Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden)

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Publications in this journal

  • Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background. For Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the International Prognostic Index is the major tool for prognostication and considers an age above 60 years as a risk factor. However, there are several indications that increasing age is associated with more biological complexity, resulting in differences in DLBCL biology depending on age. Methods. We conducted a registry-based retrospective cohort study of all Swedish DLBCL patients diagnosed 2000-2013, to evaluate the importance of age at diagnosis for survival of DLBCL patients. Results. In total, 7166 patients were included for further analysis. Survival declined for every 10-year age group and every age group above the age of 39 had a statistically decreased survival compared to the reference group of 20-29 years. In an analysis of relative survival, and in a multifactorial model adjusted for stage, ECOG performance status, serum lactate dehydrogenase and involvement of extranodal sites, each age group above age 39 had a significantly higher risk ratio (p = 0.01) compared to the reference group. Conclusion. This is one of the largest population-based studies of DLBCL published to date. In this study, age persisted as a significant adverse risk factor for patients as young as 40 years, even after adjustment for other risk factors.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives. This cross-sectional study estimates the resource use and costs among prevalent colorectal cancer (CRC) patients in different states of the disease. Methods. Altogether 508 Finnish CRC patients (aged 26-96; colon cancer 56%; female 47%) answered a questionnaire enquiring about informal care, work capacity, and demographic factors. Furthermore, data on direct medical resource use and productivity costs were obtained from registries. Patients were divided into five mutually exclusive groups based on the disease state and the time from diagnosis: primary treatments (the first six months after the diagnosis), rehabilitation, remission, metastatic disease, and palliative care. The costs were calculated for a six-month period. Multivariate modeling was performed to find the cost drivers. Results. The costs were highest during the primary treatment state and the advanced disease states. The total costs for the cross-sectional six-month period were €22 200 in the primary treatment state, €2106 in the rehabilitation state, €2812 in the remission state, €20 540 in the metastatic state, and €21 146 in the palliative state. Most of the costs were direct medical costs. The informal care cost was highest per patient in the palliative care state, amounting to 33% of the total costs. The productivity costs varied between disease states, constituting 19-40% of the total costs, and were highest in the primary treatment state. Conclusions. The first six months after the diagnosis of CRC are resource intensive, but compared with the metastatic disease state, which lasts on average for 2-3 years, the costs are rather modest. Informal care constitutes a remarkable share of the total costs, especially in the palliative state. These results form a basis for the evaluation of the cost effectiveness of new treatments when allocating resources in CRC treatment.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background. The Faroe Islands have had nationally organised cervical cancer screening since 1995. Women aged 25-60 years are invited every third year. Participation is free of charge. Although several European overviews on cervical screening are available, none have included the Faroe Islands. Our aim was to provide the first description of cervical cancer screening, and to determine the screening history of women diagnosed with cervical cancer in the Faroe Islands. Material and methods. Screening data from 1996 to 2012 were obtained from the Diagnostic Centre at the National Hospital of the Faroe Islands. They included information on cytology and HPV testing whereas information on histology was not registered consistently. Process indicators were calculated, including coverage rate, excess smears, proportion of abnormal cytological samples, and frequency of HPV testing. Data on cervical cancer cases were obtained from the Faroese Ministry of Health Affairs. The analysis of the screening history was undertaken for cases diagnosed in 2000-2010. Results. A total of 52 457 samples were taken in 1996-2012. Coverage varied between 67% and 81% and was 71% in 2012. Excess smears decreased after 1999. At present, 7.0% of samples have abnormal cytology. Of all ASCUS samples, 76-95% were tested for HPV. A total of 58% of women diagnosed with cervical cancer did not participate in screening prior to their diagnosis, and 32% had normal cytology in the previous four years. Conclusion. Despite the difficult geographical setting, the organised cervical cancer screening programme in the Faroe Islands has achieved a relatively high coverage rate. Nevertheless, challenges, e.g. consistent histology registration and sending reminders, still exist.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 12/2014;
  • Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 12/2014;
  • Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background. We aimed to investigate cancer-bereaved youths' opinions and experiences of being told about a parent's imminent death from cancer and of barriers to this communication. Material and methods. This nationwide population-based survey included 622/851 (73%) youths (aged 18-26) who at age 13-16, 6-9 years earlier had lost a parent to cancer. Results. In total 595 of 610 (98%) of the participants stated that teenage children should be informed when the parent's death was imminent (i.e. a matter of hours or days, not weeks). 59% stated that they themselves had been told this, 37% by the parents, 7% by parents and healthcare professionals together and 8% by professionals only. Frequent reasons for why the teenager and parents did not talk about imminent death before loss were that one (n = 106) or both (n = 25) of the parents together with the teenage child had pretended that the illness was not that serious, or that none of the parents had been aware that death was imminent (n = 80). Up to a couple of hours before the loss, 43% of participants had not realized that death was imminent. Conclusion. In this population-based study virtually all youth who at ages 13-16 had lost a parent to cancer afterwards stated that teenagers should be told when loss is near, i.e. a matter of hours or days, not weeks. Many stated that they had not been given this information and few were informed by professionals, with implications for future improvements in end-of-life care of patients with teenage children.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 12/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) has emerged as an effective treatment for localized prostate cancer. However, prostate specific antigen (PSA) kinetics after prostate SBRT have not been well characterized. The purpose of this study was to analyze the trend in PSA decline following robotic SBRT from a prospective cohort of patients. Material and methods. In total 175 patients were treated definitively for localized prostate cancer to a dose of 35-36.25 Gy in 5 fractions using robotic SBRT in the absence of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). PSA and testosterone were collected at regular intervals following treatment and patients were assessed for biochemical failure and benign PSA bounce. A PSA nadir threshold of 0.5 ng/ml was used as a predictor of long-term disease-free survival. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the effect of disease specific covariates on the likelihood of achieving a PSA nadir less than threshold. PSA kinetics were analyzed a multi-component exponential model accounting for benign and malignant sources of PSA. Results and conclusion. At a median follow-up of 3 years, 70% of patients achieved a PSA nadir below 0.5 ng/ml with a median PSA nadir of 0.3 ng/ml at a median time to nadir of 30 months. In our cohort, 36.2% experienced a benign PSA bounce. Absence of PSA bounce, initial PSA, and testosterone at the time of nadir proved to be significant predictors of achieving a PSA nadir below threshold. PSA kinetics after prostate SBRT were well described with a functional volume model with fitted half-lives of 4.4 and 14.8 months for malignant and benign sources of PSA, respectively. Patients treated with prostate SBRT experience an initial period of rapid PSA decline followed by a slow decline which will likely result in lower PSA nadirs after longer follow-up. The long-term disease specific impacts of these results remain to be determined.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 12/2014;
  • Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background. External beam radiotherapy is an excellent treatment for patients with prostate cancer (PC). Assessing long-term radiotherapy-induced toxicity is important. We evaluated the impact of implementing different rectal dose volume constraints (DVC) on late rectal and urinary toxicity. Material and methods. Six hundred and thirty-seven PC patients were treated with high-dose intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in the primary (median dose of 78 Gy to the prostate) or postoperative setting [median dose of 74 (adjuvant) and 76 Gy (salvage) to the prostatic bed]. Three groups were defined according to different DVC applied over time. The incidence of late rectal and urinary toxicity was evaluated. Three-year actuarial risk estimations of grade 2-3 rectal and urinary toxicity were calculated (Kaplan-Meier statistics). Results. Median follow-up was five years. Overall, the incidence of late grade 3 and 2 rectal toxicity was 1% and 11%. The calculated three-year actuarial risk of developing late grade ≥ 2 rectal toxicity decreased from 16% to 7% and 5% for patients in Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3, respectively (p < 0.001). Respectively, 17 (4%) and 98 (24%) patients developed grade 3 and 2 late urinary toxicity in the primary setting. In the postoperative setting, 15 (6%) and 62 (26%) patients developed grade 3 and 2 urinary toxicity, respectively. The three-year actuarial risk of developing late ≥ grade 2 urinary toxicity in primary- and postoperative-treated patients was 22% and 23%, respectively. This was not significantly different between the three groups. Conclusion. The majority of patients developed no or only moderate rectal toxicity after high-dose IMRT for PC. Implementing different rectal DVC resulted in a significant decrease of late rectal toxicity without affecting urinary toxicity.