Sheryl Gabram

Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Are you Sheryl Gabram?

Claim your profile

Publications (47)196.88 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Margin status is an important prognostic factor for local recurrence after breast conserving surgery (BCS) for breast cancer. We designed a prospective randomized trial to evaluate the effect of shave margins on positive margins and locoregional recurrence (LRR). Patients were randomized to BCS or BCS with resection of 5 additional margins (BCS + M). Tumor margins were classified as negative [>2 mm for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS); >1 mm for invasive carcinoma] based on guidelines at the time of accrual. A total of 75 patients with stage 0-III breast cancer (76 samples) were randomized, mean age 59.6 years with median follow-up 39.5 months. Overall, 21 patients (27.6 %) had positive margins: 14 had undergone BCS and 7 BCS + M (p = 0.005). Of the 21 patients with positive margins, 19 had DCIS on final pathology (OR 7.56; 95 % CI 1.52-37.51).All patients with positive margins were offered re-excision; 11 had negative final margins after re-excision surgery. Overall, 6 patients (8.3 %) developed LRR with recurrence being more common in the BCS group when compared with the BCS + M group (17.2 vs 2.3 %; p = 0.025). Taking additional cavity shave margins at the time of initial excision resulted in a reduction in positive margin rate, a decrease in return to operating room for re-excision, and lower LRR.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Health Care Climate Questionnaire measures patient perceptions of their clinician's autonomy supportive communication. We sought to evaluate the psychometric properties of a modified brief version of the Health Care Climate Questionnaire (mHCCQ) adapted for breast cancer patients. We surveyed 235 women aged 20-79 diagnosed with breast cancer within the previous 18 months at two cancer specialty centers using a print questionnaire. Patients completed the mHCCQ for their surgeon, medical oncologist, and radiation oncologist separately, as well as the overall treatment experience. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) using principal components was used to explore the factor structure. One hundred sixty out of 235 (68.1 %) women completed the survey. Mean age was 57 years and time since diagnosis was 12.6 months. For surgeon, medical oncologist, and radiation oncologist ratings separately, as well as overall treatment, women rated 6 dimensions of perceived physician autonomy support. Exploratory factor analysis indicated a single factor solution for each clinician type and for the overall experience. Further, all six items were retained in each clinician subscore. Internal consistency was 0.93, 0.94, 0.97, and 0.92 for the overall, surgeon, medical oncologist, and radiation oncologist scales, respectively. Hierarchical factor analysis demonstrated that a summary score of the overall treatment experience accounts for only 52 % of the total variance observed in ratings of autonomy support for the three provider types. These results describe the first use of the mHCCQ in cancer patients. Ratings of the overall treatment experience account for only half of the variance in ratings of autonomy support, suggesting that patients perceive and report differences in communication across provider types. Future research is needed to evaluate the relationship between physician communication practices and the quality of decision making, as well as other outcomes among cancer patients.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The seventh edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system for breast cancer differentiates patients with T1 tumors and lymph node micrometastases (stage IB) from patients with T1 tumors and negative nodes (stage IA). This study was undertaken to determine the utility of the stage IB designation. The following two cohorts of patients with breast cancer were identified: 3,474 patients treated at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 1993 to 2007 and 4,590 patients from the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG) Z0010 trial. Clinicopathologic and outcomes data were recorded, and disease was staged according to the seventh edition AJCC staging system. Recurrence-free survival (RFS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and overall survival (OS) were determined using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. Median follow-up times were 6.1 years and 9.0 years for the MD Anderson Cancer Center and ACOSOG cohorts, respectively. In both cohorts, there were no significant differences between patients with stage IA and stage IB disease in 5- or 10-year RFS, DSS, or OS. Estrogen receptor (ER) status and grade significantly stratified patients with stage I disease with respect to RFS, DSS, and OS. Among patients with T1 breast cancer, individuals with micrometastases and those with negative nodes have similar survival outcomes. ER status and grade are better discriminants of survival