Publications by authors named "Thuy B Tran"

76 Publications

Cumulative GRAS Score as a Predictor of Survival After Resection for Adrenocortical Carcinoma: Analysis From the U.S. Adrenocortical Carcinoma Database.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Feb 14. Epub 2021 Feb 14.

Department of Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

Background: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare but aggressive malignancy, and many prognostic factors that influence survival remain undefined. Individually, the GRAS (Grade, Resection status, Age, and Symptoms of hormone hypersecretion) parameters have demonstrated their prognostic value in ACC. This study aimed to assess the value of a cumulative GRAS score as a prognostic indicator after ACC resection.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of adult patients who underwent surgical resection for ACC between 1993 and 2014 was performed using the United States Adrenocortical Carcinoma Group (US-ACCG) database. A sum GRAS score was calculated for each patient by adding one point each when the criteria were met for tumor grade (Weiss criteria ≥ 3 or Ki67 ≥ 20%), resection status (micro- or macroscopically positive margin), age (≥ 50 years), and preoperative symptoms of hormone hypersecretion (present). Overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) by cumulative GRAS score were analyzed by the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test.

Results: Of the 265 patients in the US-ACCG database, 243 (92%) had sufficient data available to calculate a cumulative GRAS score and were included in this analysis. The 265 patients comprised 23 patients (10%) with a GRAS of 0, 52 patients (21%) with a GRAS of 1, 92 patients (38%) with a GRAS of 2, 63 patients (26%) with a GRAS of 3, and 13 patients (5%) with a GRAS of 4. An increasing GRAS score was associated with shortened OS (p < 0.01) and DFS (p < 0.01) after index resection.

Conclusion: In this retrospective analysis, the cumulative GRAS score effectively stratified OS and DFS after index resection for ACC. Further prospective analysis is required to validate the cumulative GRAS score as a prognostic indicator for clinical use.
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February 2021

Renal Function After Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Resection with Nephrectomy: A Matched Analysis of the United States Sarcoma Collaborative Database.

Ann Surg Oncol 2021 Mar 4;28(3):1690-1696. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.

Background: Nephrectomy often is required during en bloc resection of a retroperitoneal sarcoma (RPS) to achieve an R0 or R1 resection. The impact of nephrectomy on postoperative renal function in this patient population, who also may benefit from subsequent nephrotoxic systemic therapy, is not well described.

Methods: The United States Sarcoma Collaborative (USSC) database was queried for patients undergoing RPS resection between 2000 and 2016. Patients with missing pre- or postoperative measures of renal function were excluded. A matched cohort was created using coarsened exact matching. Weighted logistic regression was used to control further for differences between the nephrectomy and non-nephrectomy cohorts. The primary outcomes were postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI), acute renal failure (ARF), and dialysis.

Results: The initial cohort consisted of 858 patients, 3 (0.3%) of whom required postoperative dialysis. The matched cohort consisted of 411 patients, 108 (26%) of whom underwent nephrectomy. The patients who underwent nephrectomy had higher rates of postoperative AKI (14.8% vs 4.3%; p < 0.01) and ARF (4.6% vs 1.3%; p = 0.04), but no patients required dialysis postoperatively. Logistic regression modeling showed that the risk of AKI (odds ratio [OR], 5.16; p < 0.01) and ARF (OR 5.04; p < 0.01) after nephrectomy persisted despite controlling for age and preoperative renal function.

Conclusions: Nephrectomy is associated with an increased risk of postoperative AKI and ARF after RPS resection. This study was unable to statistically assess the impact of nephrectomy on postoperative dialysis, but the risk of postoperative dialysis is 0.5% or less regardless of nephrectomy status.
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March 2021

A closer look at the natural history and recurrence patterns of high-grade truncal/extremity leiomyosarcomas: A multi-institutional analysis from the US Sarcoma Collaborative.

Surg Oncol 2020 Sep 30;34:292-297. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA. Electronic address:

Background/objective: Natural history and outcomes for truncal/extremity (TE) soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is derived primarily from studies investigating all histiotypes as one homogenous cohort. We aimed to define the recurrence rate (RR), recurrence patterns, and response to radiation of TE leiomyosarcomas (LMS).

Methods: Patients from the US Sarcoma Collaborative database with primary, high-grade TE STS were identified. Patients were grouped into LMS or other histology (non-LMS). Primary endpoints were locoregional recurrence-free survival (LR-RFS), distant-RFS (D-RFS), and disease specific survival (DSS).

Results: Of 1215 patients, 93 had LMS and 1122 non-LMS. In LMS patients, median age was 63 and median tumor size was 6 cm. In non-LMS patients, median age was 58 and median tumor size was 8 cm. In LMS patients, overall RR was 42% with 15% LR-RR and 29% D-RR. The 3yr LR-RFS, D-RFS, and DSS were 84%, 65%, and 76%, respectively. When considering high-risk (>5 cm and high-grade, n = 49) LMS patients, the overall RR was 45% with 12% LR-RR and 35% D-RR. 61% received radiation. The 3yr LR-RFS (78vs93%, p = 0.39), D-RFS (53vs63%, p = 0.27), and DSS (67vs91%, p = 0.17) were similar in those who did and did not receive radiation. High-risk, non-LMS patients had a similar overall RR of 42% with 15% LR-RR and 30% D-RR. 60% of non-LMS patients received radiation. There was an improved 3yr LR-RFS (82vs75%, p = 0.030) and DSS (77vs65%,p = 0.007) in non-LMS patients who received radiation.

Conclusions: In our cohort, patients with LMS have a low local recurrence rate (12-15%) and modest distant recurrence rate (29-35%). However, LMS patients had no improvement in local control or long-term outcomes with radiation. The value of radiation in these patients merits further investigation.
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September 2020

Surgeon-Placed Continuous Wound Infusion Pain Catheters Markedly Decrease Narcotic Use and Improve Outcomes After Pancreatic Tumor Resection.

Ann Surg Oncol 2020 Sep 3. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Background: Pancreatectomy results in significant postoperative pain and typically requires opioid analgesia for adequate pain control. Local anesthetics may decrease postoperative pain and opioid requirements but can be limited by onset of action, duration of effect, and inability to titrate dosing after administration. This can be overcome by surgeon placement of tunneled peri-incisional catheters with continuous wound infusion (CWI).

Methods: This retrospective cohort study analyzed patients undergoing open pancreatic tumor resection. All the patients received patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), enabling an objective comparison of opioid requirements, and underwent the same recovery pathway. The patients received CWI (n = 45), PCA alone (n = 11), or epidural analgesia (EA) (n = 9). The primary outcome was total opioid use in terms of intravenous morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) and patient-reported pain scores on a numeric rating scale (NRS) of 0 to 10.

