ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, J&J-Janssen, NEJM, Prostate Cancer / 01.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49474" align="alignleft" width="142"]Dr. Kim Chi. MDProfessor of MedicineMedical Oncologist and Medical Director at BC Cancer – VancouverUniversity of British Columbia,Principal Investigator of the TITAN Study. Dr. Kim Chi[/caption] Dr. Kim Chi. MD Professor of Medicine Medical Oncologist and Medical Director at BC Cancer – Vancouver University of British Columbia, Principal Investigator of the TITAN Study. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: For more than 70 years, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) has been the standard of care therapy for patients with metastatic prostate cancer. The Phase 3 TITAN study looked at adding apalutamide (®®®®) to ADT compared with placebo plus ADT in a broad group of patients with metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer (mCSPC), regardless of disease volume or prior docetaxel treatment history. Metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer is prostate cancer that still responds to androgen deprivation therapy and has spread to other parts of the body. Patients with mCSPC tend to have a poor prognosis, with a median overall survival (OS) of less than five years, underscoring the need for new treatment options. The dual primary endpoints of this study were overall survival and radiographic progression-free survival (rPFS). 
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, NEJM, Prostate Cancer / 25.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_47619" align="alignleft" width="180"]Prof. Karim Fizazi, MD, PhD Head of the Department of Cancer Medicine Institute Gustave Roussy Prof. Fizazi[/caption] Prof. Karim Fizazi, MD, PhD Head of the Department of Cancer Medicine Institute Gustave Roussy MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? How does darolutamide differ from other medications for prostate cancer? Response: Despite recent treatment advances, there is still significant unmet need for new therapeutic options for men with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (nmCRPC). In laymen’s terms, nmCRPC is cancer that has not spread beyond the prostate region; PSA levels are elevated, despite treatment with hormone therapy, and men with nmCRPC generally feel well and do not have symptoms. The unmet medical need is for treatments that achieve disease control and delay the spread of the cancer without impacting their daily lives or increasing the burden of disease with treatment side effects. While the current treatments in this space are effective in delaying onset of metastases, the side effects can be unpleasant and disruptive to men’s lives; particularly cognitive issues, seizures, impact on balance which may lead to falls and bone fractures, rash and hypertension. Furthermore, new treatment options that have limited interactions with medications typically used in this patient population are also important. 
ASCO, Author Interviews, Prostate Cancer / 22.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kim Nguyen Chi, MD FRCPC Professor of Medicine, University of British Columbia Regional Medical Director, BC Cancer - Vancouver MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: For over 70 years, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) has been the main treatment therapy for metastatic prostate cancer patients. This Phase 3 final analysis study looked at adding abiraterone acetate and prednisone to ADT for patients with metastatic prostate cancer, with the primary objectives being to assess improvements in overall survival and radiographic progression-free survival. At the first interim analysis reported in 2017, both primary endpoints were met, and the study was unblinded and patients on the ADT and placebos arm crossed over to receive ADT with abiraterone and prednisone. This study is the final analysis reporting on overall survival. The study findings found abiraterone acetate and prednisone plus ADT continued to demonstrate an improvement in overall survival, hazard ratio (HR) = 0.66, meaning a 34% decrease in the risk of death associated with the use of ADT with abiraterone and prednisone. The median overall survival, which had not been reached before in the ADT with abiraterone and prednisone arm, was 53.3 months compared to 36.5 months for ADT plus placebo, prolonging median overall survival by 16.8 months.
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Journal Clinical Oncology, Lymphoma, Stanford / 23.08.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. David Kurtz, MD/PhD, Instructor and Dr. Ash Alizadeh MD/PhD, Associate Professor Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine Stanford University Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: This work investigates the utility of circulating tumor DNA - a type of liquid biopsy - in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, the most common blood cancer in adults. Liquid biopsies are an emerging technology to track cancers from a simple blood draw. Here, using a cohort of over 200 patients from 6 centers across North America and Europe, we asked if circulating tumor DNA could be used to detect lymphoma in patients, and more importantly, could it be used to identify responders and non-responders. 
ASCO, Author Interviews, Prostate, Prostate Cancer, Urology / 15.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: https://www.churchillpharma.com/ Paul Nemeth, Ph.D. Sr. Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Development & Quality Assurance Churchill Pharmaceuticals LLC King of Prussia, PA 19406 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In the STAAR study, 53 patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) were randomized to receive YONSA, an abiraterone acetate fine particle formulation 500 mg once daily in combination with 4 mg of methylpresnisolone twice daily or 1,000 mg daily of the originator abiraterone acetate (OAA) in combination with 5 mg of prednisone twice daily for a period of 84 days.  Previous studies in healthy volunteers under fasted conditions had shown that single oral doses of 500 mg of YONSA are bioequivalent to single oral doses of 1,000 mg OAA and that a background of 4 mg of methylprednisolone twice daily on a single oral dose of 500 mg of YONSA results in the same extent of absorption as a background of 5 mg of prednisone twice daily on a single oral dose of 1,000 mg of OAA. 