than the presence of small-volume nodal metastases. In preparing the next edition of the AJCC staging system, consideration should be given to eliminating the stage IB designation and incorporating biologic factors. © 2014 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Clinical Oncology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: The Georgia Breast Cancer Genomic Health Consortium is a partnership created with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the Georgia Department of Public Health to reduce cancer disparities among high-risk minority women. The project addresses young women at increased risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome through outreach efforts. Methods: The consortium provides education and collects surveillance data using the breast cancer genetics referral screening tool (B-RST) available at . The HBOC educational protocol was presented to 73 staff in 6 public health centers. Staff used the tool during the collection of medical history. Further family history assessments and testing for mutations in the BRCA1/2 genes were facilitated if appropriate. Results: Data was collected from November 2012 through December 2013, including 2,159 screened women. The majority of patients identified as black/African American and were 18-49 years old. Also, 6.0 % (n = 130) had positive screens, and 60.9 % (n = 67) of the 110 patients who agreed to be contacted provided a detailed family history. A total of 47 patients (42.7 %) met National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines when family history was clarified. Fourteen (12.7 %) underwent genetic testing; 1 patient was positive for a BRCA2 mutation, and 1 patient was found to carry a variant of uncertain significance. Conclusions: The introduction of genomics practice within public health departments has provided access to comprehensive cancer care for uninsured individuals. The successful implementation of the B-RST into public health centers demonstrates the opportunity for integration of HBOC screening into primary care practices.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: A patient navigation process is required for accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). Patient navigation has previously been shown to improve timely diagnosis in patients with breast cancer. This study sought to assess the effect of nurse navigation on timeliness of care following the diagnosis of breast cancer by comparing patients who were treated in a comprehensive cancer center with and without the assistance of nurse navigation. Methods: Navigation services were initiated at an NAPBC-accredited comprehensive breast center in July 2010. Two 9-month study intervals were chosen for comparison of timeliness of care: October 2009 through June 2010 and October 2010 through June 2011. All patients with breast cancer diagnosed in the cancer center with stage 0 to III disease during the 2 study periods were identified by retrospective cancer registry review. Time from diagnosis to initial oncology consultation was measured in business days, excluding holidays and weekends. Results: Overall, 176 patients met inclusion criteria: 100 patients prior to and 76 patients following nurse navigation implementation. Nurse navigation was found to significantly shorten time to consultation for patients older than 60 years (B = -4.90, P = .0002). There was no change in timeliness for patients 31 to 60 years of age. Conclusions: Short-term analysis following navigation implementation showed decreased time to consultation for older patients, but not younger patients. Further studies are indicated to assess the long-term effects and durability of this quality improvement initiative.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Cancer
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: In November 2009, the US Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) published updated breast cancer screening guidelines. This marked a change from the 2002 recommendations and a significant divergence from the American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines. In the current study, the potential effect of using the revised 2009 USPSTF guidelines on patient disease stage and survival were evaluated and compared with those actually observed and to predicted under ACS recommendations. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed for 84 patients who were diagnosed with stage I through III breast cancer at Grady Memorial Hospital during 2008. Previously published tumor volume doubling times were used to model an equation that would estimate tumor sizes. For each patient, a disease stage at diagnosis was predicted, and outcomes were modeled as though the patient had been screened according to the recommended versions of the ACS and USPSTF guidelines. Patient survival rates were then estimated based on prognostic data according to disease stage. Results: The average age of patients in the study was 55 years, and 85% were African American. The USPSTF guidelines predicted later stages at diagnosis (14% stage I, 73% stage II), whereas the ACS guidelines predicted earlier stages (47% stage I, 53% stage II). Conclusions: A large stage migration was predicted, indicating significantly earlier diagnosis, when the ACS-recommended screening guidelines were followed. The authors concluded that practitioners should understand how race and/or socioeconomic factors increase the risk of breast cancer and should be encouraged to prioritize discussions regarding the benefits and risks of annual mammographic screening, especially among women who have a potentially greater risk of developing breast cancer at a younger age.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Cancer