Results: No differences in baseline patient or tumor characteristics were observed. In both the uni- and multivariate analyses, CWI was associated with lower opioid use than PCA (MME, 83 vs 207 mg; p = 0.004) or EA (MME, 83 vs 156 mg; p < 0.001) without having a negative impact on pain scores. Furthermore, CWI was associated with a greater percentage of time that patients experienced optimal pain control (NRS, ≤ 4: 63% vs 50%; p = 0.033) and a shorter time to PCA independence (4.0 vs 4.9 days; p = 0.004) than PCA alone. In addition, CWI was associated with earlier ambulation [EA vs CWI: odds ratio (OR), 0.05; p = 0.021], improved spirometry performance (CWI vs PCA: regression coefficient (coef), 267; p = 0.013), and earlier urinary catheter removal (EA vs CWI: coef, 1.30; p = 0.013). The findings showed no differences in time to return of bowel function, antiemetic use, or hospital length of stay.

Conclusions: After open pancreatic tumor resection, CWI is safe and associated with decreased opioid requirements and improved functional outcomes without a negative impact on pain scores, supporting its potential for preferred use over PCA or EA alone.
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September 2020

High neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio is not independently associated with worse survival or recurrence in patients with extremity soft tissue sarcoma.

Surgery 2020 10 28;168(4):760-767. Epub 2020 Jul 28.

Department of Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI. Electronic address:

Background: Soft tissue sarcomas are a heterogenous group of neoplasms without well-validated biomarkers. Cancer-related inflammation is a known driver of tumor growth and progression. Recent studies have implicated a high circulating neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio as a surrogate marker for the inflammatory tumor microenvironment and a poor prognosticator in multiple solid tumors, including colorectal and pancreatic cancers. The impact of circulating neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio in soft tissue sarcomas has yet to be elucidated.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of patients undergoing curative resection for primary or recurrent extremity soft tissue sarcomas at academic centers within the US Sarcoma Collaborative. Neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio was calculated retrospectively in treatment-naïve patients using blood counts at or near diagnosis.

Results: A high neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (≥4.5) was associated with worse survival on univariable analysis in patients with extremity soft tissue sarcomas (hazard ratio 2.07; 95% confidence interval, 1.54-2.8; P < .001). On multivariable analysis, increasing age (hazard ratio 1.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.04; P < .001), American Joint Committee on Cancer T3 (hazard ratio 1.89; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-3.09; P = .011), American Joint Committee on Cancer T4 (hazard ratio 2.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.42-3.92; P = .001), high tumor grade (hazard ratio 4.56; 95% confidence interval, 2.2-9.45; P < .001), and radiotherapy (hazard ratio 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.41-0.82; P = .002) were independently predictive of overall survival, but a high neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio was not predictive of survival (hazard ratio 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 0.87-1.82; P = .22).

Conclusion: Tumor inflammation as measured by high pretreatment neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio was not independently associated with overall survival in patients undergoing resection for extremity soft tissue sarcomas.
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October 2020

Strain-Dependent Variability of Early Discovery Small Molecule Pharmacokinetics in Mice: Does Strain Matter?

Drug Metab Dispos 2020 08 30;48(8):613-621. Epub 2020 May 30.

Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism, Amgen Inc., South San Francisco, California

Drug discovery programs routinely perform pharmacokinetic (PK) studies in mice to prioritize lead compounds based on anticipated exposure-efficacy and exposure-toxicity relationships. Because of logistical and/or technical issues, the strain of mouse in early discovery PK studies may not always match the strain in toxicity or efficacy studies. This elicits the question do appreciable strain-dependent differences in PK parameters exist to an extent that would warrant conducting PK studies in a strain that matches efficacy and toxicity models? To understand the impact that strain may have on PK parameters, we selected eight marketed drugs with well characterized absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion properties and diverse structures to perform PK studies in three common mouse strains (Bagg Albino c, C57BL/6, and CD-1). Some statistical strain-dependent differences were observed; however, we found good general agreement of PK parameters between strains: 88%, 100%, 75%, 76%, 94%, and 88% of compounds were within twofold across strains for clearance, volume of distribution at steady state, , , , and oral bioavailability, respectively. Overall, we recommend that an approach using a single strain of mouse is appropriate for discovery screening PK studies, provided that proper caution is exercised. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The mouse strain in discovery pharmacokinetic (PK) studies may not match the strain in efficacy and toxicology studies. Currently, there is a gap in the literature addressing whether differences in PK parameters across mouse strains exist such that multiple PK studies are warranted. The results from this study indicated that the PK properties of clinically used drugs between mouse strains are within an acceptable range such that single strain PK is appropriate.
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August 2020

Neoadjuvant radiation improves margin-negative resection rates in extremity sarcoma but not survival.

J Surg Oncol 2020 Jun 30;121(8):1249-1258. Epub 2020 Mar 30.

Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Background And Objectives: Radiation improves limb salvage in extremity sarcomas. Timing of radiation therapy remains under investigation. We sought to evaluate the effects of neoadjuvant radiation (NAR) on surgery and survival of patients with extremity sarcomas.

Materials And Methods: A multi-institutional database was used to identify patients with extremity sarcomas undergoing surgical resection from 2000-2016. Patients were categorized by treatment strategy: surgery alone, adjuvant radiation (AR), or NAR. Survival, recurrence, limb salvage, and surgical margin status was analyzed.

Results: A total of 1483 patients were identified. Most patients receiving radiotherapy had high-grade tumors (82% NAR vs 81% AR vs 60% surgery; P < .001). The radiotherapy groups had more limb-sparing operations (98% AR vs 94% NAR vs 87% surgery; P < .001). NAR resulted in negative margin resections (90% NAR vs 79% surgery vs 75% AR; P < .0001). There were fewer local recurrences in the radiation groups (14% NAR vs 17% AR vs 27% surgery; P = .001). There was no difference in overall or recurrence-free survival between the three groups (OS, P = .132; RFS, P = .227).

Conclusion: In this large study, radiotherapy improved limb salvage rates and decreased local recurrences. Receipt of NAR achieves more margin-negative resections however this did not improve local recurrence or survival rates over.
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June 2020

Is a Nomogram Able to Predict Postoperative Wound Complications in Localized Soft-tissue Sarcomas of the Extremity?

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2020 03;478(3):550-559

M. Bedi, J. Charlson, D. M. King, Departments of Radiation Oncology, Medical Oncology, and Orthopaedic Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Background: Postoperative wound complications are challenging in patients with localized extremity soft-tissue sarcomas. Various factors have been associated with wound complications, but there is no individualized predictive model to allow providers to counsel their patients and thus offer methods to mitigate the risk of complications and implement appropriate measures.

Questions/purposes: We used data from multiple centers to ask: (1) What risk factors are associated with postoperative wound complications in patients with localized soft-tissue sarcomas of the extremity? (2) Can we create a predictive nomogram that will assess the risk of wound complications in individual patients after resection for soft-tissue sarcoma?

