus 2 mg of trametinib once daily. Part 2 characterized changes in PD-L1 levels and CD8 cells following treatment (primary endpoint), and analyzed additional biomarkers. Assessments of efficacy and safety were key secondary endpoints (median follow-up, 24.3 months). Spartalizumab plus dabrafenib and trametinib led to an objective response rate (ORR) of 78%, including 44% complete responses (CRs). Grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) were experienced by 72% of patients. All patients had temporary dose modifications, and 17% permanently discontinued all three study drugs due to TRAEs. Early progression-free survival (PFS) events were associated with low tumor mutational burden/T cell-inflamed gene expression signature (GES) or high immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) GES levels at baseline; an immunosuppressive TME may also preclude CR. Overall, the efficacy, safety and on-treatment biomarker modulations associated with spartalizumab plus dabrafenib and trametinib are promising, and biomarkers that may predict long-term benefit were identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-1082-2DOI Listing
October 2020

Campylobacteriosis following immunosuppression for immune checkpoint inhibitor-related toxicity.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 10;8(2)

Medical Oncology, Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood, Middlesex, UK.

Five patients receiving checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy (CPI) under our care across two cancer centers over a 12-month period have subsequently developed campylobacterosis. All had received immune-suppressive treatment for CPI-related colitis in the weeks or months preceding the detection of infection, with negative stool cultures at presentation of CPI-related colitis. The immune-suppression required to treat CPI-related toxicity may lead to an increased risk of enteric infection within the gut. While the underlying immune and biologic mechanisms are not well understood, perturbation of the gut microbiota is an increasingly recognized factor capable of influencing CPI-mediated immune reconstitution and response to therapy. Clinicians should be aware that worsening of colitic symptoms in patients with a history of treatment for CPI-related colitis may be due to enteric infection, and not simply a relapse/deterioration of a previously treated CPI-related colitis. Judicious infectious disease evaluation is necessary for patients receiving CPIs as symptoms can mimic immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Furthermore, the benefits of immune-suppressive therapy for the treatment of presumptive irAEs must be weighed against the possible increased risk for either enteric infection or opportunistic infection. Prospective studies are required to investigate microbiome perturbations, resulting from immune-suppression, and guide future treatment of this patient cohort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-000577DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7537329PMC
October 2020

Normative Values of High-Sensitivity Cardiac Troponin T and N-Terminal pro-B-Type Natriuretic Peptide in Children and Adolescents: A Study from the CALIPER Cohort.

J Appl Lab Med 2021 Mar;6(2):344-353

Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Background: Cardiac troponin (cTn) and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) are increasingly used clinically to evaluate and prognosticate acute myocardial infarction and heart failure, respectively. Pediatric reference intervals and cut-offs have not been established for Roche's Elecsys Troponin T hs (high sensitive) assay. Although pediatric reference intervals exist for NT-proBNP, cut-off values do not exist. In this study, we report reference intervals and 99th percentile cut-offs in a large, healthy Canadian pediatric population using the CALIPER cohort.

Methods: Blood samples from 484 healthy children and adolescents between 0 and <19 years old were recruited from hospital outpatient clinics and community settings. Serum samples were analyzed using Roche's Cobas e411 and evaluated for high-sensitivity cTnT (hs-cTnT) and NT-proBNP concentrations. 95% reference intervals and 99th percentile cut-off values were established.

Results: Three hs-cTnT age partitions were established (0 to <6 months, 6 months to <1 year, and 1 to <19 years) with highest concentrations observed in children under 1 year. Two NT-proBNP age partitions were established (0 to <1 year, and 1 to <19 years), also with higher concentrations in infants under 1 year of age. For each of these age partitions, the 99th percentile cut-off, 95% reference interval, and proportion of detectable concentrations were determined.

Conclusions: This is the first study to examine hs-cTnT and NT-proBNP reference values together in a healthy pediatric cohort without other clinical indications. We present 99th percentile cut-offs, which will allow clinicians to appropriately evaluate cardiovascular disease in children and adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jalm/jfaa090DOI Listing
March 2021

Rationale for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors Plus Targeted Therapy in Metastatic Melanoma: A Review.

JAMA Oncol 2020 Dec;6(12):1957-1966

University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany, and German Cancer Consortium, Heidelberg, Germany.

Importance: In recent years, the management of metastatic melanoma has been transformed by the emergence of immune checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapies that significantly improve patient survival. The complementary response kinetics of these treatment approaches, supported by mechanistic evidence that targeted therapy affects immune aspects of the tumor microenvironment, suggest that the optimal combination or sequencing of immune checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapy may provide additional clinical benefit.

Observations: Clinical responses to BRAF and/or MEK inhibitors are associated with immune changes within the tumor microenvironment that have the potential to increase the sensitivity of BRAF V600-mutant melanoma to immune checkpoint inhibitors. The combination of immune checkpoint inhibitors with targeted therapy may therefore increase duration of response, improve tumor control, extend survival, and increase the proportion of patients experiencing durable benefit. A targeted therapy-immune checkpoint inhibitor sequencing approach may also be supported by this evidence, but clinical questions regarding optimal timing, duration, and patient selection remain.