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: The combination of docetaxel and capecitabine has been demonstrated to improve progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic breast cancer compared with docetaxel alone. We hypothesized that the combination of docetaxel and capecitabine, given concomitantly or sequentially, would present a nonanthracycline-based treatment option for patients with early stage and locally advanced breast cancer. Patients and methods: Patients with stage I to stage IIIC, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2(-)) breast cancer were randomly assigned to receive either docetaxel followed by capecitabine (D → C) or docetaxel administered concomitantly with capecitabine (DC). Results: Between April 2007 and July 2009, 51 patients were accrued to the trial at an academic center, a county hospital, and community sites. Median tumor size was 3.8 cm and > 70% of patients had axillary lymph node involvement. Fifty-seven percent of patients accrued were African American. Twenty-one of the 51 subjects had triple-negative breast cancer. The pathologic complete response (pCR) rate was 8% in the D → C arm; 12% in the DC arm. The pCR rate among patients with triple-negative breast cancer was 19%. Conclusion: The combination of docetaxel and capecitabine has modest activity in the neoadjuvant setting. These results are consistent with other trials using this combination in the neoadjuvant setting.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Clinical Breast Cancer

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Cancer Research
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose: Temporary tissue expanders (TTE) with an internal magnetic metal port (IMP) have been increasingly used for breast reconstruction in post-mastectomy patients who receive radiation therapy (XRT). We evaluated XRT plans of patients with IMP to determine its effect on XRT dose distribution. Methods and materials: Original treatment plans with CT simulation scans of 24 consecutive patients who received XRT (ORI), planned without heterogeneity corrections, to a reconstructed breast containing an IMP were used. Two additional treatment plans were then generated: one treatment plan with the IMP assigned the electron density of the rare earth magnet, nickel plated neodymium-iron-boron (HET), and a second treatment plan with the IMP assigned a CT value of 1 to simulate a homogeneous breast without an IMP (BRS). All plans were prescribed 50 Gy to the reconstructed breast (CTV). Results: CTV coverage by 50 Gy was significantly lower in the HET (mean 87.7% CTV) than in either the ORI (mean 99.7% CTV, P<.001) or BRS plans (mean 95.0% CTV, P<.001). The effect of the port was more pronounced on CT slices containing the IMP with prescription dose coverage of the CTV being less in the HET than in either ORI (mean difference 33.6%, P<.01) or BRS plans (mean difference 30.1%, P<.001). HET had a less homogeneous and conformal dose distribution than BRS or ORI. Conclusion: IMPs increase dose heterogeneity and reduce dose to the breast CTV through attenuation of the beam. For optimal XRT treatment, heterogeneity corrections should be used in XRT planning for patients with TTE with IMP, as the IMP impacts dose distribution.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2012 · International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Breast conserving therapy (BCT) that include breast conserving surgery followed by adjuvant radiation therapy has revolutioned medicine by allowing women to avoid mastectomy. Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) has emerged as a valid alternative to whole-breast irradiation that requires a shorter time commitment. We report our novel experience with APBI at a large public hospital that serves low-income and potentially noncompliant patients. