B Ashleigh Guadagnolo

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, United States

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Publications (40)160.99 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We sought to analyze trends in radiation therapy (RT) technology use and costs in the last 30 days of life for patients dying as a result of cancer. We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) -Medicare and Texas Cancer Registry-Medicare databases to analyze claims data for 13,488 patients dying as a result of lung, breast, prostate, colorectal, melanoma, and pancreas cancers from 2000 to 2009. Logistic regression modeling was used to conduct adjusted analyses regarding influence of demographic, clinical, and health services variables on receipt of types of RT. Costs were calculated in 2009 US dollars. The proportion of patients treated with two-dimensional RT decreased from 74.9% of those receiving RT in the last 30 days of life in 2000 to 32.7% in 2009 (P < .001). Those receiving three-dimensional RT increased from 27.2% in 2000 to 58.5% in 2009 (P < .001). The proportion of patients treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy in the last 30 days of life increased from 0% in 2000 to 6.2% in 2009 (P < .001), and those undergoing stereotactic radiosurgery increased from 0% in 2000 to 5.0% in 2009 (P < .001). The adjusted mean costs of per-patient RT services delivered in the last 30 days of life were higher in the years 2007 to 2009. Among patients receiving RT in the last month of life, there was a shift away from the simplest technique toward more advanced RT technologies. Studies are needed to ascertain whether these technology shifts improve palliative outcomes and quality of life for patients dying as a result of cancer who receive RT services.
    Journal of Oncology Practice 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Hospital case volume has been shown to be a predictor of patient mortality for treatment for various cancers. The influence of hospital case volume on malignant melanoma survival and treatment utilization is unknown. We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare linked databases to identify patients aged 65 years or older diagnosed with metastatic melanoma between 2000 and 2009. We analyzed claims data to ascertain cancer treatment variation by hospital case volume. Overall survival was evaluated using propensity score methods. Among 1438 patients, 612 (42.6%) were treated in low-volume hospitals (≤5 patients) after receiving their diagnosis, 479 (33.3%) were treated in intermediate-volume hospitals (6 to 10 patients), and 347 (24.1%) were treated in high-volume hospitals (>10 patients). In Cox proportional hazards models, treatment in a high-volume hospital after propensity score adjustment was associated with a significant improvement in survival when adjusting for other characteristics (intermediate volume: hazard ratio [HR]=0.70, P=0.0007; high volume: HR=0.63, P<0.0001). Patients treated in high-volume hospitals were less likely to receive chemotherapy, surgery, and/or radiation therapy after a metastatic melanoma diagnosis. For patients diagnosed with metastatic melanoma, being treated in a high-volume hospital was associated with an improvement in survival and lower utilization of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy.
    American journal of clinical oncology 04/2014; · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is a technologically advanced, and more expensive, method of delivering radiation therapy with a goal of minimizing toxicity. It has been widely adopted for head and neck cancers; however, its comparative impact on cancer control and survival remains unknown. The goal of this analysis was to compare the cause-specific survival (CSS) for patients with head and neck cancers treated with IMRT versus non-IMRT from 1999 to 2007. CSS was determined using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database and analyzed regarding treatment details, including the use of IMRT versus non-IMRT, using claims data. Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated by the frailty model with a propensity score matching cohort and instrumental variable analysis. A total of 3172 patients were identified. With a median follow-up of 40 months, patients treated with IMRT had a statistically significant improvement in CSS compared with those treated with non-IMRT (84.1% versus 66.0%; P < .001). When each anatomic subsite was analyzed separately, all respective subgroups of patients treated with IMRT had better CSS than those treated with non-IMRT. In multivariable survival analyses, patients treated with IMRT were associated with better CSS (HR = 0.72, 95% confidence interval = 0.59 to 0.90 for propensity score matching; HR = 0.60, 95% confidence interval = 0.41 to 0.88 for instrumental variable analysis). Patients with head and neck cancers who were treated with IMRT experienced significant improvements in CSS compared with patients treated with non-IMRT techniques. This suggests there may be benefits to IMRT in cancer outcomes, in addition to toxicity reduction, for this patient population. Cancer 2013. © 2013 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 01/2014; · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the current study, the authors sought to evaluate outcomes, specifically with respect to adjuvant radiotherapy (RT), for patients with desmoplastic melanoma. The records of 130 consecutive patients who presented between 1985 and 2009 with nonmetastatic desmoplastic melanoma and were treated curatively with either surgery alone (59 patients; 45%) or surgery and postoperative RT (71 patients; 55%) were retrospectively reviewed. Ages ranged from 21 years to 97 years (median age, 66 years). The location of the primary tumor was in the head and neck region in 62% of patients. Only 5 patients (4%) had lymph node involvement at the time of presentation. The median follow-up was 6.6 years (range, 11 months-24 years). Overall survival rates at 5 years and 10 years were 69% and 53%, respectively. Disease-specific survival rates were 