BACKGROUND: This study investigated the prognostic effects of venous thromboembolism (VTE)-related factors in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer receiving palliative chemotherapy. Predictive factors for VTE were also investigated.
METHODS: A total of 216 patients diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer who received gemcitabine-based palliative chemotherapy at our institution were retrospectively evaluated.
RESULTS: VTE occurred in 51 (23.6%) patients during treatment and did not affect survival. However, patients who were diagnosed with VTE at the beginning of chemotherapy showed poor prognosis compared with patients diagnosed with VTE during chemotherapy: all patients (hazard ratio [HR] 1.897, p = 0.008); patients diagnosed with VTE (HR = 3.768, p = 0.001). Low serum sodium (Na) (< 135 mmol/L) and high Khorana score (=3) were strong predictive factors of early VTE (odds ratio [OR] 5.109; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.010–25.845; p = 0.049 for Khorana score, OR 10.304; 95% CI = 1.036–102.466; p = 0.047) for hyponatremia).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that occurrence and detection of VTE in the early period of chemotherapy was the most significant VTE-related prognostic factor in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer receiving chemotherapy. Prediction using the Khorana score and serum Na levels would be helpful in early diagnosis of VTE.
Background/Aims: Patients with pancreatic cancer (PC) generally have poor clinical outcomes. Early determination of their prognosis is crucial for developing a therapeutic strategy. Recently, various inflammatory markers have been validated as prognostic indicators for many cancers, including PC. However, few studies have evaluated these markers together. Thus, the purpose of this study was to comprehensively evaluate the value of inflammatory markers as prognostic indicators in patients with advanced PC treated with gemcitabine-based chemotherapy as the first line regimen.
Methods: This was a single-center retrospective study evaluating 302 patients with advanced PC who began first line treatment between November 2004 and August 2016. These patients were monitored until June 2017. Survival rates were assessed with univariate and multivariate analyses. Continuous variables were separated using the normal range or ideal cut-off levels determined by receiver operating curve analyses.
Results: Among inflammatory markers evaluated, neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio (NLR), platelet to lymphocyte ratio (PLR), and C-reactive protein (CRP) to albumin ratio (CRP-albumin ratio) were independent predictors of overall survival (hazard ratio, 1.712, 1.345, and 1.454, respectively). Difference in survival rates was significant (p < 0.001) among three groups divided by the number of marker-related risks.
Conclusions: Baseline inflammatory markers including NLR, PLR, and CRP-albumin ratio are useful in predicting survival rates in patients with PC. Combining these three markers is proven to be valuable.
Goals of work: This study examined cancer patient and family member preferences-and the reasons for the preferences-regarding place of terminal care and of death.
Patients and methods: We constructed a questionnaire that included demographic, clinical, and support network data for 371 patients who were treated at any of the seven university hospitals or the National Cancer Center in Korea and 281 of their family members.
Main results: About half of the interviewed patients and half of the family members expressed a preference for the patient being cared for and dying at home. The preference reflected a wish for patients to live out their lives in privacy and to be with their family when their life ended. Those who expressed a preference to be cared for or to die in a hospital wanted to get medical treatment during the last days of life and to relieve their families of the burden of caring for them. Of the variables examined, support network factors and some sociodemographic factors (sex, family members' age, and place of residence) were strongly predictive of preferences.
Conclusion: A majority of cancer patients preferred to receive terminal care at home. Cancer patients and family members with strong support groups were more likely to prefer the home as the place of terminal care and dying. Hence, improving support networks might increase the proportion of patients receiving home care and dying at home.