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of women who underwent BCT for stage 0-IIA breast cancer from August 2007 to August 2010 treated with APBI with a brachytherapy catheter. Results: Twenty-four patients (20 African American) were considered for APBI. Average age was 61 years. Four patients could not undergo APBI for technical reasons and completed whole-breast irradiation over a 5 week period. Median follow-up was 19 months. Nine patients (37.5 %) had ductal carcinoma-in-situ, and 15 patients (62.5 %) had invasive ductal carcinoma with an average tumor size of 1.1 cm. All patients had negative margins of >2 mm. Two patients (8 %) treated with the brachytherapy catheter had in-breast tumor recurrence. Thus, all 24 patients initially identified for APBI successfully completed adjuvant radiotherapy. Conclusions: Patient compliance with postoperative irradiation is key to minimize local recurrence after BCT for breast cancer. This success with a brachytherapy catheter in underserved women in a U.S. public hospital setting indicates that outcomes of compliance and complications are comparable to nationally published results.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to review the incidence of upper-body morbidity (arm and breast symptoms, impairments, and lymphedema), methods for diagnosis, and prevention and treatment strategies. It was also the purpose to highlight the evidence base for integration of prospective surveillance for upper-body morbidity within standard clinical care of women with breast cancer. Between 10% and 64% of women report upper-body symptoms between 6 months and 3 years after breast cancer, and approximately 20% develop lymphedema. Symptoms remain common into longer-term survivorship, and although lymphedema may be transient for some, those who present with mild lymphedema are at increased risk of developing moderate to severe lymphedema. The etiology of morbidity seems to be multifactorial, with the most consistent risk factors being those associated with extent of treatment. However, known risk factors cannot reliably distinguish between those who will and will not develop upper-body morbidity. Upper-body morbidity may be treatable with physical therapy. There is also evidence in support of integrating regular surveillance for upper-body morbidity into the routine care provided to women with breast cancer, with early diagnosis potentially contributing to more effective management and prevention of progression of these conditions.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Cancer

  • No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Cancer Research
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Appropriate and timely rehabilitation is vital in the recovery from breast cancer surgeries, including breast conserving surgery, mastectomy, axillary lymph node dissection (ALND), and breast reconstruction. This article describes the incidence, prevalence, risk factors and time course for early postoperative effects and the role of prospective surveillance as a rehabilitation strategy to prevent and mitigate them. The most common early postoperative effects include wound issues such as cellulitis, flap necrosis, abscess, dehiscence, hematoma, and seroma. Appropriate treatment is necessary to avoid delay in wound healing that may increase the risk of long-term morbidity, unduly postpone systemic and radiation therapy, and delay rehabilitation. The presence of upper quarter dysfunction (UQD), defined as restricted upper quarter mobility, pain, lymphedema, and impaired sensation and strength, has been reported in over half of survivors after treatment for breast cancer. Moreover, evidence suggests that survivors who undergo breast reconstruction may be at higher risk of UQD. Ensuring the survivor's optimum functioning in the early postoperative time period is critical in the overall recovery from breast cancer. The formal collection of objective measures along with patient-reported outcome measures is recommended for the early detection of postoperative morbidity. Prospective surveillance, including preoperative assessment and structured surveillance, allows for early identification and timely rehabilitation. Early evidence supports a prospective approach to address and minimize postoperative effects.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Cancer
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Clinical management of papillary breast lesions (PBLs) remains controversial. The objective of this study was to identify pathologic and radiologic predictors of malignancy from a large cohort of PBLs diagnosed on core-needle biopsy (CNB). Retrospective review of the institutional pathology database identified all PBLs diagnosed from 2001 to 2009 and surgically excised within 6 months of diagnosis. PBLs were divided into intraductal papilloma (IDP) and IDP associated with atypical ductal or lobular hyperplasia (ADH/ALH). Surgical pathology of all lesions was reviewed and upgrade was defined as a change to a lesion of greater clinical significance, including ALH, ADH, lobular, or ductal carcinoma in situ (LCIS or DCIS), and invasive ducal carcinoma (IDC). We identified 276 patients (mean age 56 years; range 23 to 88 years) with PBLs on CNB. Seventy-nine patients (28.6%) upgraded to a lesion of greater clinical significance. Of the 234 (84.7%) had IDP only, 42 (17.9%) upgraded to ADH, and 21 (8.9%) to DCIS or IDC. Of the 42 (15.3%) patients with associated ADH or ALH on CNB, 16 (38.0%) upgraded to DCIS or IDC. The majority of patients (n = 173, 62.6%) had no breast symptoms. All patients had an abnormal mammogram and/or ultrasound that prompted the CNB. Among all clinical and radiographic variables analyzed, older age alone was predictive of upgrade. Frequent upgrade to a high-risk lesion or cancer is observed with IDPs diagnosed on CNB without adequate identifiable clinical and radiographic risk factors. Surgical excision should be performed for all IDPs to delineate subsequent clinical management.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Journal of the American College of Surgeons