84% and 80%, respectively, at 5 years and 10 years. The actuarial rate of local recurrence was 17% at 5 years and beyond. Of the patients who underwent surgery without receiving postoperative RT, 14 (24%) experienced local recurrence. Of the 71 patients treated with surgery and postoperative RT, 5 (7%) experienced local recurrence. In a Cox multivariate regression model, improved local control was significantly associated with the receipt of postoperative RT (P = .009). Surgery followed by postoperative RT appears to provide superior local control compared with surgery alone for patients with desmoplastic melanoma. Cancer 2013. © 2013 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 10/2013; · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:: To examine the patterns of utilization of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, and hospice at the end-of-life care for patients diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. METHODS:: We identified 816 Medicare beneficiaries toward who were 65 years of age or older, with pathologically confirmed metastatic malignant melanoma between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2007. We evaluated trends and associations between sociodemographic and health service characteristics and the use of hospice care, chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. RESULTS:: We found increasing use of surgery for patients with metastatic melanoma from 13% in 2000 to 30% in 2007 (P=0.03 for trend), and no significant fluctuation in the use of chemotherapy (P=0.43) or radiation therapy (P=0.46). Older patients were less likely to receive radiation therapy or chemotherapy. The use of hospice care increased from 61% in 2000 to 79% in 2007 (P=0.07 for trend). Enrollment in short-term (1 to 3 d) hospice care use increased, whereas long-term hospice care (≥4 d) remained stable. Patients living in the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results) northeast and south regions were less likely to undergo surgery. Patients enrolled in long-term hospice care used significantly less chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. CONCLUSIONS:: Surgery and hospice care use increased over the years of this study, whereas the use of chemotherapy and radiation therapy remained consistent for patients diagnosed with metastatic melanoma.
    American journal of clinical oncology 05/2013; · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To evaluate outcomes of conservative surgery and radiation therapy (RT) treatment in patients with dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans. METHODS AND MATERIALS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 53 consecutive dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans patients treated with surgery and preoperative or postoperative radiation therapy between 1972 and 2010. Median tumor size was 4 cm (range, 1-25 cm). Seven patients (13%) were treated with preoperative RT (50-50.4 Gy) and 46 patients (87%) with postoperative RT (60-66 Gy). Of the 46 patients receiving postoperative radiation, 3 (7%) had gross disease, 14 (30%) positive margins, 26 (57%) negative margins, and 3 (7%) uncertain margin status. Radiation dose ranged from 50 to 66 Gy (median dose, 60 Gy). RESULTS: At a median follow-up time of 6.5 years (range, 0.5 months-23.5 years), 2 patients (4%) had disease recurrence, and 3 patients (6%) had died. Actuarial overall survival was 98% at both 5 and 10 years. Local control was 98% and 93% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. Disease-free survival was 98% and 93% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. The presence of fibrosarcomatous change was not associated with increased risk of local or distant relapse (P=.43). One of the patients with a local recurrence had gross residual disease at the time of RT and despite RT to 65 Gy developed both an in-field recurrence and a nodal and distant recurrence 3 months after RT. The other patient with local recurrence was found to have in-field recurrence 10 years after initial treatment. Thirteen percent of patients had an RT complication at 5 and 10 years, and 9% had a moderate or severe complication at 5 and 10 years. CONCLUSIONS: Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans is a radioresponsive disease with excellent local control after conservative surgery and radiation therapy. Adjuvant RT should be considered for patients with large or recurrent tumors or when attempts at wide surgical margins would result in significant morbidity.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 04/2013; · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Radiation-associated angiosarcoma (RAAS) is a devastating disease occasionally observed in breast cancer patients treated with radiation. Due to its rarity, our knowledge-of disease risk factors, epidemiology, treatment, and outcome-is extremely limited. Therefore, we sought to identify clinicopathologic factors associated with local and distant recurrence and disease-specific survival (DSS). METHODS: Radiation-associated angiosarcoma was defined as pathologically confirmed breast or chest wall angiosarcoma arising within a previously irradiated field. A comprehensive search of our institutional tumor registry (1/1/93 through 2/28/11) was used to identify patients (n = 95 females). Patient, original tumor, RAAS treatment, and outcome variables were retrospectively retrieved and assembled into a database. RESULTS: The median follow-up for all RAAS patients was 10.3 (range, 2.4-31.8) years. The latency period following radiation exposure ranged from 1.4 to 26 (median, 7) years. One-year and 5-year DSS rates were 93.5 and 62.6 %, respectively. Reduced risk of local recurrence was observed in patients who received chemotherapy (P = 0.0003). In multivariable analysis, size was found to be an independent predictor of adverse outcome (P = 0.015). CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates that RAAS exhibits high recurrence rates. It also highlights the need for well-designed, multicenter, clinical trials to inform the true utility of chemotherapy in this disease.
