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Two-year outcomes following the HIDOC program: expanding outpatient care delivery to meet the needs of medically complex, high-utilizing patients with a broader interprofessional care team

Seidenfeld, Justine; Driscoll, Caitlin; Germino, Laura; Nickolopoulos, Elissa; Keck, Valerie; Dillard, Jan; Brown, Gregory; Bowlby, Lynn; Cho, Alex
This article describes the Highly Individualized Dedicated Onsite Care (HIDOC) intensive primary care program implemented at a university clinic, comprising (a) care by an interprofessional team, (b) new logistical capacity, and (c) clinician skills training. Measured outcomes include Emergency Department (ED) visits and hospitalizations at a university and a community hospital over 2 years, using a within-subjects design. We demonstrate decreased hospitalizations at the University Hospital, and a decrease in ED visits at both sites. Team-based strategies to provide intensive primary care can decrease utilization, allowing for greater continuity of care.
PMID: 35225140
ISSN: 1469-9567
CID: 5229752

Treatment of Hodgkin Lymphoma With ABVD Chemotherapy in Rural Rwanda: A Model for Cancer Care Delivery Implementation

DeBoer, Rebecca J; Shyirambere, Cyprien; Driscoll, Caitlin D; Butera, Yvan; Paciorek, Alan; Ruhangaza, Deogratias; Fadelu, Temidayo A; Umwizerwa, Aline; Bigirimana, Jean Bosco; Muhayimana, Clemence; Nguyen, Cam; Park, Paul H; Mpunga, Tharcisse; Lehmann, Leslie; Shulman, Lawrence N
PURPOSE:Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is highly curable in high-income countries (HICs), yet many patients around the world do not have access to therapy. In 2012, cancer care was established at a rural district hospital in Rwanda through international collaboration, and a treatment protocol using doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) without radiotherapy was implemented. METHODS:We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all patients with confirmed HL seen at Butaro Hospital from 2012 to 2018 to evaluate quality indicators and clinical outcomes. RESULTS:Eighty-five patients were included (median age, 16.8 years; interquartile range, 11.0-30.5 years). Ten (12%) were HIV positive. Most had B symptoms (70%) and advanced stage (56%) on examination and limited imaging. Of 21 specimens evaluated for Epstein-Barr virus, 14 (67%) were positive. Median time from biopsy to treatment was 6.0 weeks. Of 73 patients who started ABVD, 54 (74%) completed 6 cycles; the leading reasons for discontinuation were treatment abandonment and death. Median dose intensity of ABVD was 92%. Of 77 evaluable patients, 33 (43%) are in clinical remission, 27 (36%) are deceased, and 17 (22%) were lost to follow-up; 3-year survival estimate is 63% (95% CI, 50% to 74%). Poorer performance status, advanced stage, B symptoms, anemia, dose intensity < 85%, and treatment discontinuation were associated with worse survival. CONCLUSION:Treating HL with standard chemotherapy in a low-resource setting is feasible. Most patients who completed treatment experienced a clinically significant remission with this approach. Late presentation, treatment abandonment, and loss to follow-up contribute to the discrepancy in survival compared with HICs. A strikingly younger age distribution in our cohort compared with HICs suggests biologic differences and warrants further investigation.
PMID: 32678711
ISSN: 2687-8941
CID: 5229742

Outcomes of Low-Intensity Treatment of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence in Rwanda