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 16.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_40100" align="alignleft" width="142"]Prof. Michael B. Atkins, MD Deputy Director, Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center William M. Scholl Professor and Vice-Chair Department of Oncology and  Professor of Medicine Georgetown University Medical Cente Prof. Atkins[/caption] Prof. Michael B. Atkins, MD Deputy Director, Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center William M. Scholl Professor and Vice-Chair Department of Oncology and Professor of Medicine Georgetown University Medical Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Prior studies combining programmed death-1 (PD-1) checkpoint inhibitors with tyrosine kinase inhibitors of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-pathway have been characterized by excess toxicity precluding further development. We hypothesized that axitinib, a more selective VEGF inhibitor would combine safely with pembrolizumab (anti-PD-1) and yield antitumour activity in treatment-naïve patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.
ASCO, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Gastrointestinal Disease / 02.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_39796" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Ana Vivancos, Principal Investigator Cancer Genomics Group Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO Barcelona  Dr. Ana Vivancos[/caption] Dr. Ana Vivancos PhD, Principal Investigator Cancer Genomics Group Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO Barcelona  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our study was designed to address a key issue in liquid biopsy testing: analytical sensitivity. We know that mutations in plasma of mCRC patients show a wide range in their allelic frequencies (0.01-90%), the biological basis for which remains unclear. We also know that around 35% of cases show very low mutant allele fractions (MAFs), < 1%, therefore highlighting the need of using high sensitivity techniques in the routine lab in order to properly detect mutations. We have compared two different testing methods that are being used in liquid biopsy: Digital PCR (OncoBEAM RAS test, BEAMing) with a limit of detection of 0.02% vs qPCR (Idylla ctKRAS test, Biocartis) with an analytical sensitivity of 1%. Our findings indicate that detection sensitivity decreases for the qPCR based method in cases with low MAF (<1%) and more so when MAF values are very low (<0.01%).
ASCO, Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, MD Anderson / 23.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_39506" align="alignleft" width="140"]Scott Kopetz, M.D., Ph.D., FACP Associate Professor Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology Division of Cancer Medicine The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX Dr. Kopetz[/caption] Scott Kopetz, M.D., Ph.D., FACP Associate Professor Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology Division of Cancer Medicine The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Houston, TX MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The BRAF mutation carries a very poor prognosis for patients with advanced colo-rectal cancer (CRC), and is particularly unresponsive after first-line therapy, so additional treatment options for these patients are needed. While treatment with a BRAF inhibitor alone has not been effective in treating this disease, combination therapies have shown promise and lead to the initiation of the BEACON study. The safety lead-in phase of the BEACON CRC trial was designed to assess the safety and tolerability of encorafenib, binimetinib  and cetuximab triplet combination prior to the Phase 3 randomized portion of the study. Thirty patients were treated in the safety lead-in and received the triplet combination (encorafenib 300 mg daily, binimetinib 45 mg twice daily, and cetuximab per label). Out of the 30 patients, 29 had a BRAFV600E mutation. Microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) (resulting from defective DNA mismatch repair) was detected in only 1 patient. The triplet demonstrated good tolerability, supporting initiation of the randomized portion of the study. In addition, promising initial clinical activity was observed. In patients with the BRAFV600E mutation, the estimated median progression-free survival (mPFS) at the time of analysis was 8 months. The confirmed overall response rate (ORR) in patients with the BRAFV600E mutation was 48%, and 3 patients achieved complete responses (CR). Further, the ORR was 62% in the 16 patients (10/16) who received only one prior line of therapy. Additionally, the triplet combination was generally well-tolerated. Two patients discontinued treatment due to AEs with only one of these considered related to treatment. The most common grade 3 or 4 AEs seen in at least 10% of patients were fatigue (4/30), urinary tract infection (3/30), increased aspartate aminotransferase (AST; 3/30) and increased blood creatine kinase (CK; 3/30).