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background. For breathing adapted radiotherapy, the same motion monitoring system can be used for imaging and triggering of the accelerator. Purpose. To evaluate a new technique for prospective gated computed tomography (CT) and four-dimensional CT (4DCT) using a laser based surface scanning system (Sentinel(™), C-RAD, Uppsala, Sweden). The system was compared to the AZ-733V respiratory gating system (Anzai Medical, Tokyo, Japan) and the Real-Time Position Management System (RPM(™)) (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA, USA). Material and methods. Temporal accuracy was evaluated using a moving phantom programmed to move a platform along trajectories following a sin(6)(ωt) function with amplitudes from 6 to 20 mm and periods from 2 to 5 s during 120 s while the motion was recorded. The recorded data was Fourier transformed and the peak area at the fundamental and harmonic frequencies compared to data generated using the same sinusoidal function. For verification of the 4DCT reconstruction process, the phantom was programmed to move along a sinusoidal trajectory. Ten phase series were reconstructed. The distance from the couch to the platform was measured in each image. By fitting the function sin(ωt-ϕ) to the values measured in the images corresponding to each slice, the phase of each image was verified. Results and conclusion. In the recorded data, the peak area at the fundamental frequency covered on average 104 ± 4%, 102 ± 4% and 91 ± 27% of the peak area in the generated data for the Sentinel(™), RPM(™) and AZ-733V systems, respectively. All systems managed to resolve both harmonic frequencies. The second experiment showed that all images were sorted into the correct series using breathing data recorded by each system. The systems generated very similar results, however, it is preferable to use the same system both for imaging and treatment.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Mammographic breast density is one of the strongest independent risk factors for developing breast cancer. We examined the effect of exemestane and tamoxifen on breast density in Dutch postmenopausal early breast cancer patients participating in the Tamoxifen Exemestane Adjuvant Multinational (TEAM) trial. Material and methods. Analogue mammograms of selected TEAM participants before start, and after one and two (and if available after three) years of adjuvant endocrine therapy were collected centrally and reviewed. Study endpoints were change in breast density over time, and correlations between breast density and locoregional recurrence (LRR), distance recurrence (DR), and contralateral breast cancer (CBC). Results. Mammograms of 378 patients (181 tamoxifen, 197 exemestane) were included in the current per protocol analyses. Baseline breast density was low (breast density score < 50% in 75% of patients) and not different between patients randomised to exemestane or tamoxifen (coefficient 0.16, standard error 0.17). Breast density did not change during treatment in exemestane (p = 0.25) or tamoxifen users (p = 0.59). No relation was observed between breast density and the occurrence of a LRR [hazards ratio (HR) 0.87, 95% CI 0.45-1.68, p = 0.67], a DR (HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.77-1.35, p = 0.90), or CBC (HR 1.31, 95% CI 0.63-2.72, p = 0.48). Conclusion. The in general low breast density score in early postmenopausal breast cancer patients did not substantially change over time, and this pattern was not different between tamoxifen and exemestane users. Breast density was not a predictive marker for efficacy of adjuvant endocrine therapy.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background. The purpose of the present study was to present the treatment outcomes of particle therapy for indeterminate pulmonary nodules (IPNs) diagnosed as stage I non-small cell lung cancer, including a comparative analysis involving pathologically proven lung cancer (PPLC). Material and methods. A total of 54 patients (57 lesions) who underwent particle therapy for IPNs were enrolled in this study. Median patient age was 76 (range 52-87) years. T-classification was: T1a, 30; T1b, 16; and T2a, 11. Particle therapy using protons or carbon ions was delivered at total doses of 52.8-80 Gy equivalent in 4-26 fractions. The PPLC cohort included 111 patients. Results. The median follow-up time was 41 (range 7-90) months. For all IPN patients, the three-year overall survival, progression-free survival, local control and distant progression-free survival rates were 90%, 72%, 94% and 79%, respectively. Grade 2 toxicities were radiation pneumonitis (19%), dermatitis (9%), rib fracture (2%), chest wall pain (2%) and neuropathy (2%). No ≥ grade 3 toxicities were observed. In univariate analysis, the IPN group showed significantly better survival relative to the PPLC group. However, after adjustment for baseline imbalances between these two groups in multivariate analysis, pathological confirmation did not correlate with survival. Conclusions. Particle therapy for IPNs provided favorable outcomes with minimal toxicities, which may be comparable to those for PPLC patients. Further studies are needed to clarify the optimal management of IPN patients.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 11/2014;
  • Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Treatment of localized prostate cancer (PC) is controversial. This is the first randomized study comparing an open surgery procedure (radical prostatectomy) with a combination of high-dose rate brachytherapy (2 × 10 Gy) and external beam radiotherapy (25 × 2 Gy) in PC patients in Sweden 1996-2001. The two randomization arms were compared regarding differences in patients-reported outcomes, such as complications and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Material and methods. The patients had localized/locally advanced PC, clinical category T1b-T3a, N0, M0 and PSA ≤ 50 ng/ml. All underwent total androgen blockade (six months). Self-reported HRQoL and symptoms including urinary, bowel, and sexual side effects were investigated prospectively before randomization and 12 and 24 months after randomization. A total of 89 patients were randomized and completed the EORTC QLQ C-33 and EORTC PR-25 questionnaires. Results. Over the study period, there were no discernible differences in HRQoL, or complications between the two groups. Emotional functioning, however, improved statistically significantly over time, whereas Social functioning decreased, and financial difficulties increased. No statistically significant differences in group-by-time interactions were found. The survival rate was 76%. Only eight patients (9%) died of PC. Conclusion. Open radical prostatectomy and the combined high-dose rate brachytherapy with external beam radiation appeared to be comparable in the measured outcomes. It was not possible to draw any conclusion on the efficacy of the two treatments due to insufficient power of the study.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 11/2014;
  • Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Although fatigue is the most frequently occurring symptom in patients with cancer, hardly anything is known about fatigue of their informal caregivers and the impact fatigue might have on perceived burden with providing care. We investigated the presence of fatigue in caregivers, its course and the relation of fatigue severity between caregivers and patients. Furthermore, we explored in caregivers whether fatigue severity was correlated to experienced burden. Material and methods. Informal caregivers and patients on cancer treatment in the palliative phase completed questionnaires at baseline and follow-up (6 months later). To measure fatigue severity, both groups completed the Checklist Individual Strength. Additionally, caregivers completed the Caregivers Strain Index to assess experienced burden with providing care. Descriptive analyses, paired t-tests, χ(2)-tests, Pearson's correlations and regression analysis were performed. Results. At baseline 111 couples (patients and caregivers) participated, at follow-up 75 couples. At both time points 23% of caregivers were severely fatigued. There was no significant correlation between patients and caregivers on fatigue. Higher fatigue in both patients and caregivers was correlated with higher burden in caregivers and over 30% of burden could be explained by fatigue. Conclusion. Almost a quarter of caregivers of patients on active palliative treatment were severely fatigued, which figure remained stable over time. Fatigue in both patients and caregivers was related to caregivers' burden. This observation should be taken into account with the growing demand on caregivers and the increase in cancer treatment options in the palliative setting.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 10/2014;
  • Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 10/2014; 53(10):1279-82.
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    ABSTRACT: Background. The survival of high-grade glioma patients is poor and the treatment of these patients can cause severe side effects. This fosters the necessity to identify prognostic biomarkers, in order to optimize treatment and diminish unnecessary suffering of patients. The aim of this study was to identify prognostic biomarkers for high-grade glioma patients. Methods. Eleven proteins were selected for analysis due to their suggested importance for survival of patients with other types of cancers and due to a high variation in protein levels between glioma patients (according to the Human Protein Atlas, ). Protein expression patterns of these 11 proteins were analyzed by immunohistochemistry in tumor samples from 97 high-grade glioma patients. The prognostic values of the proteins were analyzed with univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses for the high-grade glioma patients, including subgroup analyses of histological subtypes and immunohistochemically defined molecular subtypes. Results. The proteins with the most significant (univariate and multivariate p < 0.05) correlations were analyzed further with cross-validated Kaplan-Meier analyses for the possibility of predicting survival based on the protein expression pattern of the corresponding candidate. Random Forest classification with variable subset selection was used to analyze if a protein signature consisting of any combination of the 11 proteins could predict survival for the high-grade glioma patients and the subgroup with glioblastoma patients. The proteins which correlated most significantly (univariate and multivariate p < 0.05) to survival in the Cox regression analyses were Myc for all high-grade gliomas and FGF2, CA9 and CD44 for the subgroup of proneural gliomas, with FGF2 having a strong negative predictive value for survival. No prognostic signature of the proteins could be found. Conclusion. FGF2 is a potential prognostic biomarker for proneural glioma patients, and warrants further investigation.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 09/2014;