Alessandra Spitale

University of Padova, Padova, Veneto, Italy

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Publications (10)108.53 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Worldwide data for cancer survival are scarce. We aimed to initiate worldwide surveillance of cancer survival by central analysis of population-based registry data, as a metric of the effectiveness of health systems, and to inform global policy on cancer control. Individual tumour records were submitted by 279 population-based cancer registries in 67 countries for 25·7 million adults (age 15-99 years) and 75 000 children (age 0-14 years) diagnosed with cancer during 1995-2009 and followed up to Dec 31, 2009, or later. We looked at cancers of the stomach, colon, rectum, liver, lung, breast (women), cervix, ovary, and prostate in adults, and adult and childhood leukaemia. Standardised quality control procedures were applied; errors were corrected by the registry concerned. We estimated 5-year net survival, adjusted for background mortality in every country or region by age (single year), sex, and calendar year, and by race or ethnic origin in some countries. Estimates were age-standardised with the International Cancer Survival Standard weights. 5-year survival from colon, rectal, and breast cancers has increased steadily in most developed countries. For patients diagnosed during 2005-09, survival for colon and rectal cancer reached 60% or more in 22 countries around the world; for breast cancer, 5-year survival rose to 85% or higher in 17 countries worldwide. Liver and lung cancer remain lethal in all nations: for both cancers, 5-year survival is below 20% everywhere in Europe, in the range 15-19% in North America, and as low as 7-9% in Mongolia and Thailand. Striking rises in 5-year survival from prostate cancer have occurred in many countries: survival rose by 10-20% between 1995-99 and 2005-09 in 22 countries in South America, Asia, and Europe, but survival still varies widely around the world, from less than 60% in Bulgaria and Thailand to 95% or more in Brazil, Puerto Rico, and the USA. For cervical cancer, national estimates of 5-year survival range from less than 50% to more than 70%; regional variations are much wider, and improvements between 1995-99 and 2005-09 have generally been slight. For women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2005-09, 5-year survival was 40% or higher only in Ecuador, the USA, and 17 countries in Asia and Europe. 5-year survival for stomach cancer in 2005-09 was high (54-58%) in Japan and South Korea, compared with less than 40% in other countries. By contrast, 5-year survival from adult leukaemia in Japan and South Korea (18-23%) is lower than in most other countries. 5-year survival from childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is less than 60% in several countries, but as high as 90% in Canada and four European countries, which suggests major deficiencies in the management of a largely curable disease. International comparison of survival trends reveals very wide differences that are likely to be attributable to differences in access to early diagnosis and optimum treatment. Continuous worldwide surveillance of cancer survival should become an indispensable source of information for cancer patients and researchers and a stimulus for politicians to improve health policy and health-care systems. Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (Toronto, Canada), Cancer Focus Northern Ireland (Belfast, UK), Cancer Institute New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), Cancer Research UK (London, UK), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, GA, USA), Swiss Re (London, UK), Swiss Cancer Research foundation (Bern, Switzerland), Swiss Cancer League (Bern, Switzerland), and University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY, USA). Copyright © 2014 Allemani et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    The Lancet 03/2015; 385:977-1010. DOI:10.1016/50140-6736(14)62038-9 · 45.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Summary Background Survival and cure rates for childhood cancers in Europe have greatly improved over the past 40 years and are mostly good, although not in all European countries. The EUROCARE-5 survival study estimates survival of children diagnosed with cancer between 2000 and 2007, assesses whether survival differences among European countries have changed, and investigates changes from 1999 to 2007. Methods We analysed survival data for 157 499 children (age 0—14 years) diagnosed between Jan 1, 1978 and Dec 31, 2007. They came from 74 population-based cancer registries in 29 countries. We calculated observed, country-weighted 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year survival for major cancers and all cancers combined. For comparison between countries, we used the corrected group prognosis method to provide survival probabilities adjusted for