Supportive Care in Cancer

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Online ISSN: 1433-7339
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AimThe combination of cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (CDK 4/6) inhibitors plus endocrine therapy (ET) improved the survival outcomes and became the standard of care in the treatment of metastatic hormone-positive breast cancer. However, these combinations increased the risk of neutropenia compared with ET alone. While the infection-related mortalities did not seem to be increased, the exact risk of infections with CDK 4/6 inhibitor and ET combinations is relatively understudied. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis of CDK 4/6 inhibitor clinical trials to assess the infection risk of adding CDK4/6 inhibitors to ET.Material and methodWe systemically searched the PubMed database for relevant clinical trials. For each study, all grade and grade 3 or higher infections, upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), urinary tract infections (UTI), pneumonia, and febrile neutropenia rates were recorded whenever available. The hazard ratios (HR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of infection risk were calculated via the generic inverse-variance method with a random-effects model.ResultsNine eligible studies were included in the analyses (MONALEESA-2,3,7, MONARCH-2,3, MONARCH plus, PALOMA-1,2,3). In the meta-analysis of these studies, CDK 4/6 inhibitors plus ET arms were associated with increased all grade infections (HR 1.77, 95% CI 1.56–2.01, p < 0.00001), grade 3 or higher infections, (HR 1.77, 95% CI 1.28–2.43, p = 0.0005), UTIs (HR 1.59, 95% CI 1.19–2.12, p = 0.002), and febrile neutropenia (HR 4.28, 95% CI 1.73–10.62, p = 0.002).Conclusion In this meta-analysis, we observed that adding CDK4/6 inhibitors to ET significantly increased the risk of all grade, grade 3 or higher infections, and urinary tract infections. We propose that closer follow-up for infections should be considered for metastatic breast cancer patients using CDK 4/6 inhibitors. This may help clinicians to recognize infections earlier which prevents early death from infection.
  • Chloe Yi Shing LimChloe Yi Shing Lim
  • Rebekah C. Laidsaar-PowellRebekah C. Laidsaar-Powell
  • Jane M. YoungJane M. Young
  • [...]
  • Phyllis ButowPhyllis Butow
Purpose Continuing employment or returning to work (RTW) as a cancer survivor can be meaningful and financially necessary, yet challenging. However, there is a lack of qualitative research on RTW experiences and financial wellbeing of people with advanced colorectal cancer (CRC-A). This study aimed to fill this gap. Methods Adults treated for CRC-A were recruited 0.5–2 years post-surgery (or post-diagnosis of CRC-A for palliative chemotherapy participants). Semi-structured telephone interviews, exploring RTW and finances, were subjected to framework analysis. Demographic, clinical, and quality of life data (FACT-C, Distress Thermometer, COST measure) were collected to characterise the sample and inform the framework analysis. Results Analysis of 38 interviews revealed five overarching themes: work as a struggle , work as my identity , work as my saviour , work as a financial necessity , and employer and colleague response. Many survivors with CRC-A desired to, and had the capacity to, continue work or RTW, yet faced unique challenges from compounded stigma of both cancer and toileting issues. Inability to RTW negatively impacted financial and psychosocial wellbeing. Workplace support was an important facilitator of RTW. Conclusion For survivors with CRC-A, continuing or RTW is fraught with challenges, including physical functioning challenges, financial anxiety, and unsupportive workplace environments. Survivors require psychosocial, financial, and employer support to manage these difficulties. This paper recommends a multiprong approach, including education programmes (facilitated through workers’ union groups, human resource institutions, and/or large consumer CRC groups) and policies, to support workers and for employers to understand the unique challenges of employees with CRC-A.
The moderating role of physicians’ communication skills on the relationship between symptom burden and emotional distress for patients with low and high levels of disease understanding
  • Zhonglin ChenZhonglin Chen
  • Gan HeGan He
  • Yi ZhaoYi Zhao
  • [...]
  • Yaping HeYaping He
Purpose The elevated physical symptom burden in advanced lung cancer can disrupt patients’ emotional well-being, and current literature suggests that physicians’ good communication skills might be a buffer. However, little is known about for which group of patients this buffering effect is most effective. Based on a cross-sectional study in patients with advanced lung cancer, the present study examined whether the moderating effect of physicians’ communication skills on the association between physical symptoms and emotional distress would further depend on patients’ perceived disease understanding. Methods Patients with advanced lung cancer (n = 199) completed a questionnaire including measures of physical symptoms related to lung cancer, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, perceptions of physicians’ communication skills, and self-reported understanding of their disease. Results Hierarchical regression analyses indicated a significant three-way interaction among physical symptoms, perceptions of physicians’ communication skills, and perceived disease understanding on both anxiety and depression. Specifically, physicians’ good communication skills exerted a buffering effect only for patients with lower levels of disease understanding. Conclusion Our findings indicate that improving physicians’ communication skills may be especially beneficial for reducing the maladaptive emotional reactions to symptom burden for patients with limited disease understanding. When time and resources for communication are restricted, enhanced awareness and focused training may be directed at communicating with patients who possess limited knowledge about their disease.
PRISMA diagram
Purpose In high-income countries (HICs), supportive care is often used to assist cancer patients as they seek treatment and beyond. However, in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs), where more than 70% of all cancer-related deaths occur [1], the provision of supportive care has not been assessed. The purpose of this scoping review is to assess the type of supportive care interventions for cancer patients across the cancer care continuum in LMICs. Methods We examined published articles reporting on supportive care interventions in LMICs. Following PRISMA guidelines, we performed a systematic search of PubMed, ERIC, CINAHL, and PsycINFO. We limited the scope to original research studies focused on LMICs, studies concerning any type of supportive care intervention for adult cancer patients, from diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment. Results Thirty-five studies met the criteria for inclusion in the scoping review. The majority were randomized clinical trials (RCT) or used a quasi-experimental design. The highest number of studies (n = 23) was implemented in the WHO Eastern-Mediterranean region, followed by South-East Asia (n = 6), Africa (n = 4), and Western-Pacific Regions (n = 2). Most studies focused on women’s cancers and included interventions for psychosocial support, symptom management, health literacy/education, and patient navigation. Conclusions Although we found only a small number of interventions being conducted in these settings, our results suggest that providing different types of supportive services in less-resourced settings, even when health systems are fragmented and fragile, can improve mental health, physical health, and the quality of life (QoL) of cancer patients.
Chemotherapy-induced veno-occlusive disease (VOD) is a rare liver dysfunction seen among pediatric cancer patients which could lead to severe morbidity and mortality. Defibrotide is the commonly used antidote in the management of both stem cell transplant and chemotherapy-associated VOD along with liver supportive measures. Defibrotide is costly and generally not accessible to majority of patients treated at resource poor settings. In this report, we describe the successful management of chemotherapy-induced VOD with timely administration of N-acetyl cysteine.
Purpose Nausea is a common and distressful symptom among patients in palliative care, but little is known about possible socio-demographic and clinical patient characteristics associated with nausea at the start of palliative care and change after initiation of palliative care. The aim of this study was to investigate whether patient characteristics were associated with nausea at the start of palliative care and with change in nausea during the first weeks of palliative care, respectively. Methods Data was obtained from the nationwide Danish Palliative Care Database. The study included adult cancer patients who were admitted to palliative care and died between June 2016 and December 2020 and reported nausea level at the start of palliative care and possibly 1–4 weeks later. The associations between patient characteristics and nausea at the start of palliative care and change in nausea during palliative care, respectively, were studied using multiple regression analyses. Results Nausea level was reported at the start of palliative care by 23,751 patients of whom 8037 also reported 1–4 weeks later. Higher nausea levels were found for women, patients with stomach or ovarian cancer, and inpatients at the start of palliative care. In multivariate analyses, cancer site was the variable most strongly associated with nausea change; the smallest nausea reductions were seen for myelomatosis and no reduction was seen for stomach cancer. Conclusion This study identified subgroups with the highest initial nausea level and those with the least nausea reduction after 1–4 weeks of palliative care. These latter findings should be considered in the initial treatment plan.
Study flow diagram
Purpose To identify effective and safe interventions to prevent acute phase chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) in adult and pediatric patients. Methods We conducted a systematic review of randomized trials evaluating interventions to prevent acute CINV. Outcomes assessed were complete chemotherapy-induced vomiting (CIV) control, complete chemotherapy-induced nausea (CIN) control, complete CINV control, and discontinuation of antiemetics due to adverse effects. Results The search identified 65,172 citations; 744 were evaluated at full-text, and 295 (25 pediatric) met eligibility criteria. In patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy (HEC), complete CIV (risk ratio (RR) 1.23, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05–1.44) and CIN (RR 1.34, 95% CI 1.10–1.62) control improved when olanzapine was added. The addition of a neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist (NK1RA) to a corticosteroid plus a serotonin-3 receptor antagonist (5HT3RA) also improved complete CIV (RR 1.11, 95% CI 1.08–1.14) and CIN (RR 1.05, 95% CI 1.01–1.08) control. Compared to granisetron/ondansetron, palonosetron provided improved complete CIV control when the 5HT3RA was given alone or when combined with dexamethasone. In patients receiving moderately emetogenic chemotherapy (MEC), dexamethasone plus a 5HT3RA improved complete CIV control compared to a 5HT3RA alone (RR 1.29, 95% CI 1.21–1.39). Only a single meta-analysis evaluating the safety outcome was possible. Conclusions For patients receiving HEC, various antiemetic regimens improved CIV and CIN control. For patients receiving MEC, administration of a 5HT3RA plus dexamethasone improved CIV control. Analysis of antiemetic safety was constrained by lack of data.