Methods: From 2000 to 2016, 1669 patients undergoing limb-salvage resection for a localized primary or recurrent extremity soft-tissue sarcoma with at least 120 days of follow-up at eight participating United States Sarcoma Collaborative institutions were identified. Wound complications included superficial wounds with or without drainage, deep wounds with drainage because of dehiscence, and intentional opening of the wound within 120 days postoperatively. Sixteen variables were selected a priori by clinicians and statisticians as potential risk factors for wound complications. A univariate analysis was performed using Fisher's exact tests for categorical predictors, and Wilcoxon's rank-sum tests were used for continuous predictors. A multiple logistic regression analysis was used to train the prediction model that was used to create the nomogram. The prediction performance of the datasets was evaluated using a receiver operating curve, area under the curve, and calibration plot.

Results: After controlling for potential confounding factors such as comorbidities, functional status, albumin level, and chemotherapy use, we found that increasing age (odds ratio 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-1.03; p = 0.008), BMI (OR 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02-1.09; p = 0.004), lower-extremity location (OR 6; 95% CI, 2.87-12.69; p < 0.001), and neoadjuvant radiation (OR 2; 95% CI, 1.47-3.16; p < 0.001) were associated with postoperative wound complications (area under the curve 69.2% [range 62.8%-75.6%]).

Conclusions: We found that age, BMI, tumor location, and timing of radiation are associated with the risk of wound complications. Based on these factors, a validated nomogram has been established that can provide an individualized prediction of wound complications in patients with a resected soft-tissue sarcoma of the extremity. This may allow for proactive management with nutrition and surgical techniques, and help determine the delivery of radiation in patients with a high risk of having these complications.

Level Of Evidence: Level III, therapeutic study.
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March 2020

Trends in the Use of Adjuvant Chemotherapy for High-Grade Truncal and Extremity Soft Tissue Sarcomas.

J Surg Res 2020 01 5;245:577-586. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio. Electronic address:

Background: In the randomized controlled trial (RCT) EORTC 62931, adjuvant chemotherapy failed to show improvement in relapse-free survival (RFS) or overall survival (OS) for patients with resected high-grade soft tissue sarcoma (STS). We evaluated whether the negative results of this 2012 RCT have influenced multidisciplinary treatment patterns for patients with high-grade STS undergoing resection at seven academic referral centers.

Methods: The U.S. Sarcoma Collaborative database was queried to identify patients who underwent curative-intent resection of primary high-grade truncal or extremity STS from 2000 to 2016. Patients with recurrent tumors, metastatic disease, and those receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy were excluded. Patients were divided by treatment era into early (2000-2011, pre-European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer [EORTC] trial) and late (2012-2016, post-EORTC trial) cohorts for analysis. Rates of adjuvant chemotherapy and clinicopathologic variables were compared between the two cohorts. Univariate and multivariate regression analyses were used to determine factors associated with OS and RFS.

Results: 949 patients who met inclusion criteria were identified, with 730 patients in the early cohort and 219 in the late cohort. Adjuvant chemotherapy rates were similar between the early and late cohorts (15.6% versus 14.6%; P = 0.73). Patients within the early and late cohorts demonstrated similar median OS (128 months versus median not reached, P = 0.84) and RFS (107 months versus median not reached, P = 0.94). Receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy was associated with larger tumor size (13.6 versus 8.9 cm, P < 0.001), younger age (53.3 versus 63.7 years, P < 0.001), and receipt of adjuvant radiation (P < 0.001). On multivariate regression analysis, risk factors associated with decreased OS were increasing American Society of Anesthesiologists class (P = 0.02), increasing tumor size (P < 0.001), and margin-positive resection (P = 0.01). Adjuvant chemotherapy was not associated with OS (P = 0.88). Risk factors associated with decreased RFS included increasing tumor size (P < 0.001) and margin-positive resection (P = 0.03); adjuvant chemotherapy was not associated with RFS (P = 0.23).

Conclusions: Rates of adjuvant chemotherapy for resected high-grade truncal or extremity STS have not decreased over time within the U.S. Sarcoma Collaborative, despite RCT data suggesting a lack of efficacy. In this retrospective multi-institutional analysis, adjuvant chemotherapy was not associated with RFS or OS on multivariate analysis, consistent with the results from EORTC 62931. Rates of adjuvant chemotherapy for high-grade STS were low in both cohorts but may be influenced more by selection bias based on clinicopathologic variables such as tumor size, margin status, and patient age than by prospective, randomized data.
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January 2020

Assessing the Role of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Primary High-Risk Truncal/Extremity Soft Tissue Sarcomas: An Analysis of the Multi-institutional U.S. Sarcoma Collaborative.

Ann Surg Oncol 2019 Oct 24;26(11):3542-3549. Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: The role of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NCT) for high-risk soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is questioned. This study aimed to define which patients may experience a survival advantage with NCT.

Methods: All the patients from the U.S. Sarcoma Collaborative database (2000-2016) who underwent curative-intent resection of high-grade, primary truncal/extremity STS size 5 cm or larger were included in this study. The primary end points were recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS).

Results: Of the 4153 patients, 770 were included in the study. The median tumor size was 10 cm, and 669 of the patients (87%) had extremity tumors. The most common histology was undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS), found in 42% of the patients. Of the 770 patients, 216 (28%) received NCT. The patients who received NCT had deeper, larger tumors (p < 0.001). Of the patients with tumors 5 cm or larger and 8 cm or larger, NCT was not associated with improved RFS or OS. However for the patients with tumors 10 cm or larger, NCT was associated with improved 5-year RFS (51% vs 40%; p = 0.053) and 5-year OS (58% vs 47%; p = 0.043). By location, the patients with extremity tumors 10 cm or larger but not truncal tumors had improved 5-yearr RFS (54% vs 42%; p = 0.042) and 5-year OS (61% vs 47%; p = 0.015) with NCT. According to histology, no subtype had improved RFS or OS with NCT, although the patients with UPS had a trend toward improved 5-year RFS (56% vs 42%; p = 0.092) and 5-year OS (66% vs 52%; p = 0.103) with NCT.

Conclusion: For the patients with high-grade STS, NCT was associated with improved RFS and OS when tumors were 10 cm or larger and located in the extremity. However, no histiotype-specific advantage was identified. Future studies assessing the efficacy of NCT may consider focusing on these patients, with added focus on histology-specific strategies.
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October 2019

Predictors of Disease-Free and Overall Survival in Retroperitoneal Sarcomas: A Modern 16-Year Multi-Institutional Study from the United States Sarcoma Collaboration (USSC).

Sarcoma 2019 2;2019:5395131. Epub 2019 Jun 2.

University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.

Background: Retroperitoneal sarcomas (RPS) comprise approximately 15% of all soft-tissue sarcomas and frequently associated with significant morbidity and as little as 30% 5-year survival. Here, we provide a large, contemporary, and multi-institutional experience to determine which tumor, patient, and treatment characteristics are associated with long-term outcomes in RPS.