multiple confounders (sex, age, period of diagnosis, and, for all cancers combined without CNS cancers, casemix). Age-adjusted survival differences by area and calendar period were calculated with period analysis and were given for all cancers combined and the major cancers. Findings We analysed 59 579 cases. For all cancers combined for children diagnosed in 2000—07, 1-year survival was 90·6% (95% CI 90·2—90·9), 3-year survival was 81·0 % (95% CI 80·5—81·4), and 5-year survival was 77·9% (95% CI 77·4—78·3). For all cancers combined, 5-year survival rose from 76·1% (74·4—77·7) for 1999—2001, to 79·1% (77·3—80·7) for 2005—07 (hazard ratio 0·973, 95% CI 0·965—0·982, p<0·0001). The greatest improvements were in eastern Europe, where 5-year survival rose from 65·2% (95% CI 63·1—67·3) in 1999—2001, to 70·2% (67·9—72·3) in 2005—07. Europe-wide average yearly change in mortality (hazard ratio) was 0·939 (95% CI 0·919—0·960) for acute lymphoid leukaemia, 0·959 (0·933—0·986) for acute myeloid leukaemia, and 0·940 (0·897—0·984) for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Mortality for all of Europe did not change significantly for Hodgkin's lymphoma, Burkitt's lymphoma, CNS tumours, neuroblastoma, Wilms' tumour, Ewing's sarcoma, osteosarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma. Disparities for 5-year survival persisted between countries and regions, ranging from 70% to 82% (for 2005—07). Interpretation Several reasons might explain persisting inequalities. The lack of health-care resources is probably most important, especially in some eastern European countries with limited drug supply, lack of specialised centres with multidisciplinary teams, delayed diagnosis and treatment, poor management of treatment, and drug toxicity. In the short term, cross-border care and collaborative programmes could help to narrow the survival gaps in Europe. Funding Italian Ministry of Health, European Commission, Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation.
    The Lancet Oncology 12/2013; DOI:10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70548-5 · 24.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Cancer survival is a key measure of the effectiveness of health-care systems. EUROCARE—the largest cooperative study of population-based cancer survival in Europe—has shown persistent differences between countries for cancer survival, although in general, cancer survival is improving. Major changes in cancer diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation occurred in the early 2000s. EUROCARE-5 assesses their effect on cancer survival in 29 European countries. Methods In this retrospective observational study, we analysed data from 107 cancer registries for more than 10 million patients with cancer diagnosed up to 2007 and followed up to 2008. Uniform quality control procedures were applied to all datasets. For patients diagnosed 2000–07, we calculated 5-year relative survival for 46 cancers weighted by age and country. We also calculated country-specific and age-specific survival for ten common cancers, together with survival differences between time periods (for 1999–2001, 2002–04, and 2005–07). Findings 5-year relative survival generally increased steadily over time for all European regions. The largest increases from 1999–2001 to 2005–07 were for prostate cancer (73·4% [95% CI 72·9–73·9] vs 81·7% [81·3–82·1]), non-Hodgkin lymphoma (53·8% [53·3–54·4] vs 60·4% [60·0–60·9]), and rectal cancer (52·1% [51·6–52·6] vs 57·6% [57·1–58·1]). Survival in eastern Europe was generally low and below the European mean, particularly for cancers with good or intermediate prognosis. Survival was highest for northern, central, and southern Europe. Survival in the UK and Ireland was intermediate for rectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin melanoma, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but low for kidney, stomach, ovarian, colon, and lung cancers. Survival for lung cancer in the UK and Ireland was much lower than for other regions for all periods, although results for lung cancer in some regions (central and eastern Europe) might be affected by overestimation. Survival usually decreased with age, although to different degrees depending on region and cancer type. Interpretation The major advances in cancer management that occurred up to 2007 seem to have resulted in improved survival in Europe. Likely explanations of differences in survival between countries include: differences in stage at diagnosis and accessibility to good care, different diagnostic intensity and screening approaches, and differences in cancer biology. Variations in socioeconomic, lifestyle, and general health between populations might also have a role. Further studies are needed to fully interpret these findings and how to remedy disparities. Funding Italian Ministry of Health, European Commission, Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation, Cariplo Foundation.