Flowchart of patient selection for inclusion. Note. OSCAR study: a prospective, ongoing, Swedish-nationwide cohort study entitled “Oesophageal Surgery on Cancer patients-Adaptation and Recovery (OSCAR).” LOT-R, Life Orientation Test-Revised
Hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for all-cause mortality with one unit increase in the sum score of Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R), with pathological tumor stage and the COVID-19 pandemic as effect modifiers
Predicted cumulative survival curves after esophageal cancer surgery for patients with average dispositional optimism level (LOT-R sum score equaling to 15) and patients with higher dispositional optimism (LOT-R sum score equaling to 16), with follow-up period before the COVID-19 pandemic and pathological tumor stage as an effect modifier. Note. LOT-R, Life Orientation Test-Revised; HR, hazard ratio; CI, confidence interval
Purpose To examine the association between dispositional optimism and all-cause mortality after esophageal cancer surgery and whether pathological tumor stage and the COVID-19 pandemic modified this association. Methods This nationwide, population-based prospective cohort study included 335 patients undergoing esophageal cancer surgery in Sweden between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2019. Dispositional optimism was measured 1 year post-surgery using Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R). A higher LOT-R sum score represents higher dispositional optimism. Mortality information was obtained from the Swedish Register of the Total Population. All patients were followed up until death or until December 31, 2020, whichever occurred first. Cox regression with adjustments for confounders was used. Results The median follow-up was 20.8 months, during which 125 (37.3%) patients died. Among the included 335 patients, 219 (65.4%) patients had tumor pathologically staged Tis-II, and 300 (89.6%) patients entered the cohort before the COVID-19 pandemic. Both tumor stage and the COVID-19 pandemic were effect modifiers. For each unit increase in LOT-R sum score, the risk of all-cause mortality decreased by 11% (HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.81 to 0.98) among patients with tumor staged Tis-II before the COVID-19 pandemic. This association was non-significant in patients with tumor staged III–IV (HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.92 to 1.07) and during the COVID-19 pandemic (HR 1.08, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.25). Conclusion Assessing dispositional optimism may help predict postoperative survival, especially for patients with early and intermediate esophageal cancer. Increasing dispositional optimism might be a potential intervention target to improve survival after esophageal cancer surgery.
Chemotherapy-induced neuropathy is difficult to manage, and the pain associated with neuropathy is poorly responsive to gabapentin in a randomized trial. Duloxetine is the only drug that has been found to be effective in reducing pain from chemotherapy neuropathy. In this qualitative review, the use of pregabalin for chemotherapy-induced neuropathy is discussed including the rationale and pharmacological reasons why pregabalin should be considered in a large, randomized placebo-controlled trial.
Design of the feasibility study using CSNAT-I in the HSCT context
Number of family caregivers expressing more support needs listed in the CSNAT-I during conversation 1 (n = 27). The “Yes” is a sum of the response alternatives selected as “a little more” and “quite a bit more”
Purpose Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an intensive curative treatment that increases family caregivers’ burden. The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility of remotely assessing and addressing family caregivers’ support needs in terms of demand and acceptability using the Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool Intervention (CSNAT-I) in the HSCT context. Methods CSNAT-I consists of an evidence-based tool and a five-stage person-centred process. The intervention was performed remotely by two designated nurses from two HSCT centres, one before HSCT and the second 6 weeks after (November 2020 to March 2021). To capture the experiences of using CSNAT-I, interviews were conducted with family caregivers and reflections were gathered from the designated nurses. Results Of 34 eligible family caregivers, 27 participated, 70% were partners and the rest children, siblings or other relatives. The main support needs were knowing what to expect in the future and dealing with your feelings and worries. The most frequent support actions according to CSNAT-I were psychological support and medical information. Four categories summarised family caregivers and designated nurses’ experiences: CSNAT-I was relevant and became an eye opener; nurses’ experiences were important for enabling trustful CSNAT-I conversations; CSNAT-I provided family caregivers with support and a sense of security; and CSNAT-I gave family caregivers insight and enabled change. Conclusion Both family caregivers and designated nurses experienced that using CSNAT-I in an HSCT context was feasible and had the potential to provide valuable support for most of the participating family caregivers.
How individuals navigated the experience of having a second opinion
Introduction To support the care of lung cancer patients, oncologists have needed to stay current on treatment advancements and build relationships with a new group of survivors in an era where lung cancer survivorship has been re-defined. The objectives of the study were to (1) understand the perspectives of advanced lung cancer patients whose tumors have oncogenic alterations about their care experiences with their oncologist(s) and (2) describe the perceptions of advanced lung cancer patients about seeking second opinions and navigating care decisions. Methods In this qualitative study, patients with advanced lung cancer (n = 25) on targeted therapies were interviewed to discuss their ongoing experience with their oncologists. We used deductive and inductive qualitative approaches in the coding of the data. We organized the data using the self-determination framework. Results Patients described both positive and negative aspects of their care as related to autonomy, provider competency, and connectedness. Patients sought second opinions for three primary reasons: expertise, authoritative advice, and access to clinical trial opportunities. When there is disagreement in the treatment plan between the primary oncologist and the specialist, there can be confusion and tension, and patients have to make difficult choices about their path forward. Conclusions Patients value interactions that support their autonomy, demonstrate the competency of their providers, and foster connectedness. To ensure that patients receive quality and goal-concordant care, developing decision aids and education materials that help patients negotiate recommendations from two providers is an area that deserves further attention.
Purpose To study the level of fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) in patients receiving surgery for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and explore related factors that can increase levels of hope in this population, enhance the confidence to defeat the disease, and thus increase the quality of life. Methods A total of 327 postoperative NSCLC patients from the National Cancer Center/National Clinical Research Center for Cancer/Cancer Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College were enrolled. All participants completed the General Questionnaire, Fear of Progression Questionnaire-Short Form (FoP-Q-SF), Herth Hope Index (HHI) Scale, and Social Support Rating Scale (SSRS). Results The mean FoP-Q-SF score was (30.3 ± 9.48) points in postoperative NSCLC patients, Among them, there were 188 patients (57.5%) who had psychological dysfunction, indicated by a score of > / = 34. Patient sex and family income were independent risk factors for FCR (both p < 0.05). Correlation analysis revealed a negative association between FCR and hope level (p < 0.05) and a positive association between hope level and social support (p < 0.05). Notably, social support mediated the association between FCR and hope in patients receiving surgery for NSCLC (contribution effect: 30.24%). Conclusion Postoperative NSCLC patients experience a moderate level of FCR, especially females and those with a low family income. Social support partially mediates the relationship between FCR and hope in this population. Therefore, an increase in the level of social support can increase hope among these patients and advancing recovery.
Spearman correlations between psychosocial factors and changes in MVPA. For accelerometry data (n = 14), correlations with absolute value > 0.37 have p < 0.10, correlations with absolute value > 0.46 have p < 0.05, and correlations with absolute value > 0.63 have p < 0.01. For GLTEQ data (n = 37), correlations with absolute value > 0.22 have p < 0.10 and correlations with absolute value > 0.28 have p < 0.05
Background Whether individual, environmental, and psychosocial factors predict changes in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is poorly addressed in prostate cancer (PC) survivors undergoing androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Purpose This secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial examined changes in MVPA following a supervised personal training (PT), supervised group-based (GROUP) program, or a home-based, smartphone-assisted exercise (HOME) intervention in PC survivors on ADT and explored individual, environmental, and psychosocial predictors of MVPA. Methods PC survivors on ADT underwent aerobic and resistance training for 6 months via PT, GROUP, or HOME. MVPA was captured via accelerometers and the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire. Changes in MVPA between groups were assessed using linear regression. The following predictors of MVPA were examined using Spearman correlations: the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS); the Planning, Attitudes, and Behaviours (PAB) scale; the Relatedness to Others in Physical Activity Scale (ROPAS); and individual factors at baseline. Results Participants (n = 37) were 69.4 ± 6.5 years old and 78.4% were on ADT for ≥ 3 months. Changes in accelerometry-based bouts and MVPA as well as self-reported MVPA did not differ between groups at 6 months. The Aesthetics domain of the NEWS questionnaire at baseline was the strongest predictor of positive MVPA changes (r = .66). Attitude (r = .64), planning (r = .57), and motivation (r = .50) at baseline were also predictive of engaging in higher MVPA throughout the intervention. Conclusion Changes in objective MVPA were modest. Additional emphasis on specific psychosocial and individual factors is important to inform theory-based interventions that can foster PA behavior change in PC survivors on ADT. Registration # NCT02046837.
