OBJECTIVES: Advanced penile cancer is associated with a poor prognosis; therefore, providing patients with realistic expectations, addressing goals of care and offering palliative therapy when appropriate is critical. Our goal was to investigate the National Cancer Database (NCDB) and analyze the role and trends in use of palliative therapy in patients with advanced penile cancer.
METHODS: The NCDB 2004-2015 penile cancer data set was queried for patients with locally advanced, defined as cT4NanyM0 and cTanyN3M0, or metastatic disease regardless of tumor or nodal stage. Patients were categorized based on whether they did or did not receive palliative care. Palliative care was cataloged as pain management therapy, surgery, radiation or systemic treatment, any combination therapy or not otherwise specified (NOS). Our primary outcome was receiving palliative therapy. Secondary outcome was the temporal trends in palliative care. Logistic regression (LR) was performed.
RESULTS OBTAINED: 385 and 279 patients were identified with locally advanced and metastatic penile cancer respectively. 27 (7.1%) and 49 (17.6%) patients received palliative care. Average age of patients accepting palliative care was 61.9 years old, about 5 years younger than their counterparts who declined therapy (p < 0.011) in the metastatic cohort. Other patient specific demographics and clinical tumor characteristics were not significantly different in either population. Of patients with locally advanced disease pursuing palliative therapy, radiation (29.6%), surgery (14.8%), systemic treatment (14.8%) and combination treatment (22.2%) were the more popular choices. In the metastatic population, radiation (32.7%) and systemic therapy (24.5%) were the most prevalent choices for palliative treatment followed by combination treatment (16.3%), surgery (12.2%), pain management (10.2%), or NOS (4.1%). LR for the receipt of "any palliative therapy" revealed that increasing age (OR 0.971, p = 0.032) decreased the likelihood of accepting palliative therapy in the metastatic population but not in the locally advanced group. Charlson score of 2 (OR 5.966, p = 0.025) and low income (OR 3.968, p = 0.002) predicted receipt of palliative therapy in the locally advanced group. In patients with metastatic disease, African-American race (OR 2.502, p = 0.025), Charlson score 1 (2.175, p = 0.047) and 3+ (5.386, p = 0.020) predicted an increased predilection for receiving palliative therapy. Interestingly, no statistically significant difference in mortality was noted in either cohort. No significant increase in the trend of palliative care administration was seen in locally advanced and metastatic penile cancer between 2004 to 2015 (p = 0.078 and p = 0.942, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Locally advanced and metastatic penile cancer carry a high mortality rate yet only 11.4% of all patients studied received palliative care. Its use is more common in younger patients, those with co-morbidities and/or those of black race in the metastatic group. Locally advanced patients with low income or comorbidities were also more likely to opt for palliative therapy. Receipt of palliative care did not affect mortality. No increase in frequency of palliative therapy was seen, suggesting much improvement needs to be done in adopting and implementing palliative care in this patient population.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the trends and utilization of palliative care (PC) service among inpatients with metastatic bladder cancer (MBC).
METHODS: A retrospective, cross-sectional analysis was performed using data from the 2003 to 2014 National Inpatient Sample. Palliative care was identified through International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code V66.7. Demographics, comorbidities, hospital characteristics, tumor-related, and treatment-related factors were compared between patients with and without PC. Multivariable logistic regression was used to explore predictors of PC use.