    The Lancet Oncology 12/2013; DOI:10.1016/51470-2045(13)70546-1 · 24.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to analyse incidence and mortality cancer trends in the Italian Network of Cancer Registries (about 8,000,000 inhabitants) during the period 1986-1997. Included were 525,645 newly diagnosed cancers and 269,902 cancer deaths (subjects > 14 years). Joinpoints (points in time where trend significantly changes from linearity) were found and estimated annual percentage changes (EAPC) used to summarize tendencies. Overall cancer incidence increased in both sexes and cancer mortality significantly decreased (since 1991 among men). Lung cancer showed significantly decreasing incidence (EAPC = -1.4%) and mortality (EAPC = -1.6%) among men and increasing trends among women. In women, breast cancer incidence significantly increased (EAPC= +1.7%) and mortality decreased since 1989 (EAPC= -2.0%). Stomach cancer incidence and mortality decreased in both sexes. Prostate incidence sharply increased since 1991 and mortality decreased. Colon cancer incidence increased and rectum mortality decreased significantly in both sexes. Significant increases in incidence were also found for kidney (up to 1991 among men), urinary bladder, skin epithelioma, melanoma, liver (up to 1993 among men), pancreas, mesothelioma, Kaposi's sarcoma (up to 1995 among men), testis, thyroid, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas and multiple myeloma. Mortality significantly decreased for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, oesophagus, liver (women), larynx (men), bone, cervix (since 1990), central nervous system, urinary bladder, thyroid, Hodgkin's lymphomas and leukaemias (men). Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma mortality increased in both sexes. In conclusion, most of the changes seen can be explained as the effect of changes in smoking habits and of the extension of secondary prevention activities. The Italian health care system will also have to cope with growing cancer diagnostic and therapeutic needs due to population ageing.
    European Journal of Cancer Prevention 08/2004; 13(4):287-95. · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present paper is to calculate cancer incidence estimates in the italian regions for the year 2001. Estimates are computed according to the mortality/incidence (M/I) ratio method. Observed data were from Italian areas covered by cancer registration and recently published by Cancer Registries Network (1993-1998), by the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), that published mortality statistics for the year 1998, and by the National Institute of Statistics (Istat) that provided population figures for the year 2001. Regression coefficients of the M/I ratios specific by cancer site, age class, sex and geographical area were computed and then applied to the observed mortality in the Italian regions in the year 1998. The estimated number of new cancer cases was then computed multiplying the estimated rates for the regional populations in the year 2001, as published by Istat. The total number of estimated new cancers (with the exclusion of skin cancers) in Italy was approximately 160,000 in men and 130,000 in women. The population of the Liguria region, older than other Italian regional populations, showed the highest crude rates, while its risk is similar compared to other Northern regions, as indicated by age-standardised rates. The most frequent tumour sites are the lung cancer (29,500 cases), the colon-rectum cancer (19,900 cases) and the prostate cancer (19,600 cases) in men; the breast cancer (35,000 cases), the colon-rectum cancer (19,500 cases) and the stomach cancer (6,800 cases) in women. The invasive cervical cancer, largely preventable with early diagnosis, is still responsible for approximately 3,000 new cases yearly. Incidence estimates are a useful tool for a better management of health resources. Treatment costs for tumour patients are generally high in the first period for diagnosis and principal treatment, while they fade during follow-up and remission. Costs increase during the terminal phase of disease. In the first period, costs can be predicted thanks to incidence estimates, while in the last period mortality data are more useful.