Top 30 most frequently reported problems
Purpose Treatment for hematological malignancies (HMs) and functional decline associated with age can cause distress in elderly patients with HMs. However, information about the nature and effects of distress in this population is scarce. Therefore, this study examined the level of distress, its source, and the practical/familial/physical/emotional problems among elderly patients with HMs. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of patients with HMs aged ≥ 65 years who visited an outpatient clinic at a tertiary medical center in Korea between November 2019 and March 2020. Patient-reported distress and problems were measured using the distress thermometer (DT) and 39‐item Problem List by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Descriptive statistics, χ² test or Fisher’s exact test, and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted (N = 132). Results In total, 62.1% of patients had moderate to severe distress (DT score ≥ 4), experiencing an average of nine problems. Significant sources of distress on multivariate logistic analysis included problems with transportation, depression, and constipation, accounting for 47% of distress variance. Most patients had physical (97.0%) or emotional problems (79.5%). Among these, fatigue (60.6%), worry (59.8%), tingling (59.8%), difficulty with mobility (47.0%), and memory/concentration (40.2%) were the most frequently reported problems. Conclusions Elderly patients with HMs have a high burden of distress, which is affected by different sources, compared with younger patients with solid tumors. Thus, in this population, assessment and management of distress need to be conducted considering the unique features of their source and burden. Further research on distress should consider the cancer type and population age.
Flowchart – patient selection
Absolute risk (a) and Cumulative cause-specific hazard (b) of the event (ITDD1) and event-free death, respectively
Survival (Figure in color (red and black))
Purpose A majority of the patients with esophageal cancer (EC) suffer from dysphagia. Several endoscopic treatment options are available such as stent placement, argon plasma coagulation, and esophageal dilatation. This study aimed to map the use of endoscopic dysphagia relieving interventions and secondly investigate possible impact on survival. Methods Data was collected at the Dept. of Surgery & Transplantation, Rigshospitalet, Denmark. Patients with non-curable EC referred from 2016 to 2019 were included. Type of dysphagia treatment, complications and the need for repeated treatments, and survival were registered. Results In the study, 601 patients were included. Forty-five percent were treated with an endoscopic procedure due to dysphagia (82% had a stent placed). The median time from diagnosis to intervention was 24 days. The overall complication rate was 35% (38% in the stent group and 20% in the non-stent group, p = 0.03) and 13% of the patients were readmitted due to a complication. After 26% of the procedures, a repeated treatment was required. Patients having an endoscopic intervention had a worsened survival prognosis compared with the patients in the non-intervention group (HR: 2.17, 95% CI: 1.80–2.61, p < 0.001). In the sub analysis where only patients who had an intervention was included, a survival difference in favor of the non-stent group was found (HR: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.43–0.86, p = 0.005). Conclusion In this cohort, the incidence of endoscopic procedures was high, complication rates were considerable, and many the patients required a second treatment. A survival difference was seen, where the patients who had a stent placed seemed to have the worst survival outcomes. However, the causal relationship is yet to be determined why the results must be interpreted carefully. New interventions and tailored approaches that may positively affect functional and long-term oncological outcomes are highly warranted and this should preferably be investigated in randomized clinical trials.
Objective This study aimed to investigate the effect of continuing nursing care team mode on postoperative outpatient chemotherapy patients with pancreatic cancer. Methods One-hundred patients receiving postoperative outpatient chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer between September 2019 and December 2020 were enrolled in this study and divided into two groups, an intervention group and a control group (n = 50 each), by random number table method or coin tossing method. The patients in the intervention group were followed up using continuing nursing care team mode, while those in the control group were followed up using the traditional telephone follow-up mode. The effects of the two modes on patients’ self-care ability, quality of life, anxiety, hospital waiting time, and the nurses’ communication ability and self-efficacy were compared and analyzed. Results The self-care ability and quality of life of the patients in the intervention group were better than those of the control group (p < 0.05), the anxiety score and hospital waiting times were lower than those in the control group (p < 0.05), and the communication ability and general self-efficacy of the nurses were also significantly stronger than those in the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusion The application of the continuing nursing care team mode for follow-up can improve the self-care ability and quality of life of patients, effectively reduce the anxiety and hospital waiting time of outpatient chemotherapy patients, and improve the nurses’ communication ability and general self-efficacy. Therefore, this practice is worthy of clinical popularization.
Overall survival curve of MDS patients in low and high CONUT score groups
Purpose To evaluate the prognostic value of the controlling nutritional status score (CONUT) in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Methods The clinical data of 81 newly diagnosed MDS patients treated with decitabine in the hematology ward of our hospital from October 2009 to September 2020 were analyzed retrospectively. According to the ROC curve of overall survival (OS), the best cutoff value of CONUT was obtained. MDS patients were divided into high CONUT score group and low CONUT score group according to the best cut-off value, and their clinical characteristics and survival were analyzed. Results Among the 81 patients with MDS, there were 32 cases in the high CONUT score group and 49 cases in low CONUT score group. Compared with the low CONUT group, the high CONUT group had lower levels of hemoglobin, lymphocyte count, albumin, and total cholesterol (P = 0.037, < 0.001, 0.009, < 0.001). The median OS of low and high CONUT groups were 17.2 and 11.0 months (P = 0.017). According to the results of univariate and multivariate survival analysis of OS, thrombocytopenia, high CONUT score, and medium and high risk IPSS-R score were independent prognostic factors. Conclusion High CONUT score is associated with low hemoglobin in patients with MDS. High CONUT score indicates poor OS and it is an independent prognostic factor in patients with MDS.
Flow chart of recruitment process
Baseline-adjusted differences in North Central Cancer Treatment Groups Patient Reported Outcome on acute presentation of oxaliplatin items 1–5 scored each day from baseline to 7 days after infusion of oxaliplatin, scored on NRS 0–10. A Question: Did you experience sensitivity to touching cold items within the last 24 h? B Did you experience discomfort swallowing cold liquids within the last 24 h? C Did you notice any throat discomfort within the last 24 h? D Did you suffer from muscle cramps within the last 24 h? E Did you have any difficulty buttoning your shirt or tying shoe-laces within the last 24 h?
Unadjusted (no baseline) scores of taxane-induced acute pain syndrome (TAPS). Items adapted from the North Central Cancer Treatment Groups Patient Reported Outcomes. Items 1 (A), 2 (B), and 3 (C) scored each day from day 1 to 6 days after infusion of paclitaxel, scored on NRS 0–10. A Question: Please rate any aches/pains that are NEW since your last dose of paclitaxel, and that you think might be related to your chemotherapy treatment by circling ONE number that best describes your aches/pains at its WORST in the last 24 h. B Please rate any aches/pains […] at its LEAST in the last 24 h. C Please rate any aches/pains […] on the AVERAGE in the last 24 h
Purpose To assess the safety, dosing, and preventive effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) in patients receiving oxaliplatin- or paclitaxel-based chemotherapy. Methods Patients with cancer scheduled to undergo treatment with carboplatin and paclitaxel (Carbo-Tax) or capecitabine and oxaliplatin (CAPOX) received 150 mg CBD oil twice daily (300 mg/daily) for 8 days beginning 1 day before initiation of chemotherapy. Ten CIPN-specific patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures were captured at baseline and each day after the first cycle of chemotherapy for 8 days. Multi-frequency vibrometry (MF-V) was captured at baseline and day 4 ± 1 after initiation of chemotherapy. Controls were obtained from a similar patient cohort that did not receive CBD. Adverse events were captured using the CTCAE ver. 4.03. Results From March to December 2021, 54 patients were recruited. CBD-treated patients were significantly older (p = 0.013/0.037, CAPOX/Carbo-Tax) compared to controls. Patients receiving CBD and CAPOX or Carbo-Tax showed significantly lower (better) change in Z-scores in high-frequency MF-V (125 and 250 Hz) compared to controls. This difference was most pronounced for patients receiving Carbo-Tax (− 1.76, CI-95 = [− 2.52; − 1.02] at 250 Hz). CAPOX patients treated with CBD had significantly lower peak baseline-adjusted difference in three PRO items on cold sensitivity to touch, discomfort swallowing cold liquids, and throat discomfort (− 2.08, − 2.06, and − 1.81, CI-95 = [− 3.89; − 0.12], NRS 0–10). No significant differences in PRO items were found for patients receiving Carbo-Tax. Possible side effects included stomach pain (grades 1–2) for patients receiving CAPOX. Conclusion CBD attenuated early symptoms of CIPN with no major safety concerns. Long-term follow-up is ongoing. Results should be confirmed in a larger, randomized study. Trial registration number NCT 04,167,319 (U.S National Library of Medicine; Date of registration: November 18, 2019.