Conclusions And Relevance: This review outlines the rationale and preclinical evidence that support immune checkpoint inhibitor plus targeted therapy combination and sequencing strategies in melanoma and highlights the results available to date from clinical trials exploring these approaches to treatment. Several late-stage trials are under way looking to answer open questions in this field and address the continuing debate surrounding up-front combination vs sequencing. As phase 3 data have begun to emerge, trial designs and available data from key studies are discussed in the context of their resultant implications for clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.4401DOI Listing
December 2020

Guidance regarding COVID-19 for survivors of childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancer: A statement from the International Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Guideline Harmonization Group.

Pediatr Blood Cancer 2020 12 23;67(12):e28702. Epub 2020 Sep 23.

Department of Malignant Haematology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, London, UK.

Childhood, adolescent, and young adult (CAYA) cancer survivors may be at risk for a severe course of COVID-19. Little is known about the clinical course of COVID-19 in CAYA cancer survivors, or if additional preventive measures are warranted. We established a working group within the International Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Guideline Harmonization Group (IGHG) to summarize existing evidence and worldwide recommendations regarding evidence about factors/conditions associated with risk for a severe course of COVID-19 in CAYA cancer survivors, and to develop a consensus statement to provide guidance for healthcare practitioners and CAYA cancer survivors regarding COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pbc.28702DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7537044PMC
December 2020

Role of the gut microbiome for cancer patients receiving immunotherapy: Dietary and treatment implications.

Eur J Cancer 2020 10 2;138:149-155. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, UK.

Immune-checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have revolutionised the therapeutic landscape for multiple malignancies and the health of the gut microbiome (GM) is strongly linked with therapeutic responses to ICI. This review explores the implications of diet and medication on the GM for patients receiving ICI. Clinical trials are underway to explore the impact of factors such as faecal microbiota transfer, probiotics, prebiotics, bacteria consortia and a number of dietary interventions on patients receiving ICI. Randomised controlled trials are lacking, and inferences are currently based on short-term clinical and observational studies. Antibiotics should be avoided before ICI initiation, and depending on prospective data, future consideration may be given to temporary delay of initiation of non-urgent ICI if patient has had broad spectrum antibiotics within 1 month of planned treatment initiation. Proton pump inhibitor use should be discontinued when not clearly indicated and potential switch to a histamine H2-receptor antagonist considered. Patients should be advised to minimise animal meat intake and maximise plants, aiming to consume ≥30 plant types weekly. A high fibre intake (>30 g/day) has been seen to be beneficial in increasing the chance of ICI response. Fermented foods may have a beneficial effect on the GM and should be introduced where possible. Ideally, all patients should be referred to a nutritionist or dietician with knowledge of GM before commencing ICI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.07.026DOI Listing
October 2020

Cost-Effectiveness of the International Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Guideline Harmonization Group Screening Guidelines to Prevent Heart Failure in Survivors of Childhood Cancer.

J Clin Oncol 2020 11 14;38(33):3851-3862. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Division of General Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA.

Purpose: Survivors of childhood cancer treated with anthracyclines and/or chest-directed radiation are at increased risk for heart failure (HF). The International Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Guideline Harmonization Group (IGHG) recommends risk-based screening echocardiograms, but evidence supporting its frequency and cost-effectiveness is limited.

Patients And Methods: Using the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study and St Jude Lifetime Cohort, we developed a microsimulation model of the clinical course of HF. We estimated long-term health outcomes and economic impact of screening according to IGHG-defined risk groups (low [doxorubicin-equivalent anthracycline dose of 1-99 mg/m and/or radiotherapy < 15 Gy], moderate [100 to < 250 mg/m or 15 to < 35 Gy], or high [≥ 250 mg/m or ≥ 35 Gy or both ≥ 100 mg/m and ≥ 15 Gy]). We compared 1-, 2-, 5-, and 10-year interval-based screening with no screening. Screening performance and treatment effectiveness were estimated based on published studies. Costs and quality-of-life weights were based on national averages and published reports. Outcomes included lifetime HF risk, quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), lifetime costs, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs). Strategies with ICERs < $100,000 per QALY gained were considered cost-effective.

Results: Among the IGHG risk groups, cumulative lifetime risks of HF without screening were 36.7% (high risk), 24.7% (moderate risk), and 16.9% (low risk). Routine screening reduced this risk by 4% to 11%, depending on frequency. Screening every 2, 5, and 10 years was cost-effective for high-risk survivors, and every 5 and 10 years for moderate-risk survivors. In contrast, ICERs were > $175,000 per QALY gained for all strategies for low-risk survivors, representing approximately 40% of those for whom screening is currently recommended.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that refinement of recommended screening strategies for IGHG high- and low-risk survivors is needed, including careful reconsideration of discontinuing asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction and HF screening in low-risk survivors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00418DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7676889PMC
November 2020

Longitudinal Changes in Echocardiographic Parameters of Cardiac Function in Pediatric Cancer Survivors.

JACC CardioOncol 2020 Mar 17;2(1):26-37. Epub 2020 Mar 17.

Clinical Research and Public Health Sciences Divisions, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington.