RESULTS: Among 131 852 patients with MBC, 13 224 (10.03%) received PC. Rate of PC increased from 2.49% in 2003 to 28.39% in 2014 (P < .0001). Similarly, rate of PC in decedents increased from 7.02% in 2003 to 54.86% in 2014 (P < .0001). Patients receiving PC were older, tendered to be white, had more comorbidities, and higher all-patient refined diagnosis-related group mortality risk. Predictors of PC included age (odds ratio [OR]: 1.02; 95% CI: 1.01-1.02; P < .0001), Medicaid (OR: 1.87; 95%.CI: 1.54-2.26; P < .0001), and private (OR: 1.61; 95% CI: 1.40-1.84; P < .0001) insurance, hospitals in the West (OR: 1.33; 95% CI: 1.10-1.61; P = .0032), and Mid-west (OR: 1.46; 95% CI: 1.22-1.75; P = .0032), major (OR: 1.32; 95% CI: 1.11-1.49; P < .0001), and extreme (OR: 2.37; 95% CI: 2.04-2.76; P < .0001) mortality risk. Chemotherapy and mechanical ventilation were related with lower odds of PC use. Palliative care predictors in the decedents were similar to those in overall patients with bladder cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: Palliative care encounter in MBC shows an increasing trend. However, it still remains very low. Disparities in PC use covered age, insurance, and hospital characteristics among metastatic bladder cancer in the United States.
Objective: To characterize the use of palliative care for patients with metastatic prostate cancer and identify its associations with costs, hospital course, and discharge.
Materials and Methods: Using the National Inpatient Sample database from 2012 to 2013, we identified 99 070 patients with metastatic prostate cancer and analyzed the data from their hospital admissions using descriptive statistics, 2 analysis, and regression modeling.
Results: Palliative care services were consulted in 10.4% (10 300) of metastatic prostate cancer admissions. These admissions were associated with nonelective origin, acute complications, and reduced surgical procedures and chemotherapy. Patients in private, investor-owned hospitals had a 51.6% less consultations (P < .001), while nonprofit and government, nonfederal hospitals had 4.7% and 7.8% more consultations (P < .001). Median costs and charges were only marginally less (2.1% and 5.6%, respectively, P < .001), length of stay was 22% higher (P < .001), and in-house mortality was 147.2% higher in the consultation group (P < .001). Controlling for other factors, patients seen by palliative care were more likely to have do-not-resuscitate orders (odds ratio [OR]: 5.25, P < .001) and be transferred to another facility like hospice (OR: 3.90, P < .001) or to home health (OR: 3.85, P < .001).
Conclusions: Palliative care consultation could improve care for patients with metastatic prostate cancer in a different manner than observed in other diseases. With our characterization of the incidence and patient and hospital factors, we can conclude that there is room to expand palliative care’s role beyond uninsured patients in large, urban teaching hospitals.
INTRODUCTION: In patients with advanced cancer, prolongation of life with treatment often incurs substantial emotional and financial expense. Among hospitalized patients with cancer since acute kidney injury (AKI) is known to be associated with much higher odds for hospital mortality, we investigated whether renal replacement therapy (RRT) use in the intensive care unit (ICU) was a significant independent predictor of worse outcomes.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed patients admitted in 2005 to 2014 who were diagnosed with stage IV solid tumors, had AKI, and a nephrology consult. The main outcomes were survival times from the landmark time points, inpatient mortality, and longer term survival after hospital discharge. Logistic regression and Cox proportional regression were used to compare inpatient mortality and longer term survival between RRT and non-RRT groups. Propensity score-matched landmark survival analyses were performed with 2 landmark time points chosen at day 2 and at day 7 from ICU admission.
RESULTS: Of the 465 patients with stage IV cancer admitted to the ICU with AKI, 176 needed RRT. In the multivariate logistic regression model after adjusting for baseline serum albumin and baseline maximum Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA), the patients who received RRT were not significantly different from non-RRT patients in inpatient mortality (odds ratio: 1.004 [95% confidence interval: 0.598-1.684], P = .9892). In total, 189 patients were evaluated for the impact of RRT on long-term survival and concluded that RRT was not significantly associated with long-term survival after discharge for patients who discharged alive. Landmark analyses at day 2 and day 7 confirmed the same findings.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study found that receiving RRT in the ICU was not significantly associated with inpatient mortality, survival times from the landmark time points, and long-term survival after discharge for patients with stage IV cancer with AKI.
Purpose: To investigate the effectiveness of palliative pelvic radiation therapy (PRT) in patients with bladder cancer and identify factors associated with treatment outcome.