Cancer patients have an increased risk of developing venous thromboembolic events. Anticoagulation management includes prophylactic or therapeutic doses of low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs) or direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). However, the management of thrombosis in patients with cancer is complex due to various individual and disease-related factors, including drug–drug interactions (DDIs). Furthermore, DDIs may impact both, cancer and venous thrombosis, treatment effectiveness and safety; their relevance is highlighted by the advances in cancer therapeutics. Given that these new oncology drugs are extensively used, more attention should be given to monitoring potential DDIs to minimize risks. Recognition of DDIs is of utmost importance in an era of rapid developments in cancer treatments and introduction of novel treatments and protocols. When managing cancer-associated thrombosis (CAT), the concomitant use of a DOAC and a moderate or strong modulator (inhibitor or inducer) of CYP3A4 or a P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is most likely to be associated with significant DDIs. Therefore, LMWHs remain the first-line option for the long-term management of CAT under these circumstances and physicians must consider utilizing LMWHs as first line. This review describes the risk of DDIs and their potential impact and outcomes in patients with cancer associated thrombosis (CAT) receiving anticoagulation. The DDIs explored include pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, the breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), and human plasma protein DDIs.
The main types of catheter-related thrombotic occlusions.
Adapted from Rajasekhar et al. [11]
Proposed algorithm for the management of catheter-related thrombosis (CRT). CVAD, central venous access device
Main characteristics of central venous access devices (CVADs) commonly used in oncology and their schematic representation [1, 2]
Central venous access devices (CVADs) including central venous catheters and peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are essential in the treatment of cancer. Catheter-related thrombosis (CRT) is the most frequent non-infectious complication associated with the use of central lines. The development of CRT may cause to delays in oncologic treatment and increase morbidity leading to potentially life-threatening complications. Several local and systemic risk factors are associated with the development of CRT and should be taken into account to prevent CRT by standardizing appropriate catheter placement and maintenance. The use of primary pharmacological thromboprophylaxis in order to avoid CRT is not routinely recommended, although it can be considered in selected cases. Recommendations for the management of established CRT are based on the extrapolation of anticoagulation for lower limb venous thrombosis. The present review summarizes the current evidence and recommendations for the prevention and management of CRT and identifies areas that require further research.
Flow-chart of recruitment and participation in the baseline- and 3-month follow-up questionnaires, numbers (n) and reasons for dropouts among 20 out of 119 randomized drop-outs. The total response rate among the female pelvic cancer survivors who agreed to visit the clinic was 260 of 379 (68.6%). *Inventoried patients, **Referred patients
Number (n) and proportions (%) of patient-reported evaluation, 3 months post-interventions
Purpose Treatment-induced sexual and intestinal dysfunctions coexist among women after pelvic radiotherapy. We aimed to explore if sexual health and wellbeing may be improved after radiotherapy following nurse-led interventions and if an association exists between improved intestinal health and sexual health. Methods A population-based cohort of women treated with pelvic radiotherapy underwent interventions at a nurse-led clinic at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sweden, from 2011 to 2017. Self-reported questionnaires were used, pre- and post-intervention, to compare self-reported changes in sexual health and wellbeing. A regression model was performed to explore the association between intestinal and wellbeing variables. Results Among the 260 female pelvic cancer survivors included in the study, more women reported increased than decreased satisfaction with overall sexual health post-intervention (26.0% vs. 15.3%, p = 0.035). They also reported significantly reduced superficial genital pain (25.8% vs. 13.1%, p ≤ 0.025), reduced deep genital pain (23.1% vs. 8.0%, p ≤ 0.001), increased QoL (42.7% vs. 22.4%, p < 0.001), and reduced levels of depression (43.1% vs. 28.0%, p = 0.003) or anxiety (45.9% vs. 24.4%, p < 0.001) post-intervention. We found a significant association between reduced urgency to defecate and improved satisfaction with overall sexual health (RR 3.12, CI 1.27–7.68, p = 0.004) and between reduced urgency to defecate with fecal leakage and reduced anxious mode (RR 1.56, CI 1.04–2.33, p = 0.021). Conclusion Sexual health and wellbeing can be improved by interventions provided in a nurse-led clinic focusing on physical treatment-induced late effects. Further research to optimize treatment strategies in female pelvic cancer survivors is needed.
Distribution of the N = 2262 responses to the four anchor questions used for capturing aspects of life with a stoma. ‘Satisfaction’: How would you rate your overall satisfaction with your life with a colostomy? ‘Adaptation’: Have you got used to having a colostomy? ‘Embarrassment’: Are you embarrassed by your colostomy? ‘Restriction’; Does your colostomy restrict you in your everyday activities or chores?
Reported occurrence of stoma-related problems, symptoms, and complications according to the Colostomy Impact score in the total sample N = 2262. Numbers in columns are percentages
Purpose Stoma-related problems are known to be important to patients and potentially affect everyday life. The prevalence of stoma-related problems in rectal cancer survivors remains undetermined. This study aimed to examine aspects of life with a long-term stoma, stoma management, and stoma-related problems and explore the impact of stoma-related problems on daily life. Methods In total, 2262 patients from 5 European countries completed a multidimensional survey. Stoma-related problems were assessed using the Colostomy Impact score. Multivariable regression analysis, after adjusting for potential confounding factors, provided odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for stoma-related problems’ association with restrictions in daily life. Results The 2262 rectal cancer survivors completed the questionnaire at a median of 5.4 years (interquartile range 3.8–7.6) after stoma formation. In the total sample, leakage (58%) and troublesome odour (55%) were most prevalent followed by skin problems (27%) and pain (21%). Stoma-related problems were more prevalent in patients with parastomal bulging. A total of 431 (19%) reported feeling restricted in daily activities in life with a stoma. Leakage, odour, skin problems, stool consistency, and frequent appliance changes were significantly associated with restrictions in daily life. The highest risk of experiencing restrictions was seen for patients having odour (OR 2.74 [95% CI: 1.99–3.78]) more than once a week and skin problems (OR 1.77 [95% CI: 1.38–2.27]). Conclusion In this large cohort with rectal cancer, stoma-related problems were highly prevalent and impacted daily life. Supportive care strategies should entail outreach to patients with a long-term stoma.
Purpose The study aims to assess cognitive function in women newly diagnosed with non-metastatic thyroid cancer before any treatment and to identify factors associated with cognitive problems. Methods Korean women newly diagnosed with thyroid cancer awaiting initial surgical treatment (n = 130) completed neuropsychological tests and self-report questionnaires on symptom distress and psychological distress. Additionally, information on thyroid function was obtained through a medical chart audit. Descriptive statistics and multivariable regression analyses were performed to describe the incidence of cognitive problems and to identify possible predictors of neuropsychological performance. Results Approximately 95% of women newly diagnosed with thyroid cancer had impaired neuropsychological test scores on one or more tests of attention and cognitive control. Further analyses found that 78% of women met both the Global Deficit Score and the International Cancer and Cognition Task Force criteria for impairment. Finally, regression analyses found that older age, fewer years of education, greater depressed mood, and having a hypothyroid state but not having a comorbid condition, fatigue, sleep problems, symptom burden, or symptom interference were associated with worse neuropsychological test performance in this sample. Additional explorative regression analysis using mean T-scores corrected for age, education, and gender continued to find that hypothyroid state was associated with worse neuropsychological test performance. Conclusions Findings suggest that individuals newly diagnosed with non-metastatic thyroid cancer are vulnerable to cognitive deficits at diagnosis before any treatment. As such, healthcare workers should assess individuals newly diagnosed with thyroid cancer diagnosis awaiting treatment for the disease for cognitive deficits and intervene to reduce symptom distress and optimize function.
Objective: Despite oncology providers' significant roles in patient care, few studies have been conducted to investigate oncology providers' understanding of financial toxicity. This study aimed to explore oncology providers' perceptions and practices relating to the financial toxicity of older cancer survivors in China. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted. Individual interviews were conducted with 14 oncology providers at four general hospitals and two cancer specialist hospitals in China. Qualitative data was analyzed using descriptive coding and thematic analysis methods. Results: The perceptions of participants about the financial toxicity of older cancer survivors include (1) older adults with cancer are especially vulnerable to financial toxicity; (2) inadequate social support may lead to financial toxicity; and (3) cancer-related financial toxicity increased the risk of poor treatment outcomes. The interventions to mitigate its negative effects include (1) effective communication about the cancer-related costs; (2) improving the professional ability to care for the patient; (3) cancer education program as a way to reduce knowledge gaps; and (4) clinical empathy as an effective treatment strategy. Conclusion: Oncology providers perceive that older cancer patients' financial toxicity plays a key role in increasing the negative effects of diagnosis and treatment of cancer, as well as possibly worsening cancer outcomes. Some potential practices of providers to mitigate financial toxicity include utilizing effective cost communication, improving professional ability in geriatric oncology care, and promoting further cancer education and clinical empathy.
