Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Cost of Health Care, Sloan Kettering, Surgical Research / 18.08.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Monica Morrow, MD, FACS Chief, Breast Service Department of Surgery Anne Burnett Windfohr Chair of Clinical Oncology Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ, intraductal cancer or Stage 0 cancer refers to what some people call the earliest form of cancer we can find and others term “precancerous”. This difference in terms is due to the fact that DCIS lacks the ability to spread to other parts of the body, a fundamental characteristic of cancer. The goal of treatment in DCIS is to prevent progression to invasive cancer which has the ability to spread. DCIS accounted for only 2-3 % of breast cancers seen in the pre-screening mammography era, but it comprises 25-30% of the malignancies detected in screening mammography programs. For this reason it is uncommon in women under age 40, and more commonly seen in women over 50 years of age. Approximately 70% of the women in the US diagnosed with DCIS are treated with lumpectomy (removal of the DCIS and a margin of surrounding normal breast tissue), and additional surgeries to obtain clear, or more widely clear, margins are done in approximately 30% of women. For this reason, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology undertook the development of an evidence based guideline to determine the optimal clear margin for women with DCIS treated with lumpectomy and whole breast radiotherapy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Clots - Coagulation, Sloan Kettering / 16.12.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Luke V. Selby, MD Research Fellow, Department of Surgery Vivian E. Strong, MD FACS Associate Attending Surgeon, Department of Surgery Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There was strong concern at our institution about the safety of providing pre-operative Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) chemoprophylaxis (in addition to our standard peri and post-operative prophylaxis) was unsafe. To answer this question we administered a single dose of either low molecular weight heparin or unfractionated heparin to all eligible surgical patients at our institution over a six month period. When compared to identically selected patients operated on during the preceding 18 months, patients who received the pre-operative VTE chemoprophylaxis did not have higher rates of bleeding complications and had lower rates of DVT and pulmonary embolism (PE). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Pharmacology, Sloan Kettering / 04.11.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Elizabeth D. Kantor PhD MPH Assistant Attending Epidemiologist Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kantor: We know that use of prescription drugs represents a major expenditure in the United States and research suggests that use of prescriptions has increased. However, much of what we know is derived from information on expenditures, is outdated, or is limited to certain populations, such as older adults or those with a given clinical condition. For example, a number of studies have looked at things like use of drugs used to control condition x among persons with condition x, but that doesn't tell us about use of that class of drugs in the population. It’s important that we continue to monitor use of prescription drugs in the population, as practice patterns are continually evolving as the population ages, the health needs of the population change, drugs enter/exit the market, scientific knowledge advances, and policies change. We therefore sought to create an updated comprehensive reference on prescription drug use among US adults using nationally representative data from the National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey, a continuous survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We examined trends in use of prescription drugs over 7 cycles, ranging from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012 (the sample size per cycle ranged from 4,861 to 6,212).Participants were asked about use of prescription medications over the prior 30 days, from which we were able to estimate the prevalence of use within each survey cycle. We then looked at trends in prescription drug use, both overall and within drug classes. In our study, we observed that use of any prescription medications increased over the study period, with 51% of adults reporting any prescription medication use in 1999-2000 and 59% reporting any use in 2011-2012. We also observed an increase in polypharmacy (or use of 5 or more prescription drugs) over the study period, with approximately 8% of adults reporting use of 5 or more drugs in 1999-2000, as compared to 15% in 2011-2012. Polypharmacy was much more common among older adults: 24% of adults ages 65 and older reported use of 5 or more drugs in 1999-2000 and 39% reported use of 5 or more drugs in 2011-2012. At first glance, one might take a look at these results and think that this is probably because the US population is aging and people tend to take more drugs as they age. But we found that the increase in overall prescription drug use and polypharmacy persisted even after accounting for the aging of the US population. This means that something else is driving the observed increase in use of prescription drugs. We also found that use of the majority of drug classes increased over the study period. For example, among commonly used drug classes, we observed marked increases in use of drugs taken to control high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. We also observed marked increases in some less commonly used drug classes, such as muscle relaxants. Interestingly, if we look at the ten most commonly used drugs in 2011-2012, we can see that most are taken for conditions associated with cardiometabolic disease This raises the question of how much of this increase in prescription drug use may be attributable to overweight/obesity, as we know that the prevalence of obesity has increased among US adults. (more…)
Author Interviews, Hematology, NEJM, Sloan Kettering, Transplantation / 31.07.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Richard J. O'Reilly, MD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. O'Reilly: 1. In a comparison of the results of HLA-matched sibling transplants with other established transplant approaches, including T-cell depleted half-matched parental marrow grafts, unmodified transplants from matched unrelated donors and cord blood transplants in the current era (2000-2009), transplants from donors other than HLA-matched siblings had 5 year survival outcomes similar to those of matched siblings when applied to young infants (≤ 3.5 months of age) or infants of any age that were not infected at the time of transplants. Thus any child born with SCID can now be successfully transplanted. 2. Active infection at the time of transplant significantly reduced chances of long-term survival for all infants except those who received transplants from HLA-matched siblings. Thus, infection is a dominant determinant of transplant outcome. Control of treatable infections prior to transplant should be a major clinical objective. 3. Treatment with chemotherapy containing busulfan significantly enhances the likelihood of recovering a normal ability to make antibodies and fosters better recovery of T-cells that provide cell mediated immunity, and may be an acceptable risk in uninfected infants. However, use of any chemotherapy prior to transplant in an infant who is infected, greatly decreases chances of survival. In infected patients who lack a matched sibling, T-cell depleted transplants from half matched related donors had the best outcomes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, General Medicine, Infections, Journal Clinical Oncology, Sloan Kettering / 23.07.2014