Methods and Materials: Patients with bladder cancer receiving PRT were identified retrospectively from 2 cancer centers between 2014 and 2017. Patients were stratified by age, stage, performance status, comorbidities, previous chemotherapy, previous radiation therapy, and radiation therapy protocol. Patients were followed up at 6 weeks after radiation therapy (RT). Median overall survival (mOS) from the last fraction of RT was calculated. Death within 30 days of RT or noncompletion of treatment were considered as futile treatment.
Results: Two hundred forty-one patients were identified as receiving PRT. A variety of RT protocols were used: 8 Gy in 1 fraction (11%), 21 Gy in 3 fractions (15%), 20 Gy in 5 fractions (18%), 36 Gy in 6 fractions (36%), and 27.5 to 30 Gy in 8 to 10 fractions (18%). Thirty-eight percent of patients were of poor performance status (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status =3), and 46.5% had significant comorbidities (Adult Comorbidity Evaluation-27 =2). The mOS from the last fraction of RT was 153 days (0-1289 days). The 30-day mortality after radiation therapy was 18% (n = 44), and the rate of incomplete planned radiation therapy treatment was 14% (n = 33). First follow-up information was available in 62% (n = 150) of patients. Median time to this follow-up was 49 days (14-238 days). At first follow-up at about 6 weeks after the last fraction of radiation therapy, symptoms were reported in 150 of 200 (75%) living patients; 80 of 150 (53%) patients reported improvement in symptoms after treatment. There were significant differences in mOS with stage, performance status, and comorbidities.
Conclusions: One in 4 patients either did not complete the planned RT course or died within 30 days of treatment. These patients were unlikely to have received maximal benefit from treatment but may have experienced side effects, making treatment futile. Patients with good performance status and earlier stage disease survived longer. Patient selection and comprehensive assessment are crucial in selecting appropriate patients for treatment.
Background: Use of inpatient palliative care (IPC) in advanced cancer patients represents a well-established guideline recommendation. A recent analysis demonstrated that genitourinary (GU) cancer patients benefited of IPC at the second lowest rate within the four examined primaries, namely lung, breast, colorectal, and GU. Based on this observation, we examined temporal trends and predictors of IPC use in metastatic prostate cancer patients receiving critical care therapies (CCT).
Materials and methods: We identified mPCa patients receiving CCT within the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database (2004–2015). IPC use rates were evaluated using univariable estimated annual percentage changes analyses. Multivariable logistic regression (MLR) models were used after adjustment for clustering at hospital level.
Results: Of 4168 mPCa patients receiving CCT, 449 (11.3%) received IPC. IPC use increased from 1.2 to 22.3% (EAPC: +19.6%, p < 0.001). After stratification according to regions, race, and teaching status, the highest increase of IPC use was recorded in the South (from 0 to 25.4 %, EAPC: +27.6%), in Caucasians (from 1.5 to 24.4 %, EAPC: +19.8%; p < 0.001) and in teaching hospitals (from 0.9 to 26.2 %, EAPC: +19.6%; p < 0.001). In MLR models, teaching status (Odds ratio [OR]: 1.74, p < 0.001) and contemporary year interval (OR: 4.63, p < 0.001) were associated with higher IPC rates. Conversely, African American race (OR: 0.66, p < 0.001) and primary diagnosis of GU disorders (OR: 0.49, p < 0.001) and gastrointestinal (GI) disorders at admission (OR: 0.61, p = 0.02) were associated with lower IPC rates.
Conclusions: IPC use rate in mPCa patients receiving CCT sharply increased between 2004 and 2015. The highest increase of IPC use across time was recorded in the South, in Caucasian race, and in teaching hospitals. African-American race and nonteaching status were identified as independent predictors of lower IPC use and represent targets for efforts aimed at improving IPC delivery in mPCa patients receiving CCT.