ASCO, Author Interviews, Outcomes & Safety, Pharmacology, Prostate Cancer, University of Michigan / 03.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32608" align="alignleft" width="128"]Megan Elizabeth Veresh Caram MD Clinical Lecturer Internal Medicine, Hematology & Oncology University of Michigan Dr. Caram[/caption] Megan Elizabeth Veresh Caram MD Clinical Lecturer Internal Medicine, Hematology & Oncology University of Michigan   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Abiraterone and enzalutamide are oral medications that were approved by the Food & Drug Administration in 2011 and 2012 to treat men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Most men with advanced prostate cancer are over age 65 and thus eligible for Medicare Part D. We conducted a study to better understand the early dissemination of these drugs across the United States using national Medicare Part D and Dartmouth Atlas data.
ASCO, Author Interviews, Prostate Cancer, Radiation Therapy / 01.03.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_32573" align="alignleft" width="135"]Daniel A. Hamstra, MD PhD The Texas Center for Proton Therapy Irving, TX Dr. Hamstra[/caption] Daniel A. Hamstra, MD PhD Radiation Oncologist Beaumont Hospital Dearborn Michigan MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the The SpaceOAR phase 3 trial study and the hydrogel spacer? Response: External beam radiation therapy is commonly used to treat men with prostate cancer. As part of this treatment, side effects can occur involving bowel, urinary, and sexual symptoms. This study was performed to test if an absorbable hydrogel placed between the prostate and rectum (using a simple outpatient procedure) could move the rectum away from the prostate and thus result in sparing of the rectum and decreased bowel toxicity. The study randomized 222 men and the three-year data were just published (The International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology and Physics). With three years of follow-up, we saw that the spacer did improve the radiation plans and decreased both rectal toxicity and urinary toxicity.
ASCO, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Colon Cancer, Exercise - Fitness / 21.01.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_31331" align="alignleft" width="145"]Brendan John Guercio, M.D. Clinical Fellow in Medicine (EXT) Brigham and Women's Hospital Dr. Brendan Guercio[/caption] Brendan John Guercio, M.D. Clinical Fellow in Medicine (EXT) Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Sedentary lifestyle is a known risk factor for the development of colon cancer and has been associated with increased disease recurrence and mortality in patients with early stage colorectal cancer. This is the first study to our knowledge to show an association between increased physical activity (i.e. non-sedentary lifestyle) and improved survival and progression-free survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.
ASCO, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Journal Clinical Oncology / 22.09.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_28253" align="alignleft" width="200"]Darren R. Feldman, MD Medical Oncologist Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Dr. Darren Feldman[/caption] Darren R. Feldman, MD Medical Oncologist Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: There is limited knowledge as to why a minority of patients with advanced germ cell tumors are resistant to chemotherapy while the majority achieve complete responses. Patients with cisplatin-resistant disease require intensive salvage treatment and are at high risk of dying from their disease. We sought to determine whether certain genomic alterations within tumors might be associated with cisplatin-resistance in GCT. We also wanted to identify the spectrum of genomic alterations in this population which might represent novel targets for existing or new drug development in this disease.
ASCO, Author Interviews, Immunotherapy, Ovarian Cancer / 02.12.2015

[caption id="attachment_19783" align="alignleft" width="192"]Junzo Hamanishi M.D., Ph.D. Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine Assistant Professor Kyoto Japan Dr. Hamanishi[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Junzo Hamanishi  M.D., Ph.D. Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine Assistant Professor Kyoto Japan Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Hamanishi: More than 70% of patients with advanced ovarian cancer who achieve remission ultimately relapse and there are few effective treatments for these patients. Because the development of new treatment strategies for these patients is urgently required, we have focused on and studied the potential of cancer cells to escape from host immunity with PD-1/PD-L1 immunosuppressive signal in the tumor microenvironment to find new treatment strategies to overcome this phenomenon, collaborating with Professor Honjo who discovered PD-1 since 2006. Therefore, we conducted a phase II clinical trial in 20 platinum-resistant, recurrent ovarian cancer patients to evaluate the safety and anti-tumor efficacy of anti-PD-1 antibody (nivolumab) with 2 cohort at a dose of 1 or 3 mg/kg (constituting two 10-patient cohorts). Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Hamanishi: This study is the first investigator-initiated phase II clinical trial testing the safety and efficacy of nivolumab against platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. In the 20 patients in whom responses could be evaluated, the best overall response was 15%, including two patients with a durable complete response (3mg/kg cohort). The disease control rate in all 20 patients was 45%. The median progression-free survival was 3.5 months, with a median overall survival of 20.0 months. Especially in the 3 mg/kg cohort, two patients achieved a complete response, and disease stabilized in another two patients. The objective response rate in 3mg/kg cohort cohort was 20% and disease was controlled in 40% of the higher-dose group. In the four patients who demonstrated an antitumor response, responses were durable and evident. Grade 3 or 4 treatment-related adverse events (AE) occurred in eight out of 20 patients or 40% overall. However, the frequency of AEs were not different in 2 cohorts.