    Annals of Surgical Oncology 12/2012; · 4.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE:Our goal was to evaluate use and associated costs of radiation therapy (RT) in the last month of life among those dying of cancer. METHODS:We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) -Medicare linked databases to analyze claims data for 202,299 patients dying as a result of lung, breast, prostate, colorectal, and pancreas cancers from 2000 to 2007. Logistic regression modeling was used to conduct adjusted analyses of potential impacts of demographic, health services, and treatment-related variables on receipt of RT and treatment with greater than 10 days of RT. Costs were calculated in 2009 dollars. RESULTS: Among the 15,287 patients (7.6%) who received RT in the last month of life, its use was associated with nonclinical factors such as race, gender, income, and hospice care. Of these patients, 2,721 (17.8%) received more than 10 days of treatment. Nonclinical factors that were associated with greater likelihood of receiving more than 10 days of RT in the last 30 days of life included: non-Hispanic white race, no receipt of hospice care, and treatment in a freestanding, versus a hospital-associated facility. Hospice care was associated with 32% decrease in total costs of care in the last month of life among those receiving RT. CONCLUSION:Although utilization of RT overall was low, almost one in five of patients who received RT in their final 30 days of life spent more than 10 of those days receiving treatment. More research is needed into physician decision making regarding use of RT for patients with end-stage cancer.
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 11/2012; · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Jaw complications, including osteoradionecrosis, are significant sequelae of radiation therapy (RT) for oral cancers. This study identifies the impact of patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics on the development of jaw complications in patients treated with RT. METHODS: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database was used to identify patients treated with RT for oral cancers from 1999 to 2007. Jaw complications were identified by International Classification of Diseases 9th revision (ICD-9) diagnosis codes and/or related procedures using Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and ICD-9 codes. RESULTS: A total of 1848 patients were identified. With a median follow-up of 2.5 years, 297 patients (16.1%) developed jaw complications: 226 patients had a diagnosis, 41 patients had a procedure, and 30 patients had both. On multivariate analysis, female sex, lack of chemotherapy use, and fewer comorbidities were associated with a statistically significant increase in jaw complications. CONCLUSIONS: Even with modern techniques, jaw complications are a notable and potentially devastating side effect of RT for oral cancers. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012.
    Head & Neck 11/2012; · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Our goal was to investigate utilization trends for advanced radiation therapy (RT) technologies, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), in the last year of life among patients diagnosed with metastatic cancer. METHODS: We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare linked databases to analyze claims data in the last 12 months of life for 64,525 patients diagnosed with metastatic breast, colorectal, lung, pancreas, and prostate cancers from 2000 to 2007. Logistic regression modeling was conducted to analyze potential demographic, health services, and treatment-related variables' influences on receipt of advanced RT. RESULTS: Among the 19,161 (29.7%) patients who received radiation therapy, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of patients who received the simplest radiation technique (ie, 2D-radiation therapy) (P < .0001), and significant increases in the proportions of patients receiving more advanced radiation techniques (ie, IMRT, and SRS; P < .0001 for all curves); although the rates for use of IMRT and SRS in 2007 remained under 5%. On multivariate analyses, receipt of RT varied significantly by non-clinical characteristics such as race, marital status, neighborhood income, and SEER region. Patients who received hospice care in the last year of life were more likely to receive radiation therapy (OR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.30-1.40) but less likely to be treated with IMRT (OR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.62-0.92). CONCLUSIONS: Although the proportion of patients receiving RT in the last year of life for metastatic cancer did not change for most of the past decade, we observed significant trends toward more advanced radiation techniques.