Methods: 571 patients with primary RPS were identified from the United States Sarcoma Collaboration (USSC). RPS patients who underwent resection from January 2000 to April 2016 were included with patient, tumor, and treatment-specific variables investigated as independent predictors of survival. Survival analyses for disease-free and overall survival were conducted using Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards model methods.

Results: The study cohort was 55% female, with a median age of 58.9 years (IQR: 48.6-70.0). The most common tumor histiotypes were liposarcoma (34%) and leiomyosarcoma (28%). Median follow-up was 30.6 months (IQR: 11.2-60.4). Median disease-free survival was 35.3 months (95% CI: 27.6-43.0), with multivariate predictors of poorer disease-free survival including higher grade tumors, nodal-positive disease, and multivisceral resection. Median overall survival was 81.6 months (95% CI: 66.3-96.8). Multivariate predictors of shorter overall survival included higher grade tumors, nodal-positive and multifocal disease, systemic chemotherapy, and grossly positive margins (2) following resection.

Conclusions: The strongest predictors of disease-free and overall survival are tumor-specific characteristics, while surgical factors are less impactful. Nonsurgical therapies are not associated with improved outcomes despite persistent interest and utilization. Complete macroscopic resection (0/1) remains a persistent potentially modifiable risk factor associated with improved overall survival in patients with retroperitoneal sarcomas.
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June 2019

Features of synchronous versus metachronous metastasectomy in adrenal cortical carcinoma: Analysis from the US adrenocortical carcinoma database.

Surgery 2020 02 2;167(2):352-357. Epub 2019 Jul 2.

Department of Surgery, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Electronic address:

Background: Adrenocortical carcinoma is a rare, aggressive cancer. We compared features of patients who underwent synchronous versus metachronous metastasectomy.

Methods: Adult patients who underwent resection for metastatic adrenocortical carcinoma from 1993 to 2014 at 13 institutions of the US adrenocortical carcinoma group were analyzed retrospectively. Patients were categorized as synchronous if they underwent metastasectomy at the index adrenalectomy or metachronous if they underwent resection after recurrence of the disease. Factors associated with overall survival were assessed by univariate analysis.

Results: In the study, 84 patients with adrenocortical carcinoma underwent metastasectomy; 26 (31%) were synchronous and 58 (69%) were metachronous. Demographics were similar between groups. The synchronous group had more T4 tumors at the index resection (42 vs 3%, P < .001). The metachronous group had prolonged median survival after the index resection (86.3 vs 17.3 months, P < .001) and metastasectomy (36.9 vs 17.3 months, P = .007). Synchronous patients with R0 resections had improved survival compared to patients with R1/2 resections (P = .008). Margin status at metachronous metastasectomy was not associated with survival (P = .452).

Conclusion: Select patients with metastatic adrenocortical carcinoma may benefit from metastasectomy. Patients with metachronous metastasectomy have a more durable survival benefit than those undergoing synchronous metastasectomy. This study highlights need for future studies examining differences in tumor biology that could explain outcome disparities in these distinct patient populations.
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February 2020

The role of radiation therapy and margin width in localized soft-tissue sarcoma: Analysis from the US Sarcoma Collaborative.

J Surg Oncol 2019 Sep 6;120(3):325-331. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Background And Objectives: Soft-tissue sarcomas (STSs) are often treated with resection and radiation (RT)±chemotherapy. The role of RT in decreasing resection width to achieve local control is unclear. We evaluated RT on margin width to achieve local control and local recurrence (LR).

Methods: From 2000 to 2016, 514 patients with localized STS were identified from the US Sarcoma Collaborative database. Patients were stratified by a margin and local control was compared amongst treatment groups.

Results: LR was 9% with positive, 4.2% with ≤1 mm, and 9.3% with >1 mm margins (P = .315). In the ≤1 mm group, LR was 5.7% without RT, 0% with preoperative RT, and 0% with postoperative RT (P < .0001). In the >1 mm group, LR was 10.2%, 0%, and 3.7% in the no preoperative and postoperative RT groups, respectively (P = .005). RT did not influence LR in patients with positive margins. In stage I-III and II-III patients, local recurrence-free survival was higher following RT (P = .008 and P = .05, respectively).

Conclusions: RT may play a larger role in minimizing LR than margin status. In patients with positive margins, RT may decrease LR to similar rates as a negative margin without RT and may be considered to decrease the risk of LR with anticipated close/positive margins.
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September 2019

Impact of Immunotherapy after Resection of Pancreatic Cancer.

J Am Coll Surg 2019 07 10;229(1):19-27.e1. Epub 2019 Feb 10.

Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Creticos Cancer Center at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Chicago, IL. Electronic address:

Background: Adjuvant immunotherapy has improved outcomes in patients with advanced melanoma; however, the potential benefit for patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of adjuvant chemotherapy and immunotherapy (CTx-IT) compared with CTx alone on patient survival after resection of PDAC.

Study Design: Patients who underwent resection of PDAC from 2004 to 2015 were identified from the National Cancer Database. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine predictors of overall survival (OS) based on the type of adjuvant therapy received. Patients who received adjuvant immunotherapy were compared with those who received adjuvant CTx alone by propensity score matching.

Results: Of 21,313 patients who received curative-intent resection for PDAC followed by adjuvant systemic therapy, 269 (1.3%) patients were treated with adjuvant CTx-IT. Propensity score matching resulted in a cohort of 477 patients: (229 CTx only and 248 CTx-IT). The 5-year OS was higher in the CTx-IT group compared with CTx alone (29.2% vs 18.3%; p = 0.0045). On multivariate analysis, the addition of adjuvant immunotherapy was associated was improved overall survival (hazard ratio 0.74; p = 0.007).

Conclusions: The addition of adjuvant immunotherapy to chemotherapy is associated with improved survival compared with chemotherapy alone after curative-intent resection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Future research is warranted to match specific immunotherapy agents with susceptible patient populations to improve outcomes for this aggressive disease.
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July 2019

Fraction Unbound for Liver Microsome and Hepatocyte Incubations for All Major Species Can Be Approximated Using a Single-Species Surrogate.

Drug Metab Dispos 2019 04 7;47(4):419-423. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism, Amgen Inc., South San Francisco, California

It is well recognized that nonspecific binding of a drug within an in vitro assay () can have a large impact on in vitro to in vivo correlations of intrinsic clearance. Typically, this value is determined experimentally across multiple species in the drug-discovery stage. Herein we examine the feasibility of using a single species (rat) as a surrogate for other species using a panel of small molecules representing highly diverse structures and physiochemical classes. The study demonstrated that 86% and 92% of the tested compounds measured in the mouse, dog, monkey, and human were within 2-fold of rat values for in microsomes and hepatocytes, respectively. One compound, amiodarone, exhibited unique species-dependent binding where the was approximately 10-fold higher in human microsomes and 20-fold higher in human hepatocytes compared with the average of the other species tested. Overall, these data indicate that using a single species (rat) as a surrogate for other major species, including humans, is a means to increase the throughput of measuring nonspecific binding in vitro.
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April 2019

Actual 5-Year Survivors After Surgical Resection of Hilar Cholangiocarcinoma.