BACKGROUND: Use of inpatient palliative care (IPC) in the treatment of advanced cancer represents a well-established guideline recommendation. A recent analysis showed that patients with genitourinary cancer benefit from IPC at the second lowest rate among 4 examined primary cancers, namely lung, breast, colorectal, and genitourinary. Based on this observation, temporal trends and predictors of IPC use were examined in patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (mUCB) receiving critical care therapies (CCTs).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with mUCB receiving CCTs were identified within the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database (2004-2015). IPC use rates were evaluated in estimated annual percentage change (EAPC) analyses. Multivariable logistic regression models with adjustment for clustering at the hospital level were used.
RESULTS: Of 1,944 patients with mUCB receiving CCTs, 191 (9.8%) received IPC. From 2004 through 2015, IPC use increased from 0.7% to 25.0%, respectively (EAPC, +23.9%; P<.001). In analyses stratified according to regions, the highest increase in IPC use was recorded in the Northeast (EAPC, +44.0%), followed by the West (EAPC, +26.8%), South (EAPC, +22.9%), and Midwest (EAPC, +15.5%). Moreover, the lowest rate of IPC adoption in 2015 was recorded in the Midwest (14.3%). In multivariable logistic regression models, teaching status (odds ratio [OR], 1.97; P<.001), more recent diagnosis (2010-2015; OR, 3.89; P<.001), and presence of liver metastases (OR, 1.77; P=.02) were associated with higher IPC rates. Conversely, Hispanic race (OR, 0.42; P=.03) and being hospitalized in the Northeast (OR, 0.36; P=.01) were associated with lower rate of IPC adoption. Finally, patients with a primary admission diagnosis that consisted of infection (OR, 2.05; P=.002), cardiovascular disorders (OR, 2.10; P=.03), or pulmonary disorders (OR, 2.81; P=.005) were more likely to receive IPC.
CONCLUSIONS: The rate of IPC use in patients with mUCB receiving CCTs sharply increased between 2004 and 2015. The presence of liver metastases, infections, or cardiopulmonary disorders as admission diagnoses represented independent predictors of higher IPC use. Conversely, Hispanic race, nonteaching hospital status, and hospitalization in the Midwest were identified as independent predictors of lower IPC use and represent targets for efforts to improve IPC delivery in patients with mUCB receiving CCT.
INTRODUCTION: To study the characteristics and health care utilization of men with prostate cancer (PCa) during their last year and last month of life, as these data have been rarely reported to date.
SUBJECTS AND METHOD: Men covered by the national health Insurance general scheme (77% of the French population) treated for PCa (2014-2015), who died in 2015 were identified in the national health data system, including reimbursed hospital and outpatient care, and their causes of death.
RESULTS: A total of 11,193 men (mean age: 81 years, SD: 9.6) were included. Almost 58% of these men died in a short-stay hospital (SSH), 4% died in hospital-at-home, 9% died in Rehab, 9% died in skilled nursing homes and 21% died at home. During the last year of life, almost all men were hospitalised at least once in SSH and 47% received hospital palliative care (HPC), immediately prior to death in 8% of cases. During the last month of life, 76% of men were hospitalised at least once in SSH, 43% attended an emergency department and 14% were admitted to intensive care, 7% received a chemotherapy session, and 24% received an antineoplastic agent dispensed by a retail pharmacy. Cancer was the main cause of death for 63% of men, corresponding to PCa in 40% of cases, and cardiovascular disease was the main cause of death for 13% of men with marked variations according to age, place of death, and use of HPC. The mean cost reimbursed per man during the last year of life was €38,750 (€48,601 including HPC).
CONCLUSIONS: In France, end-of-life management of men with PCa, regardless of the cause of death, is centered on SSH and HPC, essentially at the time of death. Certain indicators of end-of-life management were particular high.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4.
BACKGROUND/AIM: The aim of this study was to review the outcomes of palliative radiotherapy (RT) for hematuria treated with modern RT techniques.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study. The primary endpoint was symptom response rate. Secondary endpoints included symptom recurrence rate, overall survival and treatment-related toxicity.