    Epidemiologia e prevenzione 01/2004; 28(4-5):247-57. · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • Stefano Guzzinati, Alessandra Spitale
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    ABSTRACT: The Italian Network of Cancer Registries (AIRT) built three databases for the study of cancer trends in Italy during 1986-1997: incident cases, deaths and populations observed by the eighteen Italian Cancer Registries active on about 23% of the Italian resident population. The incidence data have been validated through ad hoc programmes and CHECK-IARC. A pool of nine Cancer Registries, that had an almost complete coverage for the study period 1986-1997, has been chosen for the trend analysis (pool AIRT). 525,645 cases and 269,902 deaths have been analysed on a total of 8 million residents.
    Epidemiologia e prevenzione 01/2004; 28(2 Suppl):7-11. · 1.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Building a database with the estimates of the observed populations of the Italian Cancer Registries (CR), subdivided into sex, annual age classes and calendar year; making this population database available in the AIRT website; making available an Excel file that allows the input of a population by 5-year age classes in order to obtain an esteem of the annual classes. Employment of different interpolation methods, namely annual age classes starting from 5-year classes, an esteem of the final open class of 85 years and over. 17 CRs that take part to the incidence and mortality trend study promoted by AIRT in 2003. AIRT. A database of the estimated populations observed by the CRs by sex and annual age classes on 31 December of each incidence year. Only for 6 on 17 CRs taking part in the AIRT trend terpolation methods have been used. The performance of these methods, tested with an empirical measure of error called WMISE, have given good results, even if in the elderly classes the fit is poor and sometimes not sufficient. Different interpolation methods have been used to build and make available a database containing reliable data of population, in order to use them as denominators for the incidence and mortality trend analysis. It is also available an Excel file that allows the input of a population by 5-year age classes in order to obtain an esteem of the annual classes.
    Epidemiologia e prevenzione 01/2004; 28(4-5):231-8. · 1.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Italian Network of Cancer Registries analyzed incidence and mortality cancer trends during the period 1986-1997 Overall, 525,645 incident cancers and 269,902 cancer deaths (in subjects 15 years and older) were included. Age-adjusted rates, joinpoints (points in time where trend significantly changes from linearity) and estimated annual percent changes in rates (EAPC) were computed. Overall cancer incidence was significantly increasing in both sexes and cancer mortality was significantly decreasing (since 1991 among males). Incidence and mortality trends are summarised for single cancer sites. Crude rates are also showed to evaluate the effect of population ageing in terms of diagnostic and therapeutic burden for the National Health System.
    Epidemiologia e prevenzione 01/2004; 28(2 Suppl):1-6. · 1.46 Impact Factor
  • European Journal of Cancer Prevention 01/2004; 13(4):287-295. DOI:10.1097/01.cej.0000136719.42948.5a · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immunosuppressive treatment has changed the prognosis of Lupus nephritis over time, but improvement in prognosis is difficult to analyze in different historical periods, and should be better demonstrated in comparison with life expectancy of sex-and age-matched people. Long-term patient and renal survival of 90 patients diagnosed with Lupus nephritis at our center from 1968 to 2001 with a follow-up time of 14+/-8 years was retrospectively evaluated. Patient and kidney survival significantly increased over time. Multivariate analyses show that risks of patient and renal death decreased by 8% at each year of follow-up, and increased by more than 5 time in patients aged > 30 years at diagnosis. As only 14 patients were men, relative survival as compared to that of the sex- and age-matched general population of the Piedmont Region was calculated for the 76 women. Improvement in the survival of the cohort of women was seen at any time of follow-up: in particular, it was sharply lower in the first period (relative survival at 5, 10 and 15 years = 0.784, 0.665, and 0.620, respectively) and increased in the second (relative survival at 5, 10 and 15 years = 0.939, 0.921, and 0.850, respectively) nearly approaching that expected for the general population, i.e. 0.993, 0.983 and 0.967, respectively. Taken together, our data allow us to draw the conclusion that life expectancy in women with Lupus nephritis has improved over time, paralleling an improved awareness of the disease and a significant increase in steroid pulse therapy as induction/remission phase. Improvement in survival is for the first time demonstrated to cover the gap with life expectancy of the general population for women with Lupus nephritis.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 22(4):1135-41. · 2.51 Impact Factor