PRISMA flow diagram for systematic reviews
Traffic light plot of ROB 2 assessment
Purpose Prehabilitation affords an opportunity to support the management of malnutrition that is strongly associated with head and neck cancer. The purpose of this systematic review was to identify the components of nutritional prehabilitation interventions and their effects on nutritional and health outcomes in head and neck cancer patients. Methods A comprehensive search was completed within Medline (including PubMed), CINHAL, Cochrane database, EMBASE, PRoQUEST, clinical trials registries, and grey literature to identify studies involving a nutritional intervention pre-treatment in head and neck cancer patients receiving any form of curative therapy. Nutritional intervention was defined as a specified period pre-treatment and outcome measures had to include assessment of nutritional status or body composition. Quality of included studies was assessed using Cochrane risk of bias 2. Results From 557 identified studies, two met the inclusion criteria. Due to the low number of studies, a meta-analysis was not indicated. Both studies conducted a nutritional intervention using an “enriched formula” in malnourished patients prior to surgery. Neither study reported the intervention was effective for reducing weight loss, physical function, surgical complications, or length of stay versus the comparison. Conclusion There is limited nutritional prehabilitation research within head and neck cancer. An “enriched formula” provided in the prehabilitation period appears no more advantageous than routine standard nutritional formula in mitigating against the weight loss experienced in malnourished head and neck patient. Due to the malnutrition risks on diagnosis and the negative impact of poor nutritional status on clinical and functional outcomes, robust nutritional prehabilitation research is required to inform clinical practice.
Background and purpose Cancer is the world’s second greatest cause of mortality and a leading cause of death in both developed and developing countries. Patients employ a number of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) methods to deal with the problems and difficulties of cancer, which can have an impact on their quality of life (QOL). The aim of the present study was to assess the correlation between QOL and the use of different CAM methods in terminally ill cancer patients. Methods This was a cross-sectional study. In southern Iran, 238 individuals with advanced cancer were studied in oncology centers and doctors’ offices. During the months of January to August 2021, patients were selected using convenience sampling. A demographic information questionnaire, the EORTC core quality of life questionnaire, and the CAM questionnaire were used to collect data. Results The results showed that terminally ill cancer patients had a good quality of life. Last year, 85.7% of participants used at least one kind of CAM. Furthermore, 45.4% of participants used only one form of CAM, 30.3% used two types of CAM, 6.7% used three types of CAM, and 3.4% used four to five types of CAM. When all CAM users were compared to non-CAM users, CAM users had significantly higher social QOL and overall quality of life. Two subscales of QOL symptoms and function were correlated with cancer history, income, and use of CAMs, and the scores of QOL symptoms and function were greater in CAM users compared to non-CAM users. Among all the study variables, only the usage of CAM was correlated to overall QOL among terminally ill cancer patients. Conclusion The current study found that using CAM could affect different aspects of QOL in terminally ill cancer patients. As a result, it is feasible that using CAM could help these people enhance their health and QOL.
PRISMA flow diagram of literature searches
ROBINS-I tool assessment
Forest plot of the effects of oral health education interventions on the incidence of OM ulcerative lesions
Oral health education is an effective measure to prevent oral mucositis (OM) by improving self-management and effectively engaging patients in their health care. This systematic review aimed to determine the impact of oral health education interventions on the incidence and severity of OM. Bibliographical searches were carried out by two independent examiners in Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Virtual Health Library, and SIGLE, until June 2022. The eligibility criteria were based on the PICO strategy, considering studies with pediatric oncology patients, aged 0 to 19 years, who had attended oral health education activities and had been examined for the incidence and/or severity of OM. Data were extracted for qualitative synthesis and organized in spreadsheets. The quality assessment of the selected studies was performed using the ROBINS-I tool. Meta-analysis was based on the group frequencies of OM ulcerative lesions, adopting a significance level of 5%. The Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) was used to define the certainty of the evidence. The primary search retrieved 1827 articles. After removing duplicate records and screening titles and abstracts for eligibility, a total of 21 articles were selected for full-text analysis. Of these, seven eligible studies were included for data extraction and qualitative synthesis, while four studies were selected for quantitative synthesis. All studies had a longitudinal design; three performed a before-after comparison and four were controlled studies. OM was assessed by the following scales: OAG, WHO, ChIMES, and WCCNR. While data analysis of the selected studies was heterogeneous, the implementation of oral health education strategies was found to reduce the incidence and severity of OM during the follow-up period. The meta-analysis showed a favorable outcome for the educational intervention. The likelihood of patients attending oral health education activities to manifest OM ulcerative lesions was significantly lower (P = 0.002) than that of the control. The GRADE analysis presented a low certainty of the evidence. To conclude, oral health education interventions improved OM outcomes in pediatric oncology patients with a low quality of evidence.
Parent perceptions regarding their child’s physical activity levels. Abbreviations: MVPA, moderate to vigorous physical activity. Median and range of parents’ perceptions of their child’s physical activity levels vs. survivors’ self-reported MVPA (minutes/week). The dotted line denotes the recommended guidelines for physical activity (420 min/week of MVPA) for children aged 8–17 years. Survivors who were 18 years old (n = 13) were adjusted for their recommended guidelines (150 min/week of MVPA). The ‘should be doing less’ group was removed due to small sample (n = 4)
Number of parents who endorsed each concern regarding their child exercising after cancer treatment (n = 19). NB, parents were able to list multiple concerns when responding
Purpose Parents are important facilitators of physical activity for children, yet little is known about the perceptions of parents of childhood cancer survivors. We investigated parent perceptions of their own and their child’s physical activity levels after cancer treatment and examined associations with clinical, demographic, and psychosocial factors. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional survey among 125 parents and 125 survivors. Parents reported on the perceived importance of their child being physically active and concerns regarding exercising after cancer treatment. Results Parents and survivors self-reported median (range) of 127.5 (0–1260) and 220 (0–1470) min/week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Most parents ( n = 109, 98%) believed that physical activity was highly important for their child. Some parents ( n = 19, 17%) reported concerns, most commonly regarding exercise safety ( n = 7, 22%). Parents were more likely to perceive that their child should increase physical activity if their child was an adolescent and had high body fat percentage. Conclusions Physical activity levels varied widely among survivors, reflecting factors including parents’ lifestyles, limited understanding of exercise benefits and perceptions of risk. Given survivors’ insufficient physical activity levels and sedentary behaviour among families, embedding physical activity promotion into health systems and follow-up support could benefit the entire family unit.
Purpose The purpose of this study was to identify the incidence, sites and main pathogens, and risk factors for infectious complications occurring in patients with adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) during the first course of venetoclax combined with decitabine or azacitidine. Methods A retrospective cohort analysis was performed of 81 patients with AML older than 14 years who received the first cycle of venetoclax combined with a hypomethylating agent (HMA) between March 2018 and March 2021 at our institution. Infectious complications, if any, were documented. Results Among a total of 81 cases of AML, 59 (72.8%) patients occurred infections, including fever without an identifiable source (28.8%), clinically documented infections (40.7%), and microbiologically documented infections (30.5%). The most commonly isolated organism in culture was Candida albicans, followed by Klebsiella pneumonia, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The 4-week and 8-week mortality rates were 3.7% and 7.4%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, a high proportion of blasts in bone marrow, decreased hemoglobin level, and fever with or without a documented infection at baseline were significant independent risk factors for infectious complications. Conclusion Compared with conventional chemotherapy, the incidence of infectious complications of venetoclax combined with decitabine or azacitidine significantly decreased. Pretreatment high leukemia burden and fever were independent risk factors for infections.
The association between demoralization and depression
Interaction effect of masculine self-esteem by resilience on demoralization
Purpose The current cross-sectional study had three objectives: (1) to assess the prevalence of depression and demoralization in a sample of prostate cancer (PCa) patients; (2) to examine whether masculine self-esteem and depression were associated with demoralization; and (3) to evaluate the role of resilience as a factor buffering the effects of masculine self-esteem and depression on demoralization. Methods 197 PCa patients aged 48 to 79 years (M = 67.19; SD = 6.83) answered questions about masculine self-esteem, depression, resilience, and demoralization. An ANOVA was conducted to examine whether the association between demoralization and depressive symptoms was linear. A chi-square test was calculated to determine differences between depression and demoralization. Finally, a hierarchical multiple linear regression analysis with interaction terms was conducted to examine the associations between masculine self-esteem, depression, resilience, and demoralization. Results Depression scores increased linearly with demoralization severity, but demoralization scores were higher than depression scores (21.3% vs. 15.2%). Lower scores on masculine self-esteem and higher scores on depressive symptoms were associated with greater demoralization. Resilience significantly moderated the association between masculine self-esteem and demoralization, but not between depression and demoralization. Conclusion Assessment of depression, masculine self-esteem, resilience, and demoralization in the clinical setting is critical for improving the mental health status of PCa patients.
Patient distress scores. Distribution of patient level of distress on a scale of 0–10 with 0 being no distress and 10 being extremely high distress (n = 44)
Purpose We sought to describe patient experiences during COVID-19 related delays in urologic cancer treatment. Methods We conducted a mixed methods study with an explanatory-sequential design. Survey findings are presented here. Patients from a Midwestern Cancer Center and the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) self-reported via survey their experience of treatment delay, patient-provider communication, and coping strategies. We quantified patient distress with an ordinal scale (0–10), based on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Distress Thermometer (NCCN-DT). Results Forty-four patients with bladder, prostate, and kidney cancers consented to the survey. Most individuals were male (n = 29; 66%) and older than 61 years of age (n = 34; 77%). Median time since diagnosis was 6 months. Dominant reactions to treatment delay included fear that cancer would progress (n = 22; 50%) and relief at avoiding COVID-19 exposure (n = 19; 43%). Most patients reported feeling that their providers acknowledged their emotions (n = 31; 70%), yet 23 patients (52%) did not receive follow-up phone calls and only 24 (55%) felt continually supported by their providers. Patients’ median distress level was 5/10 with 68% (n = 30) of patients reaching a clinically significant level of distress (≥ 4). Thematically grouped suggestions for providers included better communication, more personalized support, and better patient education. Conclusion During the COVID-19 pandemic, a high proportion of urologic cancer patients reached a clinically significant level of distress. While they felt concern from providers, they desired more engagement and personalized care.