Allison Lipitz-Snyderman, PhD Assistant Attending Outcomes Research Scientist Center for Health Policy and Outcomes Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY 10065 MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allison Lipitz-Snyderman, PhD Assistant Attending Outcomes Research Scientist Center for Health Policy and Outcomes Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY 10065 Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Lipitz-Snyderman: Long-term central venous catheters are used to administer intravenous fluids and treatments such as chemotherapy. These catheters can also be a source of bloodstream infections which can be harmful to cancer patients. However, this risk is not well understood. In our study, we found that the use of these catheters was associated with an increased risk of infections for patients with cancer. We used a population-based dataset, SEER-Medicare, to study this issue in older adult cancer patients. This dataset allowed us to study patients treated in different institutions and follow them over time. (more…)
Melanoma, Sloan Kettering / 17.06.2014

Dr. Richard D. Carvajal MD Director, Developmental Therapeutics; Elizabeth and Felix Rohatyn Chair for Junior Faculty Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Richard D. Carvajal MD Director, Developmental Therapeutics; Elizabeth and Felix Rohatyn Chair for Junior Faculty Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Carvajal: This is the first study to show that a systemic therapy provides significant clinical benefit in a randomized fashion to patients with advanced uveal melanoma, a population of patients who have very limited treatment options. This clinical benefit has never previously been demonstrated with other agents, both conventional or investigational. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, Erasmus, Sloan Kettering / 03.06.2014

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Frank van Hees MSc Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Ann G. Zauber PhD Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The main finding of our study is that colorectal cancer screening of individuals without previous screening is worthwhile well beyond age 75, which is the recommended age to stop screening in individuals with an adequate screening history. The exact age up to which screening should be considered in unscreened elderly depends on an individual's health status: in healthy individuals screening remains worthwhile up to age 86, whereas in individuals with a severe illness, such as heart failure, screening remains worthwhile up to age 80. (more…)
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Journal Clinical Oncology, Radiation Therapy, Sloan Kettering, Surgical Research / 12.02.2014

dr_monica_morrow MedicalResearch.com Interview Invitation with: Monica Morrow MD Anne Burnett Windfohr Chair of Clinical Oncology Chief Breast Service memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Morrow: The study is the report of a Consensus panel examining the question of whether more widely clear lumpectomy margins than no ink on tumor decrease local recurrence. A metaanalysis of published literature was used as the primary evidence base for the conclusion. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Lancet, Prostate Cancer, Sloan Kettering / 26.09.2013

Dr. Ethan Basch MD Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com Interview with Dr. Ethan Basch MD Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Basch: The primary clinical finding of this study is that treatment with abiraterone acetate delays the time until pain develops or worsens in men with advanced prostate cancer. Furthermore, abiraterone delays the time until quality of life and functioning deteriorate, compared to placebo. There is also a broader research finding of this study, which is that it is feasible to rigorously study the time until symptom progression in cancer clinical trials, which paves the way for future studies to use a similar approach. (more…)
Author Interviews, JNCI, Lung Cancer, Sloan Kettering / 09.08.2013

Prasad Adusumilli MD, FACS Associate Member, Thoracic Surgery Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prasad Adusumilli MD, FACS Associate Member, Thoracic Surgery Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study? Answer: The current standard of care of for early-stage lung adenocarcinoma, the common form of lung cancer is curative-intent surgery either by limited resection, LR (removal of tumor with clear margins) or lobectomy, LO (removal of one-third to one-half of the lung harboring the tumor). Although lung-sparing LR is preferable, there is a reported incidence of 30-40% of recurrences within the same lung. The causative factor/s for these local recurrences is not known. In our study, we analyzed recurrence patterns and pathological features in patients who underwent 476 LO and 258 LR performed at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. We investigated the morphological patterns in pathology specimens utilizing the recently proposed International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer / European Respiratory Society / American Thoracic Society (IASLC/ERS/ATS) classification. We noticed that presence of micropapillary morphology was associated with three times higher recurrences in patients undergoing LR compared to LO, these recurrences were lower when there is an adequate margin (2 cm) resected beyond the tumor. In patients undergoing LO, the recurrences were 75% less. (more…)