Author Interviews, Breast Cancer, Journal Clinical Oncology, MRI, Yale / 02.12.2015

[caption id="attachment_19717" align="alignleft" width="125"]Shiyi Wang, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases) Yale School of Public Health Dr. Wang[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shiyi Wang, MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases) Yale School of Public Health Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Wang: As magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the breast has become part of medical care, there is increasing concern that this highly sensitive test might identify health problems that otherwise would not have had an impact on the patient – so called “overdiagnosis”. However, even if MRI use leads to overdiagnosis, the main “theoretical” benefit of early detection by MRI is to prevent future advanced diseases, the prognosis of which is deleterious. A systematic literature review found that, compared to mammography and/or ultrasound, MRI had a 4.1% incremental contralateral breast cancer (breast cancer in the opposite breast) detection rate. At this point, the impact of MRI on long-term contralateral breast cancer outcomes remains unclear.  Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Wang: Analyzing the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare dataset, we compared two groups of women who had breast cancer (one group receiving an MRI, and the other not) in terms of stage-specific contralateral breast cancer occurrences. We found that after five years, the MRI group had a higher detection rate of cancer in the opposite breast than the non-MRI group (7.2 % vs. 4.0%). Specifically, MRI use approximately doubles the detection rate of early stage contralateral breast cancer, but does not decrease the incidence of advanced stage contralateral breast cancer occurrences after a 5-year follow-up. Our results indicate that nearly half of additional breast cancers detected by the preoperative MRI were overdiagnosed, which means that many of these occult cancers not detected by MRI would not have become clinically evident over the subsequent 5 years. There was no evidence that MRI use was benefiting women because the rate of advanced cancer was similar in the MRI and the non-MRI groups.
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, End of Life Care, Radiation Therapy / 12.10.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Kavita Vyas Dharmarajan M.D., M.Sc Assistant Professor Radiation Oncology Assistant Professor Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Vyas Dharmarajan: Forty to fifty percent of all patients having radiation therapy as part of cancer treatment are having the treatment for palliative reasons – meaning, not to cure the cancer but rather to alleviate or prevent symptoms caused by it. The most common reason for referral to a radiation oncologist in the setting of advanced cancer is for alleviation of pain or prevention of an impending fracture due to bone metastases. Radiation therapy is very effective at relieving pain; in fact, published response rates are about 60-80%. The standard treatment has been two weeks of radiation treatment, and this is a common treatment scheme followed by many radiation oncologists. This may be too long or burdensome for some patients given their overall state of illness, or other personal or logistical factors. Several large randomized trials have shown that shorter radiation courses, even as short as 1 fraction of treatment, can be just as effective as 10 fractions (or, two weeks) of treatment. However, literature suggests that these condensed approaches are underutilized by radiation oncologists. A major disadvantage of traditional 2-week courses of radiation is that patients who are very debilitated may be kept in the hospital to undergo this treatment. Some patients stop early because it is too burdensome. Moreover, some may not survive long enough after the treatment to appreciate its benefits. At Mount Sinai, we proposed an intervention that combined the technical expertise within radiation oncology with the whole-patient support services of palliative medicine into a service model led by a single radiation oncologist specializing in the care of advanced cancer patients and collaboration with experts in palliative care. The service model was meant to care for patients suffering from advanced cancer with the goal of improving the quality of care that these patients receive. About two years into the establishment of this new model, we assessed patient outcomes of pain improvement, length of hospitalization, utilization of palliative care services after radiation, treatment completion rates, and duration of treatments. To accomplish this study, we reviewed the charts of 336 consecutively treated patients who underwent radiation therapy at the Mount Sinai Hospital over the last 5 years. We compared the outcomes of the patients treated before the model was established in 2013 to those treated after the model was established. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Vyas Dharmarajan: We found large differences in quality of care for advanced cancer patients being treated for symptomatic bone metastases after establishment of our palliative radiation oncology consult service. The rate of short-course treatments (meaning 5 or fewer radiation fractions) rose from 26% to 61%, while the corresponding rate of traditional length treatments (meaning, treatments over 5 fractions) declined from 74% to 39%. Hospital length of stay declined by 6 days, from 18 to 12 days (median). We also found that more patients were finishing their treatments -- the proportion of treatments left unfinished halved, from 15% to 8%. More patients were accessing palliative care services within 30 days of finishing radiation, (34% vs. 49%). We did not see a significant change in the proportion of patients experiencing pain relief from the treatment. In fact, we saw a slight improvement (74% to 80%), but this was not a statistically significant increase. Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from this report? Dr. Vyas Dharmarajan: Our study validates the importance of cohesive collaboration in cancer care. The palliative radiation oncology service model thrives at the Mount Sinai Hospital because of the unique and strong partnership between palliative care and radiation oncology departments. Yet, there are elements of palliative care practice that can transcend other disciplines including radiation oncology. These include eliciting and attending to goals, preferences, expectations, and concerns of patients and families being evaluated for treatment. Shorter treatment courses for advanced cancer patients are effective, and the implications of using such treatments goes beyond that of just finishing the treatment early. Patients treated within our service model were more likely to finish their treatment and spend 6 more days at home with their families. Clinicians should know that using such an approach did not compromise the efficacy of the treatment. Medical Research: What should patients know about your study? Dr. Vyas Dharmarajan: Patients should know that their voices, their preferences, and their goals matter when making decisions about palliative radiation treatment. My goal as a palliative radiation oncologist is to engage patients and their families to set realistic expectations and incorporate their goals and preferences into their treatment plans. By involving key players in this process, such as palliative care specialists, we can ensure that patients receive the best quality of care that treats the whole person, not just a tumor. Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study? Dr. Vyas Dharmarajan: Our study showed that making small changes to everyday practice in the real world can lead to large impacts on patient outcomes in a population of cancer patients who are often the sickest. Our next projects revolve around 1) how best to equip radiation oncologists with the skills needed to appropriately provide treatment and primary palliative care to advanced cancer patients, and 2) to empower patients and families to engage with their physicians in discussions about their treatment including their overall goals and preferences. Both of these concepts ultimately have direct impacts on treatment recommendations and treatment outcomes for advanced cancer patients and their families. Citation: upcoming Palliative Care abstract: A palliative radiation oncology consult service’s impact on care of advanced cancer patients with symptomatic bone metastases.MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Kavita Vyas Dharmarajan M.D., M.Sc Assistant Professor Radiation Oncology Assistant Professor Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Research: What is the background for this study?  Dr. Vyas Dharmarajan: Forty to fifty percent of all patients having radiation therapy as part of cancer treatment are having the treatment for palliative reasons – meaning, not to cure the cancer but rather to alleviate or prevent symptoms caused by it. The most common reason for referral to a radiation oncologist in the setting of advanced cancer is for alleviation of pain or prevention of an impending fracture due to bone metastases. Radiation therapy is very effective at relieving pain; in fact, published response rates are about 60-80%. The standard treatment has been two weeks of radiation treatment, and this is a common treatment scheme followed by many radiation oncologists. This may be too long or burdensome for some patients given their overall state of illness, or other personal or logistical factors. Several large randomized trials have shown that shorter radiation courses, even as short as 1 fraction of treatment, can be just as effective as 10 fractions (or, two weeks) of treatment. However, literature suggests that these condensed approaches are underutilized by radiation oncologists. A major disadvantage of traditional 2-week courses of radiation is that patients who are very debilitated may be kept in the hospital to undergo this treatment. Some patients stop early because it is too burdensome. Moreover, some may not survive long enough after the treatment to appreciate its benefits. At Mount Sinai, we proposed an intervention that combined the technical expertise within radiation oncology with the whole-patient support services of palliative medicine into a service model led by a single radiation oncologist specializing in the care of advanced cancer patients and collaboration with experts in palliative care. The service model was meant to care for patients suffering from advanced cancer with the goal of improving the quality of care that these patients receive. About two years into the establishment of this new model, we assessed patient outcomes of pain improvement, length of hospitalization, utilization of palliative care services after radiation, treatment completion rates, and duration of treatments. To accomplish this study, we reviewed the charts of 336 consecutively treated patients who underwent radiation therapy at the Mount Sinai Hospital over the last 5 years. We compared the outcomes of the patients treated before the model was established in 2013 to those treated after the model was established. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Vyas Dharmarajan: We found large differences in quality of care for advanced cancer patients being treated for symptomatic bone metastases after establishment of our palliative radiation oncology consult service. The rate of short-course treatments (meaning 5 or fewer radiation fractions) rose from 26% to 61%, while the corresponding rate of traditional length treatments (meaning, treatments over 5 fractions) declined from 74% to 39%. Hospital length of stay declined by 6 days, from 18 to 12 days (median). We also found that more patients were finishing their treatments -- the proportion of treatments left unfinished halved, from 15% to 8%. More patients were accessing palliative care services within 30 days of finishing radiation, (34% vs. 49%). We did not see a significant change in the proportion of patients experiencing pain relief from the treatment. In fact, we saw a slight improvement (74% to 80%), but this was not a statistically significant increase.