Model including positive personal resources to predict resilience and psychological distress in breast cancer women during the COVID-19 pandemic
Purpose This study aims to understand the association between positive personal resources (i.e., optimism, hope, courage, trait mindfulness, and self-efficacy), resilience, and psychological distress (i.e., anxiety, depression, stress) in women with breast cancer and breast cancer survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hypothesized that personal positive resources can directly influence resilience, which in turn prevented psychological distress. Methods The research sample consisted of 409 Italian women (49% patients, 51% survivors) who were administered a questionnaire to assess positive resources, resiliency, and distress. structural equation model (SEM) analysis was carried out to confirm the hypothetical-theoretical model. Results Personal positive resources had a direct positive effect on resilience, which prevented from distress. These results were observed across cancer patients and survivors, and regardless the level of direct exposure to COVID-19. Conclusions In both patients and survivors, the relationships between positive personal resources, resilience, and psychological distress is strong enough to be not influenced by the level of exposure to COVID-19 and despite COVID-19 pandemic caused the disruption of active treatment plans and delays in routine check-ups. Implications for cancer survivors Implications of this study suggest the urgency to screen positive resources and to identify women with lower resilience and a potentially higher susceptibility to develop psychological distress. For these women, our findings suggest the implementation of psychological interventions that build resilience.
The process of sample inclusion. Abbreviation: eGFR, estimated glomerular filtration rate
The prevalence of hypophosphatemia (serum level of phosphate < 0.8 mmol/L) before parental nutrition in different groups. Group criteria: age (< 65 years vs. ≥ 65), pre-albumin (≥ 160 mg/L vs. < 160 mg/L), calcium (≥ 2.11 mmol/L vs. < 2.11 mmol/L), magnesium (≥ 0.75 mmol/L vs. < 0.75 mmol/L). Blue bar represents the first group
Objective Hypophosphatemia might cause respiratory and heart failure and even death. We aimed to evaluate risk factors for hypophosphatemia and refeeding-related hypophosphatemia in patients requiring parental nutrition (PN). Methods This was a single-center, retrospective study. Clinical parameters were obtained from medical records. Serum phosphate (inorganic phosphorus) was measured by photometric analysis. Hypophosphatemia was confirmed when serum phosphate level was less than 0.8 mmol/L (≈2.5 mg/dl). Refeeding related hypophosphatemia was confirmed if serum phosphate level had a decrease of 0.16 mmol/L or more from baseline and if the final assessment was below 0.65 mmol/L. Results A total number of 655 (426 men and 229 women, aged 62.8 ± 14.8 years) hospitalized patients requiring PN were included in the study, and 60.6% of them were patients with cancer. The average body mass index (BMI) was 21.1 ± 4.1 kg/m² and the median of serum phosphate was 0.9 mmol/L (quartile range: 0.68 mmol/L, 1.11 mmol/L). The prevalence of hypophosphatemia was 37.6% (246/655). Older age (≥ 65 years vs. < 65 years), lower serum level of pre-albumin (< 160 mg/L vs. ≥ 160 mg/L), calcium (< 2.11 mmol/L vs. ≥ 2.11 mmol/L), and magnesium (< 0.75 mmol/L vs. ≥ 0.75 mmol/L) were associated with high risk of hypophosphatemia by multivariate logistic regression (OR ranged from 1.43 to 3.06, all p < 0.05). Refeeding related hypophosphatemia was 9.5% (16/168). Serum level of calcium at baseline was significantly lower in participants with refeeding related hypophosphatemia than those without it. Total calorie and nitrogen delivered during first week of PN period showed no obvious difference between patients with and without refeeding related hypophosphatemia. Conclusions Hypophosphatemia is common (37.6%) in hospitalized patients requiring PN. Monitoring of serum level of phosphorus is necessary to facilitate early treatment of hypophosphatemia.
APIM (standardized estimations) for GAD on HRQoL. GAD, general anxiety disorder; HRQoL, health-related quality of life. *p < .05; ***p < .001
APIM (standardized estimations) for FoP on HRQoL. FoP, fear of progression; HRQoL, health-related quality of life. *p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < .001
APIM (equal actor and partner effects) for depression on HRQoL. Dep, depression; HRQoL, health-related quality of life. **p < .01; ***p < .001
Background Patients with prostate cancer (PC) and their spouses are confronted with several treatment-related and psychosocial challenges that can reduce their health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Patients with advanced PC (aPC) and their spouses are at highest risk for psychological distress and show lower HRQoL compared with couples in other phases. The aim of this study was to investigate the psychological interdependencies between HRQoL and anxiety, fear of progression (FoP), and depression in patients with aPC and their spouses. Methods Ninety-six heterosexual couples with aPC participated in this cross-sectional study. Patients and spouses provided information about anxiety and depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-4), fear of progression (short form of the Fear of Progression Questionnaire), and HRQoL (EORTC QoL-C30, version 3). Psychological interdependencies were analyzed with various actor-partner interdependence models using structural equation modeling. Results Anxiety, FoP, and depression were significant predictors of HRQoL for patients with aPC and their spouses (actor effects). Spouses’ anxiety and FoP were negatively associated with patients’ HRQoL (partner effects), showing that patients’ HRQoL is associated with their own and their spouses’ anxiety and FoP. No partner effect was revealed between depression and HRQoL in the patients or spouses. Conclusions The resulted partner effects between spouses and patients underline the importance of considering HRQoL in patients with aPC from a dyadic perspective. It is important that physicians explore patients’ and spouses’ needs and psychological burden to offer support and access to psycho-oncological services. Future studies are needed to investigate the effects of suitable interventions on spouses’ anxiety and FoP.
Decision flow chart for referral to integrative Medicine Center psychologist
Objective Health psychology (HP) plays a critical role within a multidisciplinary, integrative oncology team. HP in integrative oncology is not well established and criteria for referral have not been examined. This study examined characteristics of referral to HP. Methods A chart review of 1827 patients in the Integrative Medicine Center (IMC) between 2019 and 2020 was conducted. Patient assessments included the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale, Measure Yourself Concerns and Well-being, and PROMIS10. Chi-square tests were used to compare categorical variables, Mann-Whitney test for non-normally distributed continuous variables, and t-tests for normally distributed continuous variables comparing those referred and not referred to HP. Results Patients referred (n = 316) were mostly female (85.4%), White (67.1%), married/partnered (67.7%), obese (42.1%), and with breast cancer (52.2%). When comparing the two groups, patients referred to HP and patients not referred to HP, patients referred had a higher proportion of female and Black patients than expected (p ≤ .01); patients referred were also younger and had higher BMIs (p ≤ .01). Referred patients reported worse fatigue, sleep, depression, anxiety, well-being, spiritual pain, financial distress, memory, overall mental health, physical health, and global health (p ≤ .01). Most common concerns of referrals were diet/nutrition, overall health, and stress/anxiety. Compared to non-referred, HP referrals were more likely to prioritize depression, spirituality, and stress/anxiety (p ≤ .01). Conclusions Patient characteristics are well-suited treatment targets for HP, including addressing emotional distress, healthy lifestyle, and quality of life. Our findings can help programs develop strategies to facilitate engagement with psychological counseling.
Flowchart of the study
Cancer primary sites and metastatic disease. Metastasis bar (red) length is proportional to the percentage of metastasis within the primary site
Background Patients with active cancer have a 4–sevenfold increased risk for venous thromboembolism (VTE) especially during systematic anticancer treatment. Simultaneously, surgery is an additional risk factor. Methods The Metaxas’s Hospital THromboprophylaxis program in Oncological & Surgical Patients (MeTHOS) is a prospective, phase IV, observational, non-interventional cohort study, aiming to record the thromboprophylaxis practice patterns in high-risk active cancer patients undergoing surgical and/or chemotherapy treatment. Results We are reporting results from 291 ambulatory patients (median age: 67 years, Q1–Q3: 59–73 years, 54.6% males) who received anti-neoplastic treatment and administered thromboprophylaxis. 59.8% had cardiovascular disease (mostly hypertension), 76.6% were reported as having at least one comorbidity, while 27.5% and 15.8% accumulated two and three comorbidities, respectively. 94.9% of the patients were receiving highly thrombogenic agents such as platinum-based agents, 5-FU, immunotherapy, antiangiogenics/anti-VEGF, or erythropoietin. 26.5% of the patients were initially surgically treated. In terms of anticoagulation, all patients were treated with tinzaparin (fixed dose, 10,000 Anti-Xa IU, OD). The median anticoagulation duration was 6.2 months. Six thrombotic events were observed (2.06%, 95% CI: 0.76–4.43%): 5 were DVT, and one PE. With respect to safety, 7 bleeding events occurred (2.6%, 95% CI: 1.0–5.3%); 6 of them were minor. Conclusions Thromboprophylaxis with LMWH in patients with active cancer and high thrombotic burden was safe and effective. Intermediate dose of tinzaparin seems to be an appropriate agent for cancer-associated thromboprophylaxis management. Clinical trial registration NCT04248348.