RESULTS: Median age was 82 years (range=36-98 years). Median biologically effective dose (BED) was 36 Gy. Sixty-seven percent of patients (39/58) responded to RT. The median survival duration was 5.6 months (range=0.02-47.6 months). One third (13/39) of responders had recurrence of hematuria. Competing Risk regression with death as the competing risk showed that patients treated with low BED regimen (<36 Gy) had 5.76 times the hazard of recurrence compared to high BED regimen (>36 Gy) (p=0.01). One patient (2%) developed grade 3 nausea and vomiting which required admission for intravenous hydration.
CONCLUSION: BED regimens should be recommended as they are associated with a significantly lower rate of recurrent hematuria.
PURPOSE: Clinical data warehouses (cDWHs) and cancer registry databases have enabled researchers to conduct clinical analytics with structured electronic health record data. However, these secondary electronic health record sources are often limited in scope because they do not capture the clinical information needed to understand complex clinical questions. Thus, we evaluated the effect of additional curation of data.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Clinical data sets of 149 patients with prostate cancer with biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy treated with salvage or palliative radiotherapy between 2008 and 2017 from our institutional cDWH and Gießener Tumor Documentation System (GTDS) were linked (data warehouse [DWH] population) for analyzing treatment outcomes. The linked data sets were manually curated (manual postprocessing [MPP], eg, incorporate data from established urologists). The primary outcomes were the impact on data quality of treatment outcomes and the time spent on data curation.
RESULTS: We obtained significantly more information on disease progression and patient survival (nonsignificant) when using curated data; the biochemical progression-free survival rate at 5 years for the DWH and DWH plus MPP populations was 63% v 30% (P = .001) and the overall survival rate was 84% v 81% (P = .479), respectively. The median deviation of completeness and the median concordance of clinical data values were 21.47% (range, 55.38%-100%) and 95.00% (range, 63.40%-100%), respectively. We spent 121 hours, 42 minutes on data curation, with most time required for laboratory values, accounting, for a total of 45 hours, 20 minutes (37.26%).
CONCLUSION: Our analysis indicates that time-to-event outcomes for patients with prostate cancer cannot be extracted using secondary data sources (cDWH plus GTDS) only. Outcomes data differed between the electronic data (DWH) and the second manual extraction (DWH plus MPP) because of a lack of follow-up data. When using such unique database resources, only baseline characteristics can reliably be extracted.
Background: The peak incidence of bladder cancer (BCa) occurs at 85 years but data on treatment and outcome are sparse in this age group. We aimed to compare the outcomes of high-grade nonmuscle invasive BCa (HG NMIBC) and muscle invasive BCa (MIBC) treated with standard therapies vs. palliative management in patients >85 years.
Methods: Retrospective multicenter study of 317 patients >85 years who underwent transurethral resection (TURB) for de novo BCa between 2014 and 2016. Standard management consisted in following EAU-guidelines and palliative in monitoring patients without applying oncological treatments after TURB. Low-grade tumors were not compared because all of them were considered to have followed a standard management.
Results: Median age was 87 years (85–97). ASA-score was as follows: II, 34.7%; III, 52.1%; IV, 13.2%. Pathological examination showed: 86 Low-grade NMIBC (27.1%), 156 HG NMIBC (49.2%), and 75 MIBC (23.7%). Median follow-up of the series was 21 months (3–61) and median overall survival (OS) 29 (24–33). Among HG NMIBC, 77 patients (49.4%) received standard treatments (BCG, restaging TURB) and 79 (50.6%) palliative management. Among MIBC, 24 (32%) received standard management (cystectomy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy) and 51 (68%) palliative. Applying standard management in HG NMIBC was an independent prognostic factor of OS (44 months vs. 24, HR 1.95; P = 0.013) and decreased the emergency visit rate (33% vs. 43%). In MIBC, the type of management was not a related to OS (P = 0.439) and did not decrease the emergency visit rate (33% vs. 33%). ASA and Charlson-score were not predictors of OS in HG NMIBC (P = 0.368, P = 0.386) and MIBC (P = 0.511, P = 0.665).
