[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The optimal approach to patients with malignant airway obstruction who require intubation and mechanical ventilation but are ineligible for bronchoscopic interventions is uncertain. Radiotherapy (RT) may be delivered but requires substantial resources in this patient population. In the absence of evidence, it is unknown whether RT facilitates extubation or delays an appropriate transition to end-of-life care.
We performed a 10-year retrospective review of intensive care unit (ICU) patients treated with RT while on mechanical ventilation for malignant airway obstruction. Primary study endpoints were overall survival (OS) and extubation success (ES), defined as 48 hours or more without reintubation or death. Secondary endpoints included rates of discharge from the ICU and to home. Logistic regression and Cox regression analyses were performed to identify factors associated with OS and ES.
Twenty-six patients were eligible for analysis. Seven patients (27%) were extubated; extubations occurred between days 4 and 22 after RT initiation. All patients were discharged from the ICU and most (n = 6) were also discharged home. An association between higher radiation doses and ES was observed (odds ratio per 5 Gy increase: 0.63; p = 0.080). Median OS was only 0.36 months (range, 0-113 months), and 6-month OS was 11%. On Cox regression analysis, increased radiation dose was predictive of improved OS (hazard ratio per 5 Gy increase: 0.74; p = 0.016).
A significant minority of patients receiving RT were successfully extubated. Higher radiation doses were predictive of improved OS and showed a trend for increased ES. Survival beyond 6 months was uncommon, however, the majority of patients with ES were able to be discharged home.
Journal of thoracic oncology: official publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 09/2013; · 4.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the cost effectiveness of adding cetuximab to platinum-based chemotherapy in first-line treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) from the perspective of the Canadian public healthcare system.
We developed a Markov state transition model to project the lifetime clinical and economic consequences of recurrent or metastatic HNSCC. Transition probabilities were derived from a phase III trial of cetuximab in patients with recurrent or metastatic HNSCC. Cost estimates were obtained from London Health Sciences Centre and the Ontario Case Costing Initiative, and expressed in 2011 CAD. A three year time horizon was used. Future costs and health benefits were discounted at 5%.
In the base case, cetuximab plus platinum-based chemotherapy compared to platinum-based chemotherapy alone led to an increase of 0.093 QALY and an increase in cost of $36,000 per person, resulting in an incremental cost effectiveness ratio (ICER) of $386,000 per QALY gained. The cost effectiveness ratio was most sensitive to the cost per mg of cetuximab and the absolute risk of progression among patients receiving cetuximab.
The addition of cetuximab to standard platinum-based chemotherapy in first-line treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic HNSCC has an ICER that exceeds $100,000 per QALY gained. Cetuximab can only be economically attractive in this patient population if the cost of cetuximab is substantially reduced or if future research can identify predictive markers to select patients most likely to benefit from the addition of cetuximab to chemotherapy.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(6):e38557. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Implementation of positron-emission tomography (PET) is variable depending on jurisdiction in part due to uncertainty about cost-effectiveness. Our objective was to perform a systematic review describing cost-effectiveness of PET in staging of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and management of solitary pulmonary nodules (SPN). Systematic literature searches were conducted using separate search strategies for multiple databases. Our validity criteria included measurement of study quality by means of the validated Quality of Health Economic Studies (QHES) instrument. Metrics such as mean PET costs, median average cost savings per patient, incremental cost-effectiveness ratio based on life years saved and quality-adjusted life years were calculated. Eighteen studies met our inclusion criteria with average QHES scores > 75. Studies were primarily based on the national health insurance payer perspective from 10 different countries. Cost-effectiveness was assessed primarily using decision-tree modeling and sensitivity analysis to determine the effects of changing variables on expected cost and life expectancy. After adjusting for currency exchange rates and inflation to 2010 United States dollars, the mean cost of PET was $1478. The cost-effectiveness metrics used in these studies were variable depending on sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic tests used in the models, probability of malignancy, and baseline strategy. Despite observed study heterogeneity, the consensus of these studies conclude that the additional information gained from PET imaging in the staging of NSCLC and diagnosis of SPNs is worth the cost in context of proper medical indications.