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Delays in treatment for breast cancer can lead to poorer patient outcome. We analyzed time to treatment among female patients receiving breast-conserving surgery in two different hospital settings, public versus private. Retrospective chart review revealed 270 patients diagnosed during 2004-2008. Three consecutive time intervals were defined (Initial abnormal imaging [I] to core biopsy [II] to surgery /pathology staging [III] to oncology evaluation for adjuvant treatment). Multivariate analyses investigated hospital type and demographic factors. Overall median treatment time was 83 days, Interval II accounting for the longest (43 days). Only 55% of patients received the entire spectrum of care within 90 days; for each consecutive 30-day interval, percentages varied dramatically: 80.7%, 31.1%, and 68.9%.Public hospital patients experienced longer overall time to treatment than private patients (94 versus 77 days, p < 0.001); these differences persisted throughout the intervals. Longer wait times were experienced by African Americans versus Caucasians (89 versus 64 days, p = 0.003), unmarried versus married patients (93 versus 70 days, p < 0.001), and Medicaid-insured patients, p < 0.001. In multivariate analyses, hospital type, race, marital status, and insurance predicted timely treatment within one or more intervals. For patients undergoing breast-conserving therapy, time to treatment differs between private and public settings. However, barriers to timely treatment arise from both system-based issues and patient socio-demographic factors. Studies are needed to evaluate and intervene on this intricate connection.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · The Breast Journal
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The safety and efficacy of skin-sparing mastectomy (SSM) with immediate reconstruction (IR) in patients with locally advanced breast cancer are unclear. The purpose of this study is to compare the outcomes of women with noninflammatory Stage III SSM with IR vs. non-SSM-treated women who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy and adjuvant radiation therapy (XRT). Between October 1997 and March 2010, 100 consecutive patients (40 SSM with IR vs. 60 non-SSM) with Stage III breast cancer received anthracycline- and/or taxane-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy, mastectomy, and adjuvant XRT. Clinical stage (SSM with IR vs. for non-SSM) was IIIA (75% vs. 67%), IIIB (8% vs. 18%), and IIIC (8% vs. 8%). Tumors greater than 5 cm were found in 74% vs. 69%; 97% of patients in both groups were clinically node positive; and 8% vs. 18% had T4b disease. The time from initial biopsy to XRT was prolonged for SSM-IR patients (274 vs. 254 days, p = 0.04), and there was a trend toward XRT delay of more than 8 weeks (52% vs. 31%, p = 0.07) after surgery. The rate of complications requiring surgical intervention was higher in the SSM-IR group (37.5% vs. 5%, p < 0.001). The 2-year actuarial locoregional control, breast cancer-specific survival, and overall survival rates for SSM with IR vs. non-SSM were 94.7% vs. 97.4%, 91.5% vs. 86.3%, and 87.4% vs. 84.8%, respectively (p = not significant). In our small study with limited follow-up, SSM with IR prolonged overall cancer treatment time and trended toward delaying XRT but did not impair oncologic outcomes. Complication rates were significantly higher in this group. Longer follow-up is needed.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The authors compared treatment adherence rates and outcome in Caucasian and African American patients with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). The records of 55 (25 Caucasian and 30 African American) IBC patients treated with curative intent from 1995 to 2009 were reviewed. All patients received neoadjuvant doxorubicin (Adriamycin) and/or taxane-based chemotherapy, and mastectomy with or without radiotherapy. The median follow-up period for Caucasian and African American patients was similar (39.5 months and 36.1 months, respectively). There was no difference between races in median age, tumor size, grade, and receptor status at diagnosis. The number of patients who completed neoadjuvant chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy did not differ by race (84% of Caucasians vs 86.7% of African Americans) nor did the median length of time to complete trimodality treatment (263 [range, 207-422] days for Caucasians vs 262 [range, 165-371] days for African Americans). There was a trend toward slightly higher pathological complete response