Conclusions: Chronological age should not be a contraindication for applying standard therapies in NMIBC. In MIBC the survival is low regardless of the type of management. The lack of correlation between OS and ASA or Charlson-score raises the necessity of a geriatric assessment for selecting the best treatment strategy.
PURPOSE: Several new drug therapies have been approved in CRPC in the past decade. However, little is known about their potential overuse at the end of life. Cancer therapy use at the end of life has been considered an indicator of overtreatment. The study objective was to describe CRPC drug use in the last month of life of CRPC patients in Quebec.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Using administrative databases from the province of Quebec in Canada, we identified patients who received medical or surgical castration treatment, received one or more CRPC drugs (chemotherapy, abiraterone, or bone-targeted therapy), and died between 2001 and 2013. CRPC drug use in the last month of life was the primary outcome.
RESULTS: The cohort consisted of 1,148 patients with CRPC. A total of 316 men (27.5%) received a CRPC drug in the last month of life. For those who received chemotherapy, abiraterone, and bone-targeted therapy, 10.2%, 27.8%, and 31.8% received them in the last month of life, respectively. In multivariable analyses, age older than 75 years (odds ratio [OR], 0.75; 95% CI, 0.57 to 0.99), and prostate cancer diagnosis received less than 24 months earlier (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.72) were associated with less CRPC drug use. Relative to dying between 2005 and 2011, dying between 2012 and 2013 (OR 1.60; 95% CI, 1.18 to 2.18) was associated with greater CRPC drug use.
CONCLUSION: More than one quarter of patients received CRPC drug therapies in the last month of life. Persistent chemotherapy, abiraterone, bone-targeted therapies, and medical castration drugs in the last month of life may be an indicator of inappropriate and expensive end-of-life care.
Several immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies (CPIs) have been approved to treat metastatic urothelial cell carcinoma (mUC). Because of the favorable toxicity profile of CPI compared with chemotherapy, oncologists may have a low threshold to prescribe CPI to patients near the end of life. We evaluated trends in initiation of end-of-life systemic therapy in 1,637 individuals in the Flatiron Health Database who were diagnosed with mUC between 2015 and 2017 and who died. Rates of systemic therapy initiation in the last 30 and 60 days of life were 17.0% and 29.8%, respectively. The quarterly proportion of patients who initiated CPI within 60 days of death increased from 1.0% to 23% during the study period (p trend < .001). After CPI approval, end-of-life CPI initiation significantly increased among patients with poor performance status (p trend = .020) and did not significantly change among individuals with good performance status. The quarterly proportion of patients who initiated any systemic therapy at the end of life doubled (17.4% to 34.8%) during the study period, largely explained by increased CPI use. These findings suggest a dramatic rise in CPI use at the end of life in patients with mUC, a finding that may have important guideline and policy implications.
INTRODUCTION: Systematic integration of palliative care in a surgical setting is important, but has yet to be achieved. Despite evidence of early palliative care improving patients' quality of life, hospice utilization remains low. Through an integrated palliative care-urology clinic, we aim to assess the effect of early outpatient palliative care on hospice utilization, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and satisfaction in patients with advanced urological cancers.
METHODS: Participants were recruited from 2012 through 2016 in the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Hospital. We partnered with palliative care clinicians to develop an integrated urology-palliative care clinic, where participants were seen by the palliative care team on the same day as their urological visit. The 12-item Short-Form Survey, Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire Short-Form, Patient Health Questionnaire, and Brief Pain Inventory were administered at initial and subsequent visits. Follow-up questionnaire results were compared between baseline and the 2 follow-up visits, and hospice utilization rates were assessed.
