ONCOLOGY Vol 18 No 10 | Oncology

Interdisciplinary Breast Cancer Care: Declaring and Improving the Standard

September 01, 2004

Multidisciplinary approachesto many human diseases areemerging as effective, patient-centered strategies in diverse areassuch as cancer, neurology, andcardiovascular disease. However, theyrequire significant organizational andfinancial resources. Dr. Rabinowitz articulatesthe key benefits of multidisciplinarycare for breast cancer, includingteam planning and coordination of care.There is not much objective informationto definitively prove that “centerbased”care leads to superior outcomesin terms of recurrence or survival. Thedata cited in this review include improvementsin measures of patient comfortand satisfaction with care, whichare important from an emotional standpointand even make business sense.This alone should motivate cancer careproviders to organize breast centers thatare designed appropriately given thesize of the population served and theresources available.

Prostate Cancer 2004: Insights From National Disease Registries

September 01, 2004

In their article, Drs. Matthew Cooperberg,Sangtae Park, and PeterCarroll summarize four nationalregistries that have studied risk migration,practice patterns, outcomepredictions, and quality-of-life outcomesin prostate cancer. Each of thesefour large registries-the Prostate CancerOutcomes Study (PCOS), the Departmentof Defense Center for ProstateDisease Research (CPDR), the Cancerof the Prostate Strategic Urologic ResearchEndeavor (CaPSURE), and theShared Equal Access Regional CancerHospital (SEARCH)-has a particularstrength that complements theothers. As more patients enroll in theseregistries, researchers will gain greaterinsight into the patterns of care andclinical and health-related quality oflife for diverse cohorts of prostate cancerpatients.

Comparing Radical Prostatectomy and Brachytherapy for Localized Prostate Cancer

September 01, 2004

There are two problems with thepaper by Quaranta et al, neitherof which can be overcomewith discussion or sophistry. The firstconcerns the criteria used to determinewhether a report would be includedin this analysis. Specifically,any series with a median follow-up ofonly 3 years was included if it alsomet the other inclusion criteria. Thisis simply inadequate, as there is greatconsensus that studies with 3-year follow-up miss many recurrences. Thesecond problem with the paper is thedefinition of recurrence. The AmericanSociety for Therapeutic Radiologyand Oncology (ASTRO) criteriaused by the authors has proven inferiorto using a cutoff of 0.2 ng/mL forprostate-specific antigen (PSA) nadirfollowing brachytherapy. The inaccuracyin using ASTRO criteria fordetermining cure by brachytherapy isparticularly pronounced in series withshort follow-up such as the 3-yearmedian follow-up criterion used inthis paper.

Treatment of Advanced Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer in Special Populations

September 01, 2004

The benefits of chemotherapy in non–small-cell lung cancer(NSCLC) patients remains, to some extent, restricted to younger patientswith a good performance status (PS). It has long been assumedthat chemotherapy is too toxic and of marginal benefit for elderlyNSCLC patients and those with a PS of 2. Nevertheless, retrospectiveanalyses and more recent prospective trials have suggested that suchpatients enjoy longer survival and a better quality of life when treatedwith chemotherapy. This article will review the data and discuss theirclinical implications.

New Developments in the Management of Chemotherapy-Induced Emesis: Do They Impact on Existing Guidelines?

September 01, 2004

Guidelines for the management of chemotherapy-induced emesisare necessary to help clinicians match the emetogenicity of antineoplasticagents with the abundance of antiemetic agents now available. Numerousguidelines for antiemetic therapy currently exist, but compliancewith them is inconsistent, in part because optimal antiemetic protectionis not yet possible, even with the best guidelines. For this reason,guidelines must be dynamic and evolve as knowledge increases.Revision of antiemetic guidelines should be prompted by changes ingeneral principles of treatment, not changes in specific details. Recentrecognition of the unique benefits of incorporating selective neurokinin-1 receptor antagonists into regimens for the prevention of nauseaand vomiting caused by highly emetogenic chemotherapy, particularlyin delayed emesis, justifies modification of existing antiemeticguidelines.

Understanding the Pathobiology of Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

September 01, 2004

Improved understanding of the physiologic and neuropharmacologicmechanisms underlying chemotherapy-induced nausea andvomiting (CINV) has driven significant progress in the treatment ofCINV over the past 2 decades. Recognition of the role of neurotransmittersand their receptors in the process of CINV has been central tothis progress. Initial attention focused on dopamine, then on serotonin,and most recently on substance P, which has yielded a usefulnew class of antiemetic medications known as selective neurokinin-1receptor antagonists. Preclinical studies of these neurokinin-1 receptorantagonists suggested that they would demonstrate broad antiemeticactivity in acute emesis, demonstrate activity against cisplatininduceddelayed emesis, be well tolerated, and contribute to enhancedefficacy when used in combination with other classes of antiemetics.These suggestions appear to have been largely borne out in clinicaltrials. Pharmacogenomics may offer a means to further extend andapply our understanding of CINV by enabling more selective targetingof antiemetic therapies. To date, the application of pharmacogenomicsto CINV has focused on variations in the metabolism of serotoninreceptor antagonists by CYP 450 genotype and variations in the5-HT3 receptor gene itself.