Background: Childhood cancer survivors undergo serial echocardiograms to screen for cardiotoxicity. It is not clear whether small longitudinal changes in functional or structural parameters over time have clinical significance.

Objectives: To assess the timing of changes in serial echocardiographic parameters in pediatric age childhood cancer survivors and to evaluate their associations with cardiomyopathy development.

Methods: We performed a multi-center retrospective case-control study of ≥1-year survivors following the end of cancer therapy. Cardiomyopathy cases (fractional shortening (FS) ≤28% or ejection fraction (EF) ≤50% on ≥2 occasions) were matched to controls (FS ≥30%, EF ≥55%, not on cardiac medications) by cumulative anthracycline and chest radiation dose, follow-up duration, and age at diagnosis. Digitally archived clinical surveillance echocardiograms were quantified in a central core lab, blinded to patient characteristics. Using mixed models with interaction terms between time and case status, we estimated the least square mean differences of 2D, M-mode, pulsed wave Doppler and tissue Doppler imaging derived parameters across time between cases and controls.

Results: We identified 50 matched case-control pairs from 5 centers. Analysis of 412 echocardiograms (cases, n=181; controls, n=231) determined that indices of LV systolic function (FS, biplane EF), diastolic function (mitral E/A ratio), and LV size (end diastolic dimension z-scores) were significantly different between cases and controls, even four years prior to the development of cardiomyopathy.

Conclusions: Longitudinal changes in cardiac functional parameters can occur relatively early in pediatric age childhood cancer survivors and are associated with the development of cardiomyopathy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaccao.2020.02.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7384713PMC
March 2020

Reduced Morbidity and Mortality in Survivors of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A Report From the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.

J Clin Oncol 2020 10 24;38(29):3418-3429. Epub 2020 Jul 24.

Division of Hematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Purpose: Risk-stratified therapy, which modifies treatment on the basis of clinical and biologic features, has improved 5-year overall survival of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) to 90%, but its impact on long-term toxicity remains unknown.

Methods: We assessed all-cause and health-related late mortality (including late effects of cancer therapy), subsequent malignant neoplasms (SMNs), chronic health conditions, and neurocognitive outcomes among 6,148 survivors of childhood ALL (median age, 27.9 years; range, 5.9-61.9 years) diagnosed between 1970 and 1999. Therapy combinations and treatment intensity defined 6 groups: 1970s-like (70s), standard- or high-risk 1980s-like (80sSR, 80sHR) and 1990s-like (90sSR, 90sHR), and relapse/transplantation (R/BMT). Cumulative incidence, standardized mortality ratios, and standardized incidence ratios were compared between treatment groups and with the US population.

Results: Overall, 20-year all-cause late mortality was 6.6% (95% CI, 6.0 to 7.1). Compared with 70s, 90sSR and 90sHR experienced lower health-related late mortality (rate ratio [95% CI]: 90sSR, 0.2 [0.1 to 0.4]; 90sHR, 0.3 [0.1 to 0.7]), comparable to the US population (standardized mortality ratio [95% CI]: 90sSR, 1.3 [0.8 to 2.0]; 90sHR, 1.7 [0.7 to 3.5]). Compared with 70s, 90sSR had a lower rate of SMN (rate ratio [95% CI], 0.3 [0.1 to 0.6]) that was not different from that of the US population (standardized incidence ratio [95% CI], 1.0 [0.6 to 1.6]). The 90sSR group had fewer severe chronic health conditions than the 70s (20-year cumulative incidence [95% CI], 11.0% [9.7% to 12.3%] 22.5% [19.4% to 25.5%]) and a lower prevalence of impaired memory (prevalence ratio [95% CI], 0.7 [0.6 to 0.9]) and task efficiency (0.5 [0.4 to 0.7]).

Conclusion: Risk-stratified therapy has reduced late morbidity and mortality among contemporary survivors of standard-risk ALL, represented by 90sSR. Health-related late mortality and SMN risks among 5-year survivors of contemporary, standard-risk childhood ALL are comparable to the general population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.00493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7527155PMC
October 2020

Severe infections following treatment for childhood cancer: a report from CYP-C.

Leuk Lymphoma 2020 12 12;61(12):2876-2884. Epub 2020 Jul 12.

Division of Haematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.

Little is known about infections occurring after childhood cancer treatment. We assessed the risk of severe infection postcancer therapy in survivors of leukemia compared to other cancer types. We performed a population-based cohort study of children <15 years of age diagnosed with cancer (2001-2016), alive and relapse-free 30 days after treatment completion. The risk of severe infection in both groups was estimated using subdistribution proportional hazard regression. We identified 6148 survivors (1960 with leukemia). The cumulative incidence (95% confidence interval) of severe infections at 3 years was 0.70% (0.40-1.2%) in leukemia and 0.51% (0.32-0.79%) in other cancers. The risk of severe infection was not statistically different in leukemia survivors compared to other cancer types in univariate and multivariate analysis (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.40, 95% CI: 0.69-2.85). No significant association was found between a history of leukemia and an increased risk of severe infection after treatment, compared to other cancer types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10428194.2020.1789626DOI Listing
December 2020
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