RESULTS: Fifty-three participants completed baseline questionnaires. Of those 22 (42%) patients completed at least one follow-up assessment. The median time for the first and second follow-up visits was 2.9 and 7.8 months, respectively. There were no significant differences in HRQOL and satisfaction between baseline and subsequent follow-up visits. A total of 36 (68%) of 53 participants who were enrolled at the start of the study were deceased. Of those, 29 (81%) expired within a home or inpatient hospice.
CONCLUSIONS: Rates of hospice use were high in an integrated palliative care-urology model. Health-related quality of life and satisfaction did not worsen over time.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the rate and determinants of palliative care use among Medicare beneficiaries with bladder cancer and encourage a national dialogue on improving coordinated urologic, oncologic, and palliative care in patients with genitourinary malignancies.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data, we identified patients diagnosed with muscle-invasive bladder cancer between 2008-2013. Our primary outcome was receipt of palliative care, defined as the presence of a claim submitted by a Hospice and Palliative Medicine subspecialist. We examined determinants of palliative care use using logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: Over the study period, 7303 patients were diagnosed with muscle-invasive bladder cancer and 262 (3.6%) received palliative care. Of 2185 patients with advanced bladder cancer-defined as either T4, N+, or M+ disease-90 (4.1%) received palliative care. Most patients that received palliative care (>80%, >210/262) did so within 24 months of diagnosis. On multivariable analysis, patients receiving palliative care were more likely to be younger, female, have greater comorbidity, live in the central United States, and have undergone radical cystectomy as opposed to a bladder sparing approach. The adjusted probability of receiving palliative care did not significantly change over time.
CONCLUSION(S): Palliative care provides a host of benefits for cancer patients, including improved spirituality, decrease in disease-specific symptoms, and better functional status. However, despite strong evidence for incorporating palliative care into standard oncologic care, use in patients with bladder cancer is low at 4%. This study provides a conservative baseline estimate of current palliative care use and should serve as a foundation to further investigate physician-, patient-, and system-level barriers to this care.
PURPOSE: There is limited information on the use of data visualization tools for health services research applications. We provide a proof-of-concept application that focuses on claims-based measures of palliative radiation therapy. We investigate whether a guided, data-driven investigation contributes information for subsequent statistical analysis and algorithm development.
METHODS: This retrospective cohort study used linked registry and claims data on men who were diagnosed with stage IV M0 or stage IV M1b prostate cancer between 2005 and 2009, with associated claims from 2005 through 2010, and receiving radiation therapy. Preprocessing of data was accomplished by using EventFlow software to investigate longitudinal patterns in claims for radiation therapy in the 13 months after cancer diagnosis. Guided by results from EventFlow, we developed descriptive statistics to investigate the length of radiation therapy, use of bone metastasis coding, and mortality between M1b and M0 patients.
RESULTS: A total of 1,151 patients met the inclusion criteria. Taking advantage of the novel aggregation capability of EventFlow, we observed differences in the length of radiation therapy and the use of bone metastasis coding between men with (M1b) and without (M0) a diagnosis of bone metastasis. Seventy-nine percent of M1b patients received radiation for a duration = 4 weeks, which suggested palliative radiation (to the bone). Seventy-six percent of M0 patients received radiation for = 6 weeks, which suggested radiation to the prostate. Mortality was higher among those who received a shorter duration of radiation therapy compared with those who received a longer duration of therapy.
CONCLUSION: Use of EventFlow, followed by statistical analysis of the linked registry and claims data, identified useful components of a claims-based measure of radiation to the bone.
OBJECTIVES: Increasing survival of patients with metastatic prostate cancer (PCa) may impact the demand for palliative radiation to bone (PRTB). Our aim was to characterize the use of PRTB in patients who died of PCa in British Columbia between 2003 and 2015.
METHODS: All patients diagnosed with PCa that died in the period (n=23,260) were identified from a population-based provincial registry. Patient and treatment characteristics were analyzed. PRTB utilization rate was calculated by year and location. Survival was calculated from the first and the last course of PRTB.