Interdisciplinary Breast Cancer Care: Declaring and Improving the Standard

September 01, 2004

The Susan G. Komen BreastCancer Foundation joins authorDr. Barbara Rabinowitz in underscoringthe importance and valueof interdisciplinary/multidisciplinarybreast care. We agree, as well, thatthe multimodal approach that Dr.Rabinowitz carefully outlines in herarticle should be adopted more consistentlyand recognized as this nation’sstandard of breast care. Herarticle provides the perspective neededto understand why this is so.

Comparing Radical Prostatectomy and Brachytherapy for Localized Prostate Cancer

September 01, 2004

Radical prostatectomy and ultrasound-guided transperinealbrachytherapy are both acceptedtreatment options for men with clinicallylocalized prostate cancer.Investigators continue to argue overthe relative effectiveness of each ofthese procedures, not only from thestandpoint of cure, but also with regardto how each treatment affectsquality of life. With the recent closureof a prospective, randomized trial addressingthese issues (the SurgicalProstatectomy Interstitial RadiationIntervention Trial, or SPIRIT) due tolack of patient accrual, it is unlikelythat a direct comparison of these techniqueswill be performed in the foreseeablefuture.

Prostate Cancer 2004: Insights From National Disease Registries

September 01, 2004

I am honored and delighted to beable to comment on the outstandingcontribution from Drs. Cooperberg,Park, and Carroll relating recentprostate cancer research fromthe various national efforts in prostatedisease research database efforts.As a former director of the Departmentof Defense Center for ProstateDisease Research (DoD-CPDR), Iwas blessed to be able to lead one ofthese database efforts as well as collaboratewith Dr. Carroll and his colleaguesfrom the Cancer of theProstate Strategic Urologic ResearchEndeavor (CaPSURE). Dr. AnthonyD'Amico and his colleagues headedseveral of our joint collaborationsfrom Harvard. In this light, I wouldlike to focus my editorial commentson providing a more in-depth reviewof work[1] that was briefly mentionedin the article by Cooperberg et al.

Comparing Radical Prostatectomy and Brachytherapy for Localized Prostate Cancer

September 01, 2004

Radical prostatectomy and ultrasound-guided transperinealbrachytherapy are both commonly used for the treatment of localizedprostate cancer. No randomized trials are available to compare thesemodalities. Therefore, the physician must rely on institutional reportsof results to determine which therapy is most effective. While some investigatorshave concluded that both therapies are effective, others haveconcluded that radical prostatectomy should remain the gold standardfor the treatment of this disease. This article reviews the major seriesavailable for both treatments and discusses the major controversiesinvolved in making these comparisons. The data indicate that for lowriskdisease, both treatments are effective, controlling disease in over80% of the cases, with no evidence to support the use of one treatmentover the other. Similarly, for intermediate-risk disease, the conclusionthat one treatment is superior to the other cannot be drawn. Brachytherapyshould be performed in conjunction with external-beam radiationtherapy in this group of patients. For patients with high-risk disease,neither treatment consistently achieves biochemical control rates above50%. Although radical prostatectomy and/or brachytherapy may playa role in the care of high-risk patients in the future, external-beamradiation therapy in combination with androgen deprivation has thebest track record to date.

Prostate Cancer 2004: Insights From National Disease Registries

September 01, 2004

In 2004, the large majority of prostate cancers are detected via prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening. Most are diagnosed at an earlystage and are amenable to aggressive local treatment. However, thenatural history of the disease may be prolonged, and all available activetreatments exert a potential negative effect on patients’ HRQOL.Management options for localized prostate cancer have become increasinglycomplex in recent years, and rigorous trials are frequently difficultto perform due to the extended follow-up required to reach meaningfuloutcomes. In this context, the advent of the national prostatecancer disease registries-Prostate Cancer Outcomes Study (PCOS),Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR), Cancer of the ProstateStrategic Urologic Research Endeavor (CaPSURE), and Shared EqualAccess Regional Cancer Hospital (SEARCH)-has greatly facilitatedclinical research in prostate cancer. This review summarizes key findingsfrom the registries in the areas of risk migration, practice patterns,outcome prediction, and quality-of-life outcomes. The availabilityof these large databases of patients will be a tremendous asset asprostate cancer management continues to evolve in the coming years.

Interdisciplinary Breast Cancer Care: Declaring and Improving the Standard

September 01, 2004

The contemporary management of breast cancer is a complex endeavorthat requires a truly collaborative team approach, characterizedby ongoing communication and active information-sharing amongthe multiple disciplines involved. Programs designed to provide comprehensivebreast cancer management by a team of multidisciplinaryspecialists were introduced in the late 1970s and have been increasingslowly. Patients attending comprehensive breast centers receive carefrom a broad-based multidisciplinary team that most often includessurgeons, radiologists, pathologists, medical oncologists, radiationoncologists, plastic/reconstructive surgeons, primary care physicians,gynecologists, nurses, social workers, patient advocates, and geneticrisk counselors. At the heart of comprehensive, interdisciplinary breastcare is the consensus planning conference that brings together teammembers on a regular basis to discuss individual patient cases and developcomprehensive treatment plans. This interactive and dynamicforum has become integral to the interdisciplinary management of breastdiseases and results in an increased level of communication betweenthe participating health-care professionals and the patients they treat.Several professional organizations, most prominently the AmericanSociety of Breast Disease, promote and support an interdisciplinaryapproach to breast care.