    Cancer 11/2012; · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Limited data exist regarding reconstructive outcomes in patients with head and neck sarcoma. METHODS: A review of patients with head and neck sarcoma who underwent oncologic resection and microvascular free flap reconstruction between 2001 and 2010 was performed. RESULTS: In all, 133 patients were included in the study. The overall rate of perioperative complications was 30.1%, including a flap loss rate of 3.0%. The rate of late recipient site complications was 7.5% and occurred more frequently with postoperative radiation (19.0%) compared with preoperative radiation, prior radiation, and no radiation (5.3%, 3.0%, and 0%, respectively; p = .005). Most patients achieved intelligible speech (88.3%) and feeding tube independence (94.4%). CONCLUSIONS: Good reconstructive outcomes can be attained in patients with head and neck sarcoma undergoing resection and free flap reconstruction. Preoperative radiation may be preferable to postoperative radiation in select cases due to fewer long-term complications without an increased rate of complications or flap loss. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012.
    Head & Neck 06/2012; · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High-dose radiotherapy can cause contracture of the anophthalmic socket, but the incidence of this complication in patients with enucleation for uveal melanoma has not been reported previously. The authors reviewed the surgical management and outcomes in terms of successful prosthesis wear in patients with severe contracture of the anophthalmic socket treated with high-dose radiotherapy for high-risk uveal melanoma, and they estimated the relative risk of this complication. The medical records of all consecutive patients enrolled in a prospective uveal-melanoma tissue-banking protocol at the authors' institution who underwent enucleation between January 2003 and December 2010 were reviewed. Patients who underwent adjuvant radiotherapy of the enucleated socket were further studied. Of the 68 patients enrolled in the prospective tissue-banking protocol, 12 had high-risk histologic features (e.g., extrascleral spread or vortex vein invasion) and were treated with 60 Gy of external beam radiotherapy after enucleation. Five of these patients (41.7%) experienced severe socket contracture precluding prosthesis wear. The median time to onset of contracture following completion of radiotherapy was 20 months. Three patients underwent surgery, which entailed scar tissue release, oral mucous membrane grafting, and socket reconstruction; 2 patients declined surgery. All 3 patients who had surgery experienced significant improvement of socket contracture that enabled patients to wear a prosthesis again. High-dose radiotherapy after enucleation in patients with uveal melanoma caused severe socket contracture and inability to wear a prosthesis in approximately 40% of patients. Surgical repair of the contracted socket using oral mucous membrane grafting can allow resumption of prosthesis wear.
    Ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery 05/2012; 28(3):208-12. · 0.69 Impact Factor
  • B Ashleigh Guadagnolo, Daniel Dohan, Peter Raich
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    ABSTRACT: Racial and ethnic minorities as well as other vulnerable populations experience disparate cancer-related health outcomes. Patient navigation is an emerging health care delivery innovation that offers promise in improving quality of cancer care delivery to these patients who experience unique health-access barriers. Metrics are needed to evaluate whether patient navigation can improve quality of care delivery, health outcomes, and overall value in health care during diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Information regarding the current state of the science examining patient navigation interventions was gathered via search of the published scientific literature. A focus group of providers, patient navigators, and health-policy experts was convened as part of the Patient Navigation Leadership Summit sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Key metrics were identified for assessing the efficacy of patient navigation in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Patient navigation data exist for all stages of cancer care; however, the literature is more robust for its implementation during prevention, screening, and early diagnostic workup of cancer. Relatively fewer data are reported for outcomes and efficacy of patient navigation during cancer treatment. Metrics are proposed for a policy-relevant research agenda to evaluate the efficacy of patient navigation in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Patient navigation is understudied with respect to its use in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Core metrics are defined to evaluate its efficacy in improving outcomes and mitigating health-access barriers.