Purpose Relatively few studies have evaluated for symptom clusters across multiple dimensions. It is unknown whether the symptom dimension used to create symptom clusters influences the number and types of clusters that are identified. Study purposes were to describe ratings of occurrence, severity, and distress for 38 symptoms in a heterogeneous sample of oncology patients (n = 1329) undergoing chemotherapy; identify and compare the number and types of symptom clusters based on three dimensions (i.e., occurrence, severity, and distress); and identify common and distinct clusters. Methods A modified version of the Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale was used to assess the occurrence, severity, and distress ratings of 38 symptoms in the week prior to patients’ next cycle of chemotherapy. Symptom clusters for each dimension were identified using exploratory factor analysis. Results Patients reported an average of 13.9 (±7.2) concurrent symptoms. Lack of energy was both the most common and severe symptom while “I don’t look like myself” was the most distressing. Psychological, gastrointestinal, weight gain, respiratory, and hormonal clusters were identified across all three dimensions. Findings suggest that psychological, gastrointestinal, and weight gain clusters are common while respiratory and hormonal clusters are distinct. Conclusions Psychological, gastrointestinal, weight gain, hormonal, and respiratory clusters are stable across occurrence, severity, and distress in oncology patients receiving chemotherapy. Given the stability of these clusters and the consistency of the symptoms across dimensions, the use of a single dimension to identify these clusters may be sufficient. However, comprehensive and disease-specific inventories need to be used to identify distinct clusters.
CIPN levels at 4 time points for group with low and medium/high anxiety at baseline
CIPN levels at 4 time points for group with low and medium/high depression at baseline
Background Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common side effect of chemotherapy, especially after taxane-based therapy. This study aimed to examine the relationship between symptoms of anxiety and depression before the start of taxane-based chemotherapy and the development of CIPN in women with breast cancer. Methods In this prospective study, women with breast cancer receiving taxane-based (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy were recruited from four hospitals in the Netherlands. Patients completed questionnaires assessing anxiety and depressive symptoms before treatment and CIPN before treatment (T0), 6 weeks after start of treatment (T1), after the last cycle of chemotherapy (T2), and 6 months after the end of treatment (T3). Mixed model analyses were used to investigate whether medium/high levels of anxiety or depression at baseline are associated with the level of CIPN during and after treatment. Results Among the 61 participating women, 14 (23%) reported medium/high levels of anxiety and 29 (47.5%) reported medium/high levels of depressive symptoms at baseline. The group of women with medium/high baseline levels of anxiety showed a significantly higher increase in CIPN during and after chemotherapy than women with low baseline levels of anxiety (p < .001). No relationship between depressive symptoms at baseline and the development of CIPN was found. Conclusion This study showed that baseline medium to high levels of anxiety but not depressive symptoms impacted the development of CIPN during and in the 6 months after treatment.
Flowchart of the study. *BI, biliary stent infection
Distribution of biliary stent infection (BI) episodes over a 1-year surveillance period
Survival curve for 180 patients with or without biliary stent infection (BI) episodes
Distribution of bacteria responsible for 62 episodes of documented biliary stent infection (BI). *Serratia marcescens, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Haemophilus parahaemolyticus, Hafnia alvei
Background Palliative biliary drainage in patients with unresectable malignant biliary obstruction (MBO) frequently leads to biliary stent infection (BI), which could impact medical care. The aim of this study was to assess the risk factors for BI occurrence in patients after stenting procedure and the impact of BI on patient survival. Methods All consecutive patients hospitalized from 2014 to 2018 for MBO and biliary stenting were retrospectively included. Demographic, clinical, and microbiological characteristics of each BI episode during a 1-year follow-up were described. Documented BI was defined as the association of BI episode and confirmed blood stream infection (BSI). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to evaluate risk factors for the first BI occurrence. Results Among 180 patients, 56% were men (mean age of 69±12), and 54% have pancreatic cancer, 16% biliary cancer, 2% hepatic cancer, and 28% lymph node or metastatic compression; metallic stent was placed in 92%. A total of 113 BI episodes occurred in 74 patients, 55% of the first episodes occurring within 3 months after stenting. BI was documented in 56% of the episodes. Enterobacteriaceae were the most frequent pathogens found, while no yeasts were documented. Mortality rate in patients with BI was 64%. Multivariate analysis showed a significant difference in BI occurrence for two criteria: WHO score 3–4 (OR=8.79 [1.79–42.89]; p=0.007) and transpapillary stenting location (OR=3.72 [1.33–10.44]; p=0.013). Conclusion Since transpapillary stenting is a risk factor for BI, preserving the papilla as much as possible is a priority so as to avoid BI.
Institute of medicine’s systems level approach to healthcare delivery, customized for this study [15]
Purpose Diabetes is a prevalent comorbid condition among many women with breast cancer. The roles and responsibilities of managing diabetes during cancer care are unclear, as oncologists lack interest and clinical expertise and many patients stop seeing their primary care providers (PCPs). Uncertainty around who should manage diabetes for cancer patients can result in gaps in care for survivors. We sought to elicit the perspectives of providers about a novel diabetes care delivery intervention for women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Methods We conducted nominal group sessions with PCPs and breast oncologists across the USA. We introduced a novel care delivery model, which involved a nurse practitioner (NP) specifically trained in diabetes to work within the oncology team to manage diabetes for women during chemotherapy. PCPs and oncologists were asked to identify potential barriers and facilitators to the intervention’s success and then vote on the top three most important barriers and facilitators, separately. Votes were aggregated across sessions and presented as frequencies and weighted percentages. Results From November to December 2020, two 60-min sessions with PCPs and two 60-min sessions with breast oncologists were held virtually. In total, 29 providers participated, with 16 PCPs and 13 breast oncologists. At the health system level, financial support for the NP-led intervention was identified as the most important barrier across both provider types. Clearly defined roles for each care team member were identified as the most important facilitator at the care team level. At the patient level, lack of cancer-specific diabetes education was identified as an important barrier. Conclusion Our findings underscore the need to engage various stakeholders including policy makers, institutional leadership, care team members, and patients to improve diabetes care for patients undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. As such, multi-disciplinary interventions are warranted to increase awareness, engagement, and self-management practices among breast cancer patients with diabetes.
Definition of duration of opioid prescription
Patient flow chart
Purpose As the cancer survivors increase, patients using long-term and high-dose opioids are also increasing. Therefore, the promotion of appropriate use is important. This study investigated the actual status of opioid prescriptions in Japan and identified factors associated with long-term, high-dose prescription. Methods We conducted a case-control study using a hospital-based administrative claims database. Patients with a diagnosis of cancer and prescriptions of opioids were included. Patients who received continuous opioid for less than 183 days were defined as the “control,” and patients who received continuous opioid at higher dose levels (≥ 120 mg/day of oral morphine equivalent) for 183 days or more were defined as the “case.” The case was subdivided into two groups: those with the duration of less than 730 days (case I) and 730 days or more (case II). After describing factors possibly associated with long-term, high-dose opioid prescription, ordinal logistic regression analysis was conducted. Results We included 19,176 patients; of these, 13,517 were in the control, 111 were in the case I, and 682 were in the case II. The analysis showed that distant metastasis, back pain, dose of opioids, non-opioid analgesics, prescription, and chemotherapy during the opioid prescriptions were significantly associated with long-term, high-dose opioid prescription. Conclusion Four percent of the study population were prescribed long-term, high-dose opioids, and several comorbidities and concomitant medications were identified as associated factors. Opioids might be also prescribed for non-cancer chronic pain. It is necessary to properly distinguish the type of pain and to use opioids safely and appropriately.
Family caregiver flowchart on recruitment, enrollment, and intervention
Caregiver ambassador flowchart on recruitment, enrollment, and intervention
Purpose This study investigated the feasibility of a one-on-one peer support intervention in family caregivers of newly diagnosed patients with a hematological cancer during initial treatment. Methods The study was a one-arm feasibility study including family caregivers of newly diagnosed patients with hematological cancer (n = 26) and caregiver ambassadors who were family caregivers of previously treated patients as peer supporters (n = 17). The one-on-one peer support intervention consisted of three components: a caregiver ambassador preparatory course; 12 weeks of one-on-one peer support, and caregiver ambassador network meetings. Results Family caregivers reported high satisfaction with the delivery and flexibility of one-on-one peer support and improved in most psychosocial outcomes over time. Telephone and text messages were the most used form of contact between the peers. Caregiver ambassadors reported high satisfaction with the preparatory course and used the available support from the network meetings. No adverse events were reported. Conclusion One-on-one peer support provided by a caregiver ambassador is feasible and safe in family caregivers of newly diagnosed hematological cancer patients during their initial treatment. Utilizing volunteer caregiver ambassadors has the potential to be a new support model in family caregivers of hematological cancer patients across diagnostic groups within a clinical setting. Clinical trial registration number NCT04039100, July 29, 2019.