Rubagumya, Fidel; Xu, Mary Jue; May, Leana; Driscoll, Caitlin; Uwizeye, Frank Regis; Shyirambere, Cyprien; Larrabee, Katherine; Fehr, Alexandra E; Gilbert, Umuhizi Denis; Muhayimana, Clemence; Hategekimana, Vedaste; Elmore, Shekinah; Mpunga, Tharcisse; Moore, Molly; Shulman, Lawrence N; Lehmann, Leslie
PURPOSE:Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in low-income countries have disproportionately lower cure rates than those in high-income countries. At Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence (BCCOE), physicians treated patients with ALL with the first arm of the Hunger Protocol, a graduated-intensity method tailored for resource-limited settings. This article provides the first published outcomes, to our knowledge, of patients with ALL treated with this protocol. METHODS:This is a retrospective descriptive study of patients with ALL enrolled at BCCOE from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014; data were collected through December 31, 2015. Descriptive statistics were used to calculate patient demographics, disease characteristics, and outcomes; event-free survival was assessed at 2 years using the Kaplan-Meier method. RESULTS:Forty-two consecutive patients with ALL were included. At the end of the study period, 19% (eight) were alive without evidence of relapse: three completed treatment and five were continuing treatment. Among the remaining patients, 71% (30) had died and 10% (four) were lost to follow-up. A total of 83% (25) of the deaths were disease related, 3% (one) treatment-related, and 13% (four) unclear. Event-free survival was 22% (95% CI, 11% to 36%), considering lost to follow-up as an event, and 26% (95% CI, 13% to 41%) if lost to follow-up is censored. CONCLUSION:As expected, relapse was the major cause of failure with this low-intensity regimen. However, toxicity was acceptably low, and BCCOE has decided to advance to intensity level 2. These results reflect the necessity of a data-driven approach and a continual improvement process to care for complex patients in resource-constrained settings.
PMID: 30241148
ISSN: 2378-9506
CID: 5229782

Treating Nephroblastoma in Rwanda: Using International Society of Pediatric Oncology Guidelines in a Novel Oncologic Care Model

Shyirambere, Cyprien; Xu, Mary Jue; Elmore, Shekinah Nefreteri; Fadelu, Temidayo; May, Leana; Tapela, Neo; Umuhizi, Denis Gilbert; Uwizeye, Frank Regis; Driscoll, Caitlin; Muhayimana, Clemence; Hategekimana, Vedaste; Rubagumya, Fidel; Nzayisenga, Ignace; Shulman, Lawrence N; Mpunga, Tharcisse; Lehmann, Leslie E
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Success in treating nephroblastoma in high-income countries has been transferred to some resource-constrained settings; multicenter studies report disease-free survival of greater than 70%. However, few reports present care models with rural-based components, care tasks shifted to internists and pediatricians, and data collection structured for monitoring and evaluation. Here, we report clinical outcomes and protocol compliance for patients with nephroblastoma evaluated at Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence in Rwanda. PATIENTS AND METHODS/METHODS:This retrospective study reports the care of 53 patients evaluated between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2014. Patients receiving less than half of their chemotherapy at Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence were excluded. RESULTS:Of the 53 patients included, 9.4% had stage I, 13.2% had stage II, 24.5% had stage III, 26.4% had stage IV, and 5.7% had stage V disease; the remaining 20.8% had unknown stage disease from inadequate work-up or unavailable surgical report. The incidence of neutropenia increased with treatment progression, and the greatest proportion of delays occurred during the surgical referral phase. At the end of the study period, 32.1% of patients (n = 17) remained alive after treatment; 24.5% (n = 13) remained alive while continuing treatment, including one patient with recurrent disease; 30.2% (n = 16) died; and 13.2% (n = 7) were lost to follow-up. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Our findings confirm that nephroblastoma can be effectively treated in resource-constrained settings. Using an approach in which chemotherapy is delivered at a rural-based center by nononcologists and data are used for routine evaluation, care can be delivered in safe, novel ways. Protocol modifications to mitigate chemotherapy toxicities and strong communication between the multidisciplinary team members will likely minimize delays and further improve outcomes in similar settings.
PMID: 28717689
ISSN: 2378-9506
CID: 5229772

Pursuing equity in cancer care: implementation, challenges and preliminary findings of a public cancer referral center in rural Rwanda