rates in Caucasian than African American women (20% in Caucasians vs 6.7% in African Americans, P = .23). Despite slightly better response rates to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, Caucasian patients did not have higher 3-year local control rates (70% in Caucasians vs 64% in African Americans, P = .73). However, there was a trend toward higher 3-year overall survival in Caucasian versus African American patients (73% in Caucasians vs 55% in African Americans, P = .09) and higher distant metastasis-free survival (60% in Caucasians vs 40% in African Americans, P = .19). This study is among the largest to examine patients with IBC by race. Being Caucasian or African American did not appear to impact treatment adherence. However, African American patients tended to have poorer response to standard treatment and worse outcome than Caucasian patients.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Cancer

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Cancer Research
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In April 2007, the National Quality Forum (NQF) endorsed the first nationally recognized hospital-based performance measures for stage I, II, and III breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to document compliance with the 3 NQF breast quality indicators during 2 time intervals in a metropolitan public hospital. Tumor registry and medical records were used to identify patient demographics and treatments before (2005-2006) and after (2008) implementations in 2007 as a result of the NQF audit. Program changes included: hiring a dedicated medical oncology nurse practitioner, requiring the radiation oncology case manager to attend weekly multidisciplinary conferences, educating Patient Navigators of the importance of multimodal care, and providing support groups for patients addressing importance of completion of all treatment options. A total of 213 female patients were diagnosed with and treated for stage I, II, or III breast cancer in 2005-2006 and 2008. Of these, 189 (89%) were African American (AA) women. Also, 70 patients of 86 (81.3%) received radiation therapy, 60 of 77 (77.9%) received or were considered for adjuvant chemotherapy, and 124 of 144 (86.1%) for hormonal therapy according to NQF indicators. After 2007, patients receiving radiation therapy increased from 75.8 to 95.8%. Patients receiving or considered for adjuvant chemotherapy or hormonal therapy increased from 73.7 to 93.7% and from 84.1 to 90.0%, respectively. NQF breast cancer indicators provided a mechanism to improve compliance of multimodal treatment in our center. Raising awareness of these indicators in the multidisciplinary conference, hiring dedicated personnel, and educating patients has led to major improvements in breast cancer care.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Annals of Surgical Oncology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Introduction: African American compared to white women in the U.S. are diagnosed with later stage breast cancer (BC), experience longer treatment delays, are less likely to receive/complete treatment according to recommended guidelines and have a 36% higher mortality rate. A Patient Navigation (PN) program can help patients overcome barriers to treatment adherence. As a Continuous Quality Improvement study at a large inner city cancer center hospital, this study documents the PN program's influence on compliance with two National Quality Forum (NQF) breast indicators: 1) chemotherapy discussed/administered for patients <70 years old (yo) with >1cm triple negative BC and 2) radiation therapy for patients <70 yo with Stage I-III BC treated with lumpectomy. Method: This cohort study consisted of 34 multimodal BC patients who were predominately low-income, African American, and referred to the PN program. PN services included phone support, home visits, appointment attendance, support groups and incentives. Data collection included demographics, preexisting health conditions, health risk behaviors, barriers to care and treatment recommendations. Patients were followed until treatment completion or failed compliance. Results: The standard of treatment (radiation and chemotherapy) compliance in 2006 was 74.4%, 75% respectively and the 2008 multimodal patients were 100%, 93% compliant, which was also higher than the 2008 overall BC patient adherence 95.8%, 93.7%. Conclusions: Higher rates of treatment adherence were obtained with the assistance of a PN program in at-risk, multimodal patients. These findings demonstrate the importance of PN program in eliminating barriers and disparities in the treatment of African American, multimodal BC patients.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Nov 2010

Publication Stats

1k Citations
196.88 Total Impact Points


  • 2006-2015
    • Emory University
      • • School of Medicine
      • • Department of Surgery
      Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 2001-2006
    • Loyola University Medical Center
      • Department of Surgery
      Maywood, Illinois, United States