    Cancer 08/2011; 117(15 Suppl):3565-74. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Soft tissue sarcomas (STSs) arising from the popliteal fossa present a challenge with regard to local control of primary tumors. Due to concerns of functional morbidity and neurovascular compromise, there is debate about what represents the best therapy for these patients. We conducted a retrospective medical record review of patients treated at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center for STS of the popliteal fossa from 1990 to 2008. There were 47 eligible patients, 28 of whom were male and 19 of whom were female. Synovial sarcoma was the most common diagnosis, with 12 cases. Most patients had T2b tumors (31 patients; 66%). The median duration of follow-up was 3.8 years (range, 0.6-17.9 years). The 5- and 10-year overall survival rates were 63% and 51%, respectively. Metastasis at diagnosis was associated with poorer overall survival (5-year overall survival, 74% versus 13%; P<.001) and poorer recurrence-free survival (5-year recurrence-free survival, 51% versus 0%; P<.001) on univariate analysis. Radiation therapy improved local recurrence-free survival (5-year local recurrence-free survival, 56% versus 17%; P = .004), whereas a trend was observed for surgical margin status (P = .07). Tumor size and neurovascular involvement did not influence outcome. Twenty-two patients had recurrent disease, with 15 patients having local recurrence, and 16 patients died from progressive disease. Radiation therapy may play an important role in the treatment of popliteal fossa STS, but further study is needed to better define the best clinical application. Additional study is needed to re-evaluate association of surgical margin status and outcome.
    Cancer 06/2011; 117(12):2728-34. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A study was undertaken to assess patient navigation utilization and its impact on treatment interruptions and clinical trial enrollment among American Indian cancer patients. Between February 2004 and September 2009, 332 American Indian cancer patients received patient navigation services throughout cancer treatment. The patient navigation program provided culturally competent navigators to assist patients with navigating cancer therapy, obtaining medications, insurance issues, communicating with medical providers, and travel and lodging logistics. Data on utilization and trial enrollment were prospectively collected. Data for a historical control group of 70 American Indian patients who did not receive patient navigation services were used to compare treatment interruptions among those undergoing patient navigation during curative radiation therapy (subgroup of 123 patients). The median number of contacts with a navigator was 12 (range, 1-119). The median time spent with the navigator at first contact was 40 minutes (range, 10-250 minutes), and it was 15 minutes for subsequent contacts. Patients treated with radiation therapy with curative intent who underwent patient navigation had fewer days of treatment interruption (mean, 1.7 days; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-2.2 days) than historical controls who did not receive patient navigation services (mean, 4.9 days; 95% CI, 2.9-6.9 days). Of the 332 patients, 72 (22%; 95% CI, 17%-26%) were enrolled on a clinical treatment trial or cancer control protocol. Patient navigation was associated with fewer treatment interruptions and relatively high rates of clinical trial enrollment among American Indian cancer patients compared with national reports.
    Cancer 06/2011; 117(12):2754-61. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background The aim of the present analysis was to retrospectively evaluate outcomes in patients with cutaneous angiosarcoma of the face/scalp treated curatively with surgery, radiation therapy (RT), or a combination of surgery and RT.Methods In all, 70 patients with nonmetastatic angiosarcoma underwent surgery, RT, or combined-modality therapy. Of these, 20 patients (29%) were treated with surgery alone, 27 patients (39%) with RT alone, and 23 patients (33%) with combined-modality therapy; 44 patients received chemotherapy, either neoadjuvantly or adjuvantly or both.ResultsMedian follow-up was 2.1 years. The overall survival (OS) rate was 43% at 5 years, and disease-specific survival (DSS) was 46% at 5 years. Tumor size > 5 cm and satellitosis were prognostic for inferior OS and DSS. Combined-modality therapy (vs surgery alone or RT alone) was associated with improved OS, DSS, and local control.Conclusions Primary local therapy with combined-modality therapy was associated with improved local control, OS, and DSS for patients with angiosarcoma of the face/scalp. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2011
    Head & Neck 04/2011; 33(5):661 - 667. · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess preoperative biopsy utilization for patients with soft tissue sarcoma (STS) of ≥5 cm in size and whether or not preoperative biopsy was associated with fewer surgical procedures to adequately treat these tumors. We identified 899 patients from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database with a diagnosis of STS and who underwent surgical resection of their tumors between 1992 and 2006. We used diagnosis and procedure codes from claims data to identify which patients had a biopsy performed and the corresponding number of surgical procedures for each patient. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were carried out to assess the influence of patient, tumor, and sociodemographic characteristics on performance of biopsy and the likelihood of multiple STS operations. Only 40.6% of patients with tumors of ≥5 cm in size underwent biopsy as part of initial management of their STS. In multivariate analysis, biopsy utilization varied significantly by sex, tumor size, grade, and geographic region. After adjusting for patient, tumor, and sociodemographic characteristics, receipt of a biopsy was the only factor significantly associated with reduced likelihood of multiple STS operations (odds ratio=0.34, 95% confidence interval, 0.24-0.49). Preoperative biopsy utilization among Medicare beneficiaries undergoing surgery for STS of ≥5 cm in size is low. Performance of a biopsy for patients with soft tissue tumors of ≥5 cm in size is associated with a decreased likelihood of a patient undergoing multiple surgeries for treatment of STS.