Tapela, Neo M; Mpunga, Tharcisse; Hedt-Gauthier, Bethany; Moore, Molly; Mpanumusingo, Egide; Xu, Mary Jue; Nzayisenga, Ignace; Hategekimana, Vedaste; Umuhizi, Denis Gilbert; Pace, Lydia E; Bigirimana, Jean Bosco; Wang, JingJing; Driscoll, Caitlin; Uwizeye, Frank R; Drobac, Peter C; Ngoga, Gedeon; Shyirambere, Cyprien; Muhayimana, Clemence; Lehmann, Leslie; Shulman, Lawrence N
BACKGROUND:Cancer services are inaccessible in many low-income countries, and few published examples describe oncology programs within the public sector. In 2011, the Rwanda Ministry of Health (RMOH) established Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence (BCCOE) to expand cancer services nationally. In hopes of informing cancer care delivery in similar settings, we describe program-level experience implementing BCCOE, patient characteristics, and challenges encountered. METHODS:Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence was founded on diverse partnerships that emphasize capacity building. Services available include pathology-based diagnosis, basic imaging, chemotherapy, surgery, referral for radiotherapy, palliative care and socioeconomic access supports. Retrospective review of electronic medical records (EMR) of patients enrolled between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2014 was conducted, supplemented by manual review of paper charts and programmatic records. RESULTS:In the program's first 2 years, 2326 patients presented for cancer-related care. Of these, 70.5% were female, 4.3% children, and 74.3% on public health insurance. In the first year, 66.3% (n = 1144) were diagnosed with cancer. Leading adult diagnoses were breast, cervical, and skin cancer. Among children, nephroblastoma, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and Hodgkin lymphoma were predominant. As of June 30, 2013, 95 cancer patients had died. Challenges encountered include documentation gaps and staff shortages. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence demonstrates that complex cancer care can be delivered in the most resource-constrained settings, accessible to vulnerable patients. Key attributes that have made BCCOE possible are: meaningful North-south partnerships, innovative task- and infrastructure-shifting, RMOH leadership, and an equity-driven agenda. Going forward, we will apply our experiences and lessons learned to further strengthen BCCOE, and employ the developed EMR system as a valuable platform to assess long-term clinical outcomes and improve care.
PMID: 26992690
ISSN: 1471-2407
CID: 5229762

Caring for patients with surgically resectable cancers: experience from a specialised centre in rural Rwanda

Mubiligi, J M; Hedt-Gauthier, B; Mpunga, T; Tapela, N; Okao, P; Harries, A D; Edginton, M E; Driscoll, C; Mugabo, L; Riviello, R; Shulman, L N
SETTING/METHODS:Butaro Cancer Centre of Excellence (BCCOE), Burera District, Rwanda. OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:To describe characteristics, management and 6-month outcome of adult patients presenting with potentially surgically resectable cancers. DESIGN/METHODS:Retrospective cohort study of patients presenting between 1 July and 31 December 2012. RESULTS:Of 278 patients, 76.6% were female, 51.4% were aged 50-74 years and 75% were referred from other district or tertiary hospitals in Rwanda. For the 250 patients with treatment details, 115 (46%) underwent surgery, with or without chemotherapy/radiotherapy. Median time from admission to surgery was 21 days (IQR 2-91). Breast cancer was the most common type of cancer treated at BCCOE, while other forms of cancer (cervical, colorectal and head and neck) were mainly operated on in tertiary facilities. Ninety-nine patients had no treatment; 52% of these were referred out within 6 months, primarily for palliative care. At 6 months, 6.8% had died or were lost to follow-up. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Surgical care was provided for many cancer patients referred to BCCOE. However, challenges such as inadequate surgical infrastructure and skills, and patients presenting late with advanced and unresectable disease can limit the ability to manage all cases. This study highlights opportunities and challenges in cancer care relevant to other hospitals in rural settings.
PMID: 26399213
ISSN: 2220-8372
CID: 5232392

A Phase I Trial of Escalating Dose of the Rapamycin Analog Everolimus in Combination with the Kinase Inhibitor Midostaurin in Patients (pts) with Relapsed, Refractory or Poor Prognosis Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) [Meeting Abstract]

Stone, Richard M.; Driscoll, Caitlin; Galinsky, Ilene; Wadleigh, Martha; Steensma, David P.; Avigan, David; Amrein, Philip C.; Liu, Suiyang; Griffin, James D.; McAfee, Steven L.; Attar, Eyal C.; Ballen, Karen K.; Fox, Edward; DeAngelo, Daniel J.
ISSN: 0006-4971
CID: 5232402