Ann Surg Oncol 2019 Feb 11;26(2):611-618. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Background: The prevalence and characteristics of actual 5-year survivors after surgical treatment of hilar cholangiocarcinoma (HC) have not been described previously.

Methods: Patients who underwent resection for HC from 2000 to 2015 were analyzed through a multi-institutional registry from 10 U.S. academic medical centers. The clinicopathologic characteristics and both the perioperative and long-term outcomes for actual 5-year survivors were compared with those for non-survivors (patients who died within 5 years after surgery). Patients alive at last encounter who had a follow-up period shorter than 5 years were excluded from the study.

Results: The study identified 257 patients with HC who underwent curative-intent resection with an actuarial 5-year survival of 19%. Of 194 patients with a follow-up period longer than 5 years, 23 (12%) were 5-year survivors. Compared with non-survivors, the 5-year survivors had a lower median pretreatment CA 19-9 level (116 vs. 34 U/L; P = 0.008) and a lower rate of lymph node involvement (42% vs. 15%; P = 0.027) and R1 margins (39% vs. 17%; P = 0.042). However, the sole presence of these factors did not preclude a 5-year survival after surgery. The frequencies of bile duct resection alone, major hepatectomy, caudate lobe resection, portal vein or hepatic artery resection, preoperative biliary sepsis, intraoperative blood transfusion, serious postoperative complications, and receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy were comparable between the two groups.

Conclusions: One in eight patients with HC reaches the 5-year survival milestone after resection. A 5-year survival can be achieved even in the presence of traditionally unfavorable clinicopathologic factors (elevated CA 19-9, nodal metastasis, and R1 margins).
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February 2019

Outcomes of Elderly Patients Undergoing Curative Resection for Retroperitoneal Sarcomas: Analysis From the US Sarcoma Collaborative.

J Surg Res 2019 01 22;233:154-162. Epub 2018 Aug 22.

Department of Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Electronic address:

Background: The postoperative outcomes of elderly patients undergoing resection of retroperitoneal sarcomas (RPS) have not been widely studied.

Methods: Patients undergoing surgical resection for primary or recurrent RPS between 2000 and 2015 at participating US Sarcoma Collaborative institutions were identified. Patient demographics, perioperative morbidity, mortality, length of stay, discharge to home, disease-specific survival, and disease-free survival were compared between elderly (≥70 y, n = 171) and nonelderly (<70 y, n = 494) patients.

Results: There was no difference in perioperative morbidity (total and major complications elderly versus nonelderly: 39% versus 35%; P = 0.401 and 18% versus 17%; P = 0.646, respectively) or mortality between elderly and nonelderly patients with each group experiencing a 1% 30-d mortality rate. Length of stay and 30-d readmission rates were similar (elderly versus nonelderly; 7 d interquartile range [IQR: 5-9] versus 6 d [IQR: 4-9], P = 0.528 and 11% versus 12%, P = 0.667). Elderly patients were more likely to be discharged to a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility (elderly versus nonelderly; 19% versus 7%, P < 0.001). There was no difference in 3-y disease-free survival between the elderly and nonelderly patients (41% versus 43%, P = 0.65); however, elderly patients had a lower 3-y disease-specific survival (60% versus 76%, P < 0.001). In elderly patients, the presence of multiple comorbidities and high-grade tumors were most predictive of outcomes.

Conclusions: Advanced age was not associated with an increased risk of perioperative morbidity and mortality following resection of RPS in this multi-institutional review. Although short-term oncologic outcomes were similar in both groups, the risk of death after sarcoma recurrence was higher in elderly patients and may be related to comorbidity burden and tumor histology.
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January 2019

Does attending a Delphi consensus conference impact surgeon attitudes? Survey results from the Americas HepatoPancreatoBiliary Association consensus conference on small asymptomatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

HPB (Oxford) 2019 05 13;21(5):524-530. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

Department of Surgery, UT Southwestern, Dallas, TX, USA.

Background: Management of asymptomatic small well-differentiated (panNET) <2 cm remains controversial. A consensus conference was held on this topic. The impact of attending the conference and participating in the audience response survey on surgeon's clinical approach to pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors was assessed.

Methods: Audience members were surveyed using a smartphone real-time response system at the beginning and end of the conference.

Results: The majority of 75 attendees underwent fellowship training, and 30% had >10 years experience as attending surgeons. Previously published consensus statements on the topic were considered insufficient to guide surgical practice by 82% of attendees, and over 96% desired additional data. After review of the data, consensus statements, and decision-making process, a significant number of participants changed their opinions regarding indications for tissue biopsy (p = 0.001), size thresholds for excision (p = 0.002), and regional lymph node dissection (p = 0.002) independent of whether a consensus was reached by the content-expert panel.

Conclusions: This represented the first Delphi process consensus on the topic, and the survey confirmed the topic as well-chosen and timely. Attendees changed opinions on management of panNET regardless of whether formal consensus was reached. Therefore, statements of consensus combined with presentation of literature and live discussion served to impact attendees' approach to this disease.
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May 2019

Perioperative chemotherapy is not associated with improved survival in high-grade truncal sarcoma.

J Surg Res 2018 11 23;231:248-256. Epub 2018 Jun 23.

Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Electronic address:

Background: The treatment benefit of perioperative chemotherapy (CTX) for truncal soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is not well established. This study evaluates the association of CTX with survival for patients with resected primary high-grade truncal STS.

Materials And Methods: Adult patients with high-grade truncal STS who had curative-intent resection from 2000 to 2016 at seven U.S. institutions were evaluated retrospectively. Patients were stratified by receipt of CTX. Kaplan-Meier curves with log-rank tests were used to compare overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate characteristics associated with OS.

Results: Of patients with primary high-grade truncal STS, 235 underwent curative-intent resections. The most common histology was undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma and mean tumor size was 7.8 cm. Thirty percent of the patients received CTX (n = 70). Among patients receiving CTX, 34% (n = 24) had neoadjuvant CTX, 44% (n = 31) adjuvant CTX, and 21% (n = 15) had neoadjuvant and adjuvant CTX. Patients receiving CTX were more likely to receive radiation (51% versus 34%, P = 0.01), have deep tumors (86% versus 73%, P = 0.037) and solid organ invasion (14% versus 3%, P = 0.001). On univariate analysis, patients who received CTX had worse OS (P < 0.01) and a trend toward worse recurrence-free survival (P = 0.08). Margin status was the only variable associated with improved OS on multivariate analysis (odds ratio 4.36, 95% confidence interval 1.56, 12.13, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: In this multi-institutional retrospective analysis of resected high-grade truncal STS, receipt of perioperative CTX was not associated with improved OS, which may be related to selection bias. Microscopically negative margin status was the only independent factor associated with OS.
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November 2018

Studying a Rare Disease Using Multi-Institutional Research Collaborations vs Big Data: Where Lies the Truth?