Clinical Lung Cancer 11/2011; 13(3):161-70. · 2.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The landmark Stupp study demonstrated a survival advantage with concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide (TMZ) with standard radiotherapy (RT) in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients but excluded those older than 70 years. The prospective Roa study of older GBM patients treated with hypofractionated 3-week course RT demonstrated equivalence to standard 6-week course RT. Taken together, these trials suggest hypofractionated RT with TMZ may be a reasonable treatment option for elderly GBM patients. We conducted a retrospective review of GBM patients (age ≥60 years) treated with hypofractionated RT and temozolomide at our institution between 2000 and 2010. We identified 112 patients who received hypofractionated RT, with 57 receiving concurrent and adjuvant TMZ and 55 without concurrent chemotherapy. Of the 55 patients who received hypofractionated RT alone initially, 24 subsequently received TMZ as salvage treatment at time of progression. Among the concurrent RT + TMZ patients, mean age was 70 years (range 60-86), median KPS was 80 (range 30-100) and 24/57 (42%) received prior debulking surgery. Median overall survival (OS) among the RT + TMZ patients was 6.9 months (95% CI, 4.5-8.6). Patients without concurrent chemotherapy were similar in demographics (age, sex, corticosteroid use, KPS) except 34/55 (62%) were debulked (P-value 0.045.) Median OS was 9.3 months (95% CI, 5.9-11.8) (P-value 0.351). Sub-group analysis revealed patients treated with initial hypofractionated radiation with salvage TMZ had increased median OS of 13.3 months (95% CI, 9.9-19.3) (P-value 0.012). Our results suggest concurrent and adjuvant TMZ does not confer a survival benefit in elderly GBM patients. A sequential approach may be a more effective and efficient strategy by selecting responding patients who may benefit most from subsequent salvage chemotherapy.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology 11/2011; 107(2):395-405. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To describe the use of radioactive gold grain implantation for squamous cell carcinoma of the lip.
Retrospective review of 51 patients treated with permanent gold ((198)Au) grain implant brachytherapy. The seed arrangement delivered a dose of 5500 cGy at 0.5 cm from a single plane. Primary endpoints were local recurrence and cosmetic outcome.
Median follow-up was 27 months. Median age was 69 years. The majority (90%) were T1 lesions. None of the patients had evidence of regional lymph node or distant metastasis. Twelve patients had recurrent disease with prior surgery and five patients had previous head and neck radiation. Local control was achieved in 49 patients. Good cosmesis was achieved in 48 patients. Two-year actuarial estimates for local failure-free survival, disease-free survival and overall survival were 97.9%, 94.1% and 87.9%, respectively; no deaths were attributable to lip cancer.
Gold grain interstitial low-dose rate brachytherapy provides excellent local control and cosmesis in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the lip. This technique provides an excellent option for patients that are elder or live remotely. It is particularly useful for lesions that are small, in previously radiated areas, or treated with prior surgery.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 03/2011; 98(3):352-6. · 4.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To compare the quality-adjusted life expectancy and overall survival in patients with Stage I non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treated with either stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) or surgery.
We constructed a Markov model to describe health states after either SBRT or lobectomy for Stage I NSCLC for a 5-year time frame. We report various treatment strategy survival outcomes stratified by age, sex, and pack-year history of smoking, and compared these with an external outcome prediction tool (Adjuvant! Online).
Overall survival, cancer-specific survival, and other causes of death as predicted by our model correlated closely with those predicted by the external prediction tool. Overall survival at 5 years as predicted by baseline analysis of our model is in favor of surgery, with a benefit ranging from 2.2% to 3.0% for all cohorts. Mean quality-adjusted life expectancy ranged from 3.28 to 3.78 years after surgery and from 3.35 to 3.87 years for SBRT. The utility threshold for preferring SBRT over surgery was 0.90. Outcomes were sensitive to quality of life, the proportion of local and regional recurrences treated with standard vs. palliative treatments, and the surgery- and SBRT-related mortalities.
The role of SBRT in the medically operable patient is yet to be defined. Our model indicates that SBRT may offer comparable overall survival and quality-adjusted life expectancy as compared with surgical resection. Well-powered prospective studies comparing surgery vs. SBRT in early-stage lung cancer are warranted to further investigate the relative survival, quality of life, and cost characteristics of both treatment paradigms.
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 10/2010; 81(4):964-73. · 4.59 Impact Factor