Purpose The rapidly increasing number of prostate cancer survivors in tandem with a forthcoming shortage of oncology specialists in our health system poses a barrier to ensuring that high-quality survivorship care is available to support this population. As such, there is a need to consider ways to optimize survivorship care, while taking health system constraints into account. The purpose of this study is to explore the perceptions of survivorship self-management between oncology specialists, primary care providers (PCPs), and survivors themselves. Methods A single cross-sectional survey, relating to how prostate cancer survivorship care could be improved, was administered to each group. Results Two hundred forty-three participants (N = 206 survivors, N = 10 oncology specialists, N = 27 PCPs) completed the study survey. Most PCPs (90%) and oncology specialists (84%) perceived that an opportunity for prostate cancer survivors to have an expanded role in their care would be beneficial. Nearly half (49%) of survivors reported that it would be beneficial to have an expanded role in their survivorship care with only 11% indicating that it would not be beneficial at all. Conclusions Barriers to developing this model involve limited oncology specialist time to execute survivorship plans, limited communication between oncology specialists and PCPs, and a lack of primary care and survivor education targeted specifically to prostate cancer survivorship.
a–d Mean values of CiTAS score trend during adjuvant treatment and follow-up
Overlapping of TAs
Purpose Dysgeusia and taste alterations (TAs) are side effects of cytotoxic chemotherapy and affect patients’ quality of life; however, the prevalence, types, and duration of TAs and their potential relationship with other clinical disturbances are not well-described. Our primary aim was to prospectively evaluate the characteristics of TAs in early breast cancer (EBC) patients during (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy and up to 1 year after its completion. Methods From April 2014 to June 2018, 182 EBC patients entered the study and received (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy, mostly with taxane and anthracycline-containing regimens (65% of cases). A dietitian performed TAs assessment through the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Event v4.0 (CTCAE) and the Chemotherapy-induced Taste Alteration Scale (CiTAS) questionnaire during chemotherapy and follow-up according to defined time points: at baseline (T0, before starting chemotherapy); at the first follow-up visit, (T1, 2 months after starting chemotherapy); at the final follow-up visit (T2, 1 week after completing chemotherapy); after that, every 3 months up to 12 months. Results Dysgeusia was reported by 69.8% of patients at T1 and declined subsequently; salty flavor distortion was the most frequently reported TA (51.6% of cases). CiTAS was significantly different between T0 and T2 (p < 0.001). Dysgeusia occurred more frequently in patients reporting nausea, mucositis, diarrhea, and appetite modification. Conclusions TAs are common but transient during chemotherapy and occurred frequently with other distressing gastrointestinal side effects. The assessment of these side effects is crucial in managing EBC patients during (neo)adjuvant chemotherapy.
A mediation model for the relationships among self-efficacy in patients with prostate cancer between anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and social support. Note: standardized path coefficients were presented. All path coefficients were statistically at least significant at p < 0 .05
Background Social support and self-efficacy are important factors to improve negative emotions such as depression and anxiety in patients with prostate cancer after surgery; however, little is known about the relationship between them. The objective of the study was to comprehensively explore the relationship between social support, self-efficacy, and anxiety and depression. Method A cross-sectional design and a convenience sampling method were used to recruit patients with prostate cancer from a comprehensive hospital in Zhejiang Province. Structured scales were used for data collection, including the Social Support Rating Scale, Strategies Used by People to Promote Health, and the hospital anxiety and depression scale. Results The result showed that anxiety and depression were negatively correlated with self-efficacy (r = − 0. 434, P < 0. 01) and social support (r = − 0. 212, P < 0. 01), while self-efficacy and social support were positively correlated (r = 0. 356, P < 0. 01). A structural equation model showed that the effect value of social support on self-efficacy was (β = 0.386, p < 0.01) and the effect value of self-efficacy on negative emotions was (β = − 0.497, p < 0.01). Self-efficacy fully mediated the effect between social support and negative emotions with a 100% mediation rate. Conclusion Social support and self-efficacy did contribute to the improvement of depression and anxiety in patients with radical prostatectomy, and they were associated with a full mediating effect of self-efficacy. Providing social support that matches the coping needs of the stressor can maximize the role of social support. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the patient’s stressor and coping needs in advance, which will help us to provide matching social support, so as to alleviate patients’ bad emotions more effectively and improve their prognosis.
Purpose The study aimed to compare the psychosocial development of young adult survivors of childhood cancer (YACCS) with a norm group of young adults from the general population. Methods From 2017 to 2020, 558 YACCS (18–30 years, 51% female, 10.9% CNS cancer) who participated in the Dutch Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (DCCSS) LATER cohort (diagnosed 1963–2001) part 2 completed the Course of Life Questionnaire ( CoLQ ), assessing the achievement of milestones. Items were grouped into the scales autonomy, psychosexual, and social development. Differences between YACCS and norm group were examined with ANOVA and Cohen’s d ( CoLQ scales) and with logistic regression analysis and odds ratio ( OR ) ( CoLQ items), for the total group and YACCS of CNS cancer. Results The total group of YACCS did not report a less favorable psychosocial development than the norm group. YACCS of CNS cancer scored lower than the norm group ( p < 0.001) on the scales autonomy ( d = − 0.36) and psychosexual ( d = − 0.46). Additionally, on half of the items of autonomy (0.25 ≤ OR ≤ 0.34), psychosexual (0.30 ≤ OR ≤ 0.48), and social (0.23 ≤ OR ≤ 0.47) development, YACCS of CNS cancer were less likely ( p < 0.01) than the norm group to have achieved the milestones. Conclusion Overall, psychosocial development of YACCS was as favorable as the norm, but YACCS of CNS cancer were at risk of an unfavorable psychosocial development in all domains. Monitoring psychosocial development should be included in the standards of psychosocial care, especially for CNS cancer patients and survivors, to be able to trace delay. Personalized interventions should be offered to improve the psychosocial development in an early stage.
Distribution of the respondents by gender and type of cancer, Jordan 2020
Purpose To investigate the informational gap and predictors of information-seeking behaviour amongst survivors to inform survivorship planning and supportive cancer services for the population. Methods A national cross-sectional survey of breast and colorectal cancer survivors was conducted in 2020 using a representative sample of those diagnosed in 2015/2016 as recruited from Jordan’s Cancer Registry (JCR). Participants responded to a 3-domain questionnaire: background information ( 9 items ); information typologies ( 13 items ) measured on a 5- point Likert scale ( from very interested to extremely not interested ); timing of developing the information needs ( 13 items ) ( ranging from immediately after diagnosis to after recurrence ). Logistic regression was used to determine the independent association between demographics and information-seeking behaviour amongst survivors. The chi-square test was employed to examine the association between categorical variables. ANOVA was used to compare the means of interest in cancer-related information between more than two groups. Results Results show a relatively high overall information needs amongst survivors (3.68 ± 1.53). The most prevalent typologies were cancer staging (3.77 ± 1.593), treatment options (3.76 ± 1.55), and doctors’ communications (3.73 ± 1.62). ANOVA revealed no statistically significant differences between cancer types. 55.8% of patients desired information immediately after diagnosis and 23.3% developed their needs within 2 months. There was a statistically significant difference across all information typologies and educational attainment, age groups, monthly income, and employment ( P < 0.05). Age was the only independent predictor of high information requirements amongst cancer survivors. Conclusion Survivors reported high cancer information needs, suggesting that they may have been under-informed. Effective health communication programmes should be implemented to meet the informational needs.
Background People with advanced cancer often experience greater physical and psychosocial morbidity compared to those with early disease. Limited research has focused on their experiences within the Australian health system. The aim of this study was to explore the lived experiences of adults receiving care for advanced cancer. Methods A qualitative design with a descriptive phenomenological approach was used to explore the lived experiences of people with advanced cancer following their diagnosis. Twenty-three people living with an advanced solid malignancy receiving care were referred by their oncologists to take part in an interview conducted at their home, the hospital, or over the phone. Results Three key themes emerged relating to participants’ experiences of living with advanced cancer: (1) living with a life-limiting diagnosis and uncertainty, (2) living with symptom burden and side effects, and (3) living within the health system, with two subthemes, the patient-clinician relationship, and care coordination. Participant relationships with their health professionals were particularly important and had a defining impact on whether patient experiences living with cancer were positive or negative. Conclusion People with advanced cancer experienced broad variation in their experiences navigating the health system, and their relationships with clinicians and other health professionals were important factors affecting their perceptions of their experiences. Attention to the coordination of care for people with advanced cancer is necessary to improve their experiences and improve symptom control and the management of their psychosocial burden.
Top-cited authors
Phyllis N Butow
  • The University of Sydney
Fred K Spijkervet
  • University of Groningen
Linda Elting
  • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Charles Loprinzi
  • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
  • Centre De Haute Energie, Nice