J Am Coll Surg 2018 09 12;227(3):357-366.e3. Epub 2018 Jun 12.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Electronic address:

Background: Multi-institutional collaborations provide granularity lacking in epidemiologic data sets to enable in-depth study of rare diseases. For patients with superficial, high-grade soft tissue sarcomas of the trunk and extremity, the value of radiation therapy (RT) is not clear. We aimed to use the 7-institution US Sarcoma Collaborative (USSC) and the National Cancer Database (NCDB) to investigate this issue.

Study Design: All adult patients with superficial truncal and extremity high-grade soft tissue sarcomas who underwent primary curative-intent resection from 2000 to 2016 at USSC institutions or were included in the NCDB from 2004 to 2013 were analyzed. Propensity score matching was performed. End points were locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRFS), overall survival (OS), and disease-specific survival (DSS).

Results: Of 4,153 patients in the USSC, 169 patients with superficial high-grade tumors underwent primary curative-intent resection, 38% of which received RT. On multivariable Cox-regression analysis, RT was not associated with improved LRFS (p = 0.56), OS (p = 0.31), or DSS (p = 0.20). On analysis of 51 propensity score-matched pairs, RT was still not associated with increased LRFS, OS, or DSS. Analysis of 631 propensity score-matched pairs in the NCDB demonstrated improved 5-year OS rate associated with RT (80% vs 70%; p = 0.02). The LRFS and DSS rates were not evaluable.

Conclusions: Granular data afforded by collaborative research enables in-depth analysis of patient outcomes. The NCDB, although powered with large numbers, cannot assess many relevant outcomes (eg recurrence, DSS, or complications). In this study, the approaches yielded conflicting results. The USSC data suggested no value of radiation and the NCDB demonstrated improved OS, contradicting all randomized controlled trials in sarcoma. The pros and cons of either approach must be considered when applying results to clinical practice, and underscore the importance of randomized controlled trials.
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September 2018

Role of Additional Organ Resection in Adrenocortical Carcinoma: Analysis of 167 Patients from the U.S. Adrenocortical Carcinoma Database.

Ann Surg Oncol 2018 Aug 4;25(8):2308-2315. Epub 2018 Jun 4.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 597 Preston Research Building 2220 Pierce Ave, Nashville, TN, 37232, USA.

Background: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare and aggressive cancer. This report describes factors and outcomes associated with resection of extra-adrenal organs en bloc during index adrenalectomy.

Methods: Patients who underwent ACC resection for non-metastatic disease from 1993 to 2014 at 13 participating institutions of the US-ACC Group were included in the study. Factors associated with en bloc resection were assessed by uni- and multivariate analysis. The primary end point was overall survival.

Results: In this study, 167 patients were included and categorized as adrenalectomy with en bloc resection (AdEBR) if they had extra-adrenal organs removed or adrenalectomy (Ad) if they did not. The demographics were similar between the AdEBR (n = 68, 40.7%) and Ad groups, including age, gender, race, American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) class, and body mass index (BMI). The AdEBR group had larger tumors (13 vs. 10 cm), more open operations (97.1 vs. 63.6%), and more lymph node dissections (LNDs) (36.8 vs. 12.1%). The most common organs removed were kidney (55.9%), liver (27.9%), and spleen (23.5%). Multiple organs were removed in 38.2% (n = 26) of the patients. Margin-negative resections were similar between the two groups. In the multivariate Cox regression adjusted for T and N stages, LND, margin, size, and hormone hypersecretion, en bloc resection was not associated with improved survival (hazard ratio [HR], 1.42; p = 0.323).

Conclusion: The study findings validated current practice by showing that en bloc resection should occur at index adrenalectomy for ACC when a T4 lesion is suspected pre- or intraoperatively, or when it is necessary to avoid tumor rupture. However, in this study, when a negative margin resection was otherwise achieved, removal of extra-adrenal organs en bloc was not associated with additional survival benefit.
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August 2018

Clinicopathologic score predicting lymph node metastasis in T1 gastric cancer.

Surgery 2018 04 3;163(4):889-893. Epub 2018 Feb 3.

Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA. Electronic address:

Background: Although gastrectomy with adequate regional nodal examination is considered the standard of care for invasive gastric adenocarcinoma, endoscopic resection has been adopted increasingly in select patients with T1 gastric cancer. The objective of this study was to identify preoperative predictors of lymph node metastasis in patients in the United States with T1 gastric cancer.

Methods: Patients who underwent operative resection for T1 gastric cancer between 2000 and 2012 were identified from a multi-institutional database. Clinicopathologic predictors of lymph node metastasis were determined using univariate and multivariate logistic regression. A preoperative score was created, assigning points based on each variable's regression coefficient.

Results: Among 835 patients with gastric cancer undergoing curative-intent surgical resection, 176 patients (20.5%) had T1 disease confirmed on final pathology. Of those, 38 patients (22%) had lymph node metastasis. Independent predictors of lymph node involvement on multivariate analysis were poor differentiation, T1b stage, lymphovascular invasion, and tumor size >2 cm. A clinicopathologic risk score composed of these 4 variables was created. Receiver operating curve analysis showed excellent discrimination (area under the curve = 0.79) and 100% sensitivity in detecting lymph node metastasis when only one of the aforementioned factors was present.

Conclusions: In this cohort of U.S. patients with T1 gastric adenocarcinoma, the lack of lymph node involvement could be predicted by the absence of several unfavorable factors, including T stage, poor differentiation, lymphovascular invasion, and size >2 cm.
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April 2018

A Novel T-Stage Classification System for Adrenocortical Carcinoma: Proposal from the US Adrenocortical Carcinoma Study Group.

Ann Surg Oncol 2018 Feb 21;25(2):520-527. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: The 7th AJCC T-stage system for adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC), based on size and extra-adrenal invasion, does not adequately stratify patients by survival. Lymphovascular invasion (LVI) is a known poor prognostic factor. We propose a novel T-stage system that incorporates LVI to better risk-stratify patients undergoing resection for ACC.

Method: Patients undergoing curative-intent resections for ACC from 1993 to 2014 at 13 institutions comprising the US ACC Group were included. Primary outcome was disease-specific survival (DSS).