    American journal of clinical oncology 04/2011; 35(5):455-61. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anorectal melanoma is a rare disease with a poor prognosis. Because survival is determined by distant failure, many centers have adopted sphincter-sparing excision for primary tumor control. However, this approach is associated with high rates of local failure (∼50%). In this study, the authors report their 20-year experience with sphincter-sparing excision combined with radiation therapy (RT) for the treatment of localized anorectal melanoma. The authors reviewed the records of 54 patients with localized anorectal melanoma who were treated at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 1989 to 2008. All patients underwent definitive local excision with or without sentinel lymph node biopsy or lymph node dissection. RT (25-36 grays in 5-6 fractions) was delivered to extended fields that targeted the primary site and draining pelvic/inguinal lymphatics in 39 patients and to limited fields that targeted only the primary site in 15 patients. The 5-year rates of local control (LC), lymph node control (NC), and sphincter preservation were 82%, 88%, and 96%, respectively. However, because of the high rate of distant metastasis, the overall survival (OS) rate at 5 years was only 30%. Although there were no significant differences in LC, NC, or OS based on RT field extent, patients who received extended-field RT had higher rates of lymphedema than patients who received limited-field RT. The current results indicated that combined sphincter-sparing local excision and RT is a well tolerated approach that provides effective LC for patients with anorectal melanoma. Inclusion of the inguinal lymph node basins in the RT fields did not improve outcomes and was associated with an increased risk of lymphedema. Cancer 2011;. © 2011 American Cancer Society.
    Cancer 03/2011; 117(20):4747-55. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The study describes the creation and implementation of a culturally appropriate cancer education intervention, and assesses its efficacy among American Indians in a community with documented cancer-related disparities. Education workshops were developed and conducted on three western South Dakota reservations and in Rapid City by trained community representatives. Over 400 individuals participated in the 2-h workshops. Participants answered demographic questions, questions about previous cancer screening (to establish baseline screening rates), and completed a pre- and post-workshop quiz to assess learning. Participants demonstrated significant increases in cancer screening-related knowledge levels. Surveys reveal that participants found the information of high quality, great value and would recommend the program to friends. Pre-workshop data reveals cancer screening rates well below the national average. Workshop participants increased their knowledge about cancer etiology and screening. This intervention may represent an effective tool for increasing cancer screening utilization among American Indians.
    Journal of Cancer Education 03/2011; 26(3):530-9. · 0.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) is 1 of the most common soft tissue sarcomas in the head and neck. We conducted a retrospective review of patients with MFH of the head and neck region at a large multidisciplinary cancer center between 1973 and 2005. Ninety-five patients were included in the study. The median age at diagnosis was 53 years (range, 3-90 years); 69% of the patients were men. The parotid or neck was the most common subsite (35%), and 23% of the cases were associated with prior radiation exposure. Although there were no significant differences in the distribution of age, sex, year of presentation, tumor location, size, local extension, or treatment between patients with and without prior radiation exposure, those with radiation-associated tumors were more likely to have positive or unclear surgical margins (p = .037). With a median follow-up of 34 months, 32 (39%) of the 83 patients treated at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center with curative intent had a recurrence (isolated local recurrence in 18, isolated distant recurrence in 8, both local and distant recurrence in 5, and regional recurrence in 1). For patients treated at our institution with curative intent, 5-year overall, disease-free, and disease-specific survival rates were 55%, 44%, and 69%, respectively. Prior radiation exposure and positive margins were associated with worse survival. MFH of the head and neck region is often aggressive and characterized by local and/or distant recurrence and poor survival. Radiation-associated tumors seem to have an especially poor prognosis. Based on a significant body of literature, multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment of such high-grade sarcomas is encouraged.
    Head & Neck 03/2011; 33(3):303-8. · 2.83 Impact Factor