RESULTS: 5701 died of PCa, with median survival from diagnosis of 5.2 years. Overall PRTB utilization rate was 38.6%, with an increasing trend over time. Multiple courses of PRTB were frequent, with 51% receiving two or more courses of PRTB. 5.4% of the patients who died of PCa (15.2% of the PRTB cohort) received PRTB within the last 4 weeks of their life, of whom 60% received multiple fractions. Rural areas had lower referral rate and lower use of PRTB. Patients with longer survival tended to receive multiple courses of treatments. Median survival after the first course of PRTB increased from 8.2 months in 2003-4 to 9.4 months in 2013-14 (p=0.04).
CONCLUSION: PRTB is only used in the minority of patients dying of prostate cancer. The majority that die of PCa following PRTB do so within a year of their first course. The use of multifraction was common in the last 4 weeks of life. Survival after first PRTB increased minimally over time, and additional research is required to identify its association with recent changes in practice. The referral rate and PRTB utilization rate differ between rural and non-rural locations, underlying the importance of accessibility and referral for utilization of PRTB. Investigating other barriers and ensuring equitable access to radiation are needed.
BACKGROUND: This study was conducted to investigate a new short-course radiotherapy regimen for patients with metastatic hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) presenting with a dominant debilitating symptom.
METHODS / DESIGN: This is an international, multi-center single arm prospective feasibility study that aims to include 34 patients with HRPC and a dominant debilitating symptom. The dominant symptomatic lesion will receive 4 × 5 Gy of high-precision radiotherapy, and the most aggressive part of the lesion 4 × 7 Gy using a simultaneous integrated boost technique. Based on advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), an apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) map will be calculated for the lesion using diffusion weighted imaging sequences. The dominant symptomatic lesion (GTV1) is drawn manually using the information from T2w-MRI and computed tomography scans. The most aggressive part of the dominant lesion (GTV2) is defined by using the ADC map. An auxiliary volume is created including only voxels in the GTV1 that presents with ADC values below 1200 × 10- 6 mm2/s. The most aggressive part is defined as voxels with an ADC value below the median ADC value. Primary endpoint is feasibility, i.e. proportion of patients who complete radiotherapy with =90% of the prescribed dose. Secondary endpoints include dominant symptom score, progression-free survival (freedom from symptoms), overall survival, acute toxicity, quality of life, change in ADC from baseline to end of treatment and 6 months following treatment.
DISCUSSION: If this new radiotherapy regimen proves to be feasible, a prospective randomized phase II/III dose escalation study will be designed in order to improve the outcomes of palliative radiotherapy of symptomatic metastatic HRPC.
STUDY STATUS: The study is ongoing and will be recruiting patients soon.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov NCT03658434 . Initially registered on 30th of July, 2018.
Clear cell carcinoma is the most common form of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Metastatic RCC is poorly responsive to treatment and has a bleak prognosis. Newer systemic agents have improved outcomes. Furthermore, their interaction with radiation treatment (RT) may provide further therapeutic options. RCC is considered to be radioresistant, however we report the case of a patient with progression on targeted therapy and immunotherapy who achieved a substantial and sustained local, and possibly abscopal, response to low dose palliative radiation therapy.
BACKGROUND/AIM: Compared to intravenous taxane chemotherapy, newer orally-available and/or less toxic agents for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (MCRPC) may be associated with higher likelihood of starting treatment in patients with adverse prognostic features and limited life expectancy. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the rates of treatment initiation during the last 30 days of life in a real-world cohort of men with MCRPC.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of 146 patients.
RESULTS: Seven patients (5%) who started any systemic treatment during the last 30 days of life were identified. The likelihood of treatment initiation in the last 30 days of life correlated significantly with the number of lines of systemic treatment (higher risk for previously treated patients) and non-use of bone-targeted agents.
CONCLUSION: Initiation of systemic therapy in the last 30 days of life was uncommon. This endpoint might complement other quality-of-care indicators.