Results: Of the 265 patients with ACC, 149 were included for analysis. The current T-stage system failed to differentiate patients with T2 versus T3 disease (p = 0.10). Presence of LVI was associated with worse DSS versus no LVI (36 mo vs. 168 mo; p = 0.001). After accounting for the individual components of the current T-stage system (size, extra-adrenal invasion), LVI remained a poor prognostic factor on multivariable analysis (hazard ratio 2.14, 95% confidence interval 1.05-4.38, p = 0.04). LVI positivity further stratified patients with T2 and T3 disease (T2: 37 mo vs. median not reached; T3: 36 mo vs. 96 mo; p = 0.03) but did not influence survival in patients with T1 or T4 disease. By incorporating LVI, a new T-stage classification system was created: [T1: ≤ 5 cm, (-)local invasion, (+/-)LVI; T2: > 5 cm, (-)local invasion, (-)LVI OR any size, (+)local invasion, (-)LVI; T3: > 5 cm, (-)local invasion, (+)LVI OR any size, (+)local invasion, (+)LVI; T4: any size, (+)adjacent organ invasion, (+/-)LVI]. Each progressive new T-stage group was associated with worse median DSS (T1: 167 mo; T2: 96 mo; T3: 37 mo; T4: 15 mo; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Compared with the current T-stage system, the proposed T-stage system, which incorporates LVI, better differentiates T2 and T3 disease and accurately stratifies patients by disease-specific survival. If externally validated, this T-stage classification should be considered for future AJCC staging systems.
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February 2018

Transplantation Versus Resection for Hilar Cholangiocarcinoma: An Argument for Shifting Treatment Paradigms for Resectable Disease.

Ann Surg 2018 05;267(5):797-805

Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Objective: To investigate the influence of type of surgery (transplant vs resection) on overall survival (OS) in patients with hilar cholangiocarcinoma (H-CCA).

Background: Outcomes after resection for H-CCA are poor, yet transplantation is currently only reserved for well-selected patients with unresectable disease.

Methods: All patients with H-CCA who underwent resection from 2000 to 2015 at 10 institutions were included. Three institutions additionally had active H-CCA transplant protocols with similar selection criteria over similar time periods.

Results: Of 304 patients with suspected H-CCA, 234 underwent attempted resection and 70 were enrolled in a transplant protocol. Excluding incomplete/R2 resections (n = 43), patients who were enrolled, but did not undergo transplant (n = 24), and transplants without confirmed H-CCA diagnoses (n = 5), 191 patients underwent curative-intent resection and 41 curative-intent transplant. Compared with resection, transplant patients were younger (52 vs 65 years; P < 0.001), and more frequently had primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC; 61% vs 2%; P < 0.001) and received chemotherapy and/or radiation (98% vs 57%; P < 0.001). Groups were otherwise similar in demographics and comorbidities. Patients who underwent transplant for confirmed H-CCA diagnosis had improved OS compared with resection (3-year: 72% vs 33%; 5-year: 64% vs 18%; P < 0.001). Among patients who underwent resection for tumors <3 cm with lymph-node negative disease, and excluding PSC patients, transplant was still associated with improved OS (3-year: 54% vs 44%; 5-year: 54% vs 29%; P = 0.03). Transplant remained associated with improved survival on intention-to-treat analysis, even after accounting for tumor size, lymph node status, and PSC (P = 0.049).

Conclusions: Resection for hilar cholangiocarcinoma that meets criteria for transplantation (<3 cm, lymph-node negative disease) is associated with substantially decreased survival compared to transplant for the same criteria with unresectable disease. Prospective trials are needed and justified.
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May 2018

The Effects of Travel Burden on Outcomes After Resection of Extrahepatic Biliary Malignancies: Results from the US Extrahepatic Biliary Consortium.

J Gastrointest Surg 2017 Dec 4;21(12):2016-2024. Epub 2017 Oct 4.

Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology, Wake Forest University, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC, 27157, USA.

Background: Surgical resection of extrahepatic biliary malignancies has been increasingly centralized at high-volume tertiary care centers. While this has improved outcomes overall, increased travel burden has been associated with worse survival for many other malignancies. We hypothesized that longer travel distances are associated with worse outcomes for these patients as well.

Study Design: Data was analyzed from the US Extrahepatic Biliary Consortium database, which retrospectively reviewed patients who received resection of extrahepatic biliary malignancies at 10 high-volume centers. Driving distance to the patient's treatment center was measured for 1025 patients. These were divided into four quartiles for analysis: < 24.5, 24.5-57.2, 57.2-117, and < 117 mi. Cox proportional hazard models were then used to measure differences in overall survival.

Results: No difference was found between the groups in severity of disease or post-operative complications. The median overall survival in each quartile was as follows: 1st = 1.91, 2nd = 1.60, 3rd = 1.30, and 4th = 1.39 years. Patients in the 3rd and 4th quartile had a significantly lower median household income (p = 0.0001) and a greater proportion Caucasian race (p = 0.0001). However, neither of these was independently associated with overall survival. The two furthest quartiles were found to have decreased overall survival (HR = 1.39, CI = 1.12-1.73 and HR = 1.3, CI = 1.04-1.62), with quartile 3 remaining significant after multivariate analysis (HR = 1.45, CI = 1.04-2.0, p = 0.028).

Conclusions: Longer travel distances were associated with decreased overall survival, especially in the 3rd quartile of our study. Patients traveling longer distances also had a lower household income, suggesting that these patients have significant barriers to care.
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December 2017

Evaluating the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement project risk calculator: results from the U.S. Extrahepatic Biliary Malignancy Consortium.

HPB (Oxford) 2017 12 7;19(12):1104-1111. Epub 2017 Sep 7.

Division of Surgical Oncology, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH, USA. Electronic address:

Background: The objective of this study is to evaluate use of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) online risk calculator for estimating common outcomes after operations for gallbladder cancer and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma.

Methods: Subjects from the United States Extrahepatic Biliary Malignancy Consortium (USE-BMC) who underwent operation between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2014 at 10 academic medical centers were included in this study. Calculator estimates of risk were compared to actual outcomes.

Results: The majority of patients underwent partial or major hepatectomy, Whipple procedures or extrahepatic bile duct resection. For the entire cohort, c-statistics for surgical site infection (0.635), reoperation (0.680) and readmission (0.565) were less than 0.7. The c-statistic for death was 0.740. For all outcomes the actual proportion of patients experiencing an event was much higher than the median predicted risk of that event. Similarly, the group of patients who experienced an outcome did have higher median predicted risk than those who did not.

Conclusions: The ACS NSQIP risk calculator is easy to use but requires further modifications to more accurately estimate outcomes for some patient populations and operations for which validation studies show suboptimal performance.
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December 2017

Blood Transfusion and Survival for Resected Adrenocortical Carcinoma: A Study from the United States Adrenocortical Carcinoma Group.

Am Surg 2017 Jul;83(7):761-768

Perioperative blood transfusion is associated with decreased survival in pancreatic, gastric, and liver cancer. The effect of transfusion in adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) has not been studied. Patients with available transfusion data undergoing curative-intent resection of ACC from 1993 to 2014 at 13 institutions comprising the United States Adrenocortical Carcinoma Group were included. Factors associated with blood transfusion were determined. Primary and secondary end points were recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS), respectively. Out of 265 patients, 149 were included for analysis. Out of these, 57 patients (38.3%) received perioperative transfusions. Compared to nontransfused patients, transfused patients more commonly had stage 4 disease (46% vs 24%, P = 0.01), larger tumors (15.8 vs 10.2 cm, P < 0.001), inferior vena cava involvement (24.6% vs 5.4%, P = 0.002), additional organ resection (78.9% vs 36.3%, P < 0.001), and major complications (29% vs 2%, P < 0.001). Transfusion was associated with decreased RFS (8.9 vs 24.7 months, P = 0.006) and OS (22.8 vs 91.0 months, P < 0.001). On univariate Cox regression, transfusion, stage IV, hormonal hypersecretion, and adjuvant therapy were associated with decreased RFS. On multivariable analysis, only transfusion [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) =1.0-2.9, P = 0.04], stage IV (HR = 3.2, 95% CI = 1.7-5.9, P < 0.001), and hormonal hypersecretion (HR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.5-4.2, P < 0.001) were associated with worse RFS. When applying this model to OS, similar associations were seen (transfusion HR = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.1-3.8, P = 0.02; stage 4 HR = 6.2, 95% CI = 3.1-12.4, P < 0.001; hormonal hypersecretion HR = 3.5, 95% CI = 1.9-6.4, P < 0.001). There was no difference in outcomes between patients who received 1 to 2 units versus >2 units of packed red blood cells in median RFS (8.9 vs 8.4 months, P = 0.95) or OS (26.5 vs 18.6 months, P = 0.63). Perioperative transfusion is associated with earlier recurrence and decreased survival after curative-intent resection of ACC. Strategies and protocols to minimize blood transfusion should be developed and followed.
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July 2017

Gallbladder Cancer Presenting with Jaundice: Uniformly Fatal or Still Potentially Curable?

J Gastrointest Surg 2017 08 11;21(8):1245-1253. Epub 2017 May 11.

Department of Surgery, Stanford University, 300 Pasteur Drive, Suite H3680D, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.

Background: Jaundice as a presenting symptom of gallbladder cancer has traditionally been considered to be a sign of advanced disease, inoperability, and poor outcome. However, recent studies have demonstrated that a small subset of these patients can undergo resection with curative intent.

Methods: Patients with gallbladder cancer managed surgically from 2000 to 2014 in 10 US academic institutions were stratified based on the presence of jaundice at presentation (defined as bilirubin ≥4 mg/ml or requiring preoperative biliary drainage). Perioperative morbidity, mortality, and overall survival were compared between jaundiced and non-jaundiced patients.

Results: Of 400 gallbladder cancer patients with available preoperative data, 108 (27%) presented with jaundice while 292 (73%) did not. The fraction of patients who eventually underwent curative-intent resection was much lower in the presence of jaundice (n = 33, 30%) than not (n = 218, 75%; P < 0.001). Jaundiced patients experienced higher perioperative morbidity (69 vs. 38%; P = 0.002), including a much higher need for reoperation (12 vs. 1%; P = 0.003). However, 90-day mortality (6.5 vs. 3.6%; P = 0.35) was not significantly higher. Overall survival after resection was worse in jaundiced patients (median 14 vs. 32 months; P < 0.001). Further subgroup analysis within the jaundiced patients revealed a more favorable survival after resection in the presence of low CA19-9 < 50 (median 40 vs. 12 months; P = 0.003) and in the absence of lymphovascular invasion (40 vs. 14 months; P = 0.014).

Conclusion: Jaundice is a powerful preoperative clinical sign of inoperability and poor outcome among gallbladder cancer patients. However, some of these patients may still achieve long-term survival after resection, especially when preoperative CA19-9 levels are low and no lymphovascular invasion is noted pathologically.
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August 2017

Curative Surgical Resection of Adrenocortical Carcinoma: Determining Long-term Outcome Based on Conditional Disease-free Probability.

Ann Surg 2017 01;265(1):197-204

Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.

Objective: To evaluate conditional disease-free survival (CDFS) for patients who underwent curative intent surgery for adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC).

Background: ACC is a rare but aggressive tumor. Survival estimates are usually reported as survival from the time of surgery. CDFS estimates may be more clinically relevant by accounting for the changing likelihood of disease-free survival (DFS) according to time elapsed after surgery.

Methods: CDFS was assessed using a multi-institutional cohort of patients. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate factors associated with DFS. Three-year CDFS (CDFS3) estimates at "x" year after surgery were calculated as follows: CDFS3 = DFS(x+3)/DFS(x).

Results: One hundred ninety-two patients were included in the study cohort; median patient age was 52 years. On presentation, 36% of patients had a functional tumor and median size was 11.5 cm. Most patients underwent R0 resection (75%) and 9% had N1 disease. Overall 1-, 3-, and 5-year DFS was 59%, 34%, and 22%, respectively. Using CDFS estimates, the probability of remaining disease free for an additional 3 years given that the patient had survived without disease at 1, 3, and 5 years, was 43%, 53%, and 70%, respectively. Patients with less favorable prognosis at baseline demonstrated the greatest increase in CDFS3 over time (eg, capsular invasion: 28%-88%, Δ60% vs no capsular invasion: 51%-87%, Δ36%).

Conclusions: DFS estimates for patients with ACC improved dramatically over time, in particular among patients with initial worse prognoses. CDFS estimates may provide more clinically relevant information about the changing likelihood of DFS over time.
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January 2017

Clinical Score Predicting Long-Term Survival after Repeat Resection for Recurrent Adrenocortical Carcinoma.

J Am Coll Surg 2016 12 13;223(6):794-803. Epub 2016 Sep 13.

Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA. Electronic address:

Background: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is an aggressive malignancy typically resistant to chemotherapy and radiation. Surgery, even in the setting of locally recurrent or metastatic disease, remains the only potentially curative option. However, the subset of patients who will benefit from repeat resection in this setting remains ill defined. The objective of this study was to propose a prognostic clinical score that facilitates selection of patients for repeat resection of recurrent ACC.

Study Design: Patients who underwent curative-intent repeat resection for recurrent ACC at 1 of 13 academic medical centers participating in the US ACC Study Group were identified. End points included morbidity, mortality, and overall survival.

Results: Fifty-six patients underwent repeat curative-intent resection for recurrent ACC (representing 21% of 265 patients who underwent resection for primary ACC) from 1997 to 2014. Median age was 52 years. Sites of resected recurrence included locoregional only (54%), lung only (14%), liver only (12%), combined locoregional and lung (4%), combined liver and lung (4%), and other distant sites (12%). Thirty-day morbidity and mortality rates were 40% and 5.4%, respectively. Cox regression analysis revealed that the presence of multifocal recurrence, disease-free interval <12 months, and extrapulmonary distant metastases were independent predictors of poor survival. A clinical score consisting of 1-point each for the 3 variables demonstrated good discrimination in predicting survival after repeat resection (5-year: 72% for 0 points, 32% for 1 point, 0% for 2 or 3 points; p = 0.0006, area under the curve = 0.78).

Conclusions: Long-term survival after repeat resection for recurrent ACC is feasible when 2 of the following factors are present: solitary tumor, disease-free interval >12 months, and locoregional or pulmonary recurrence.
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December 2016