Natural History of Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer. Identifying Survival Benchmarks for Curative-intent Resection in Patients With Synchronous Liver-only Metastases
OBJECTIVE:To evaluate long-term oncologic outcomes of patients with stage IV pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and identify survival benchmarks for comparison when considering resection in these patients. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA/BACKGROUND:Highly selected cohorts of patients with liver-oligometastatic pancreas cancer have reported prolonged survival following resection. The long-term impact of surgery in this setting remains undefined due to a lack of appropriate control groups. METHODS:We identified patients with clinical stage IV PDAC with synchronous liver metastases within our cancer registry. We estimated overall survival (OS) among various patient subgroups using the Kaplan-Meier method. To mitigate immortal time bias, we analyzed long-term outcomes of patients who survived beyond 12 months (landmark time) from diagnosis. RESULTS:We identified 241 patients. Median OS was 7 months (95%CI 5-9), both overall and for patients with liver-only metastasis (n=144). Ninety patients (38% of liver-only; 40% of whole cohort) survived at least 12 months; those who received chemotherapy in this subgroup had a median OS of 26 months (95%CI 17-39). Of these patients, those with resectable or borderline resectable primary tumors and resectable liver-only metastasis (n=9, 4%) had a median OS of 39 months (95%CI 13-NR). CONCLUSIONS:The 4% of our cohort that were potentially eligible for surgery experienced a prolonged survival compared to all-comers with stage IV disease. Oncologic outcomes of patients undergoing resection of metastatic pancreas cancer should be assessed in the context of the expected survival of patients potentially eligible for surgery and not relative to all patients with stage IV disease.
ASO Visual Abstract: Regional Patterns of Hospital-Level Guideline Adherence in Gastric Cancer-An Analysis of the National Cancer Database
Regional Patterns of Hospital-Level Guideline Adherence in Gastric Cancer: An Analysis of the National Cancer Database
BACKGROUND:Adherence to evidence-based guidelines for gastric cancer is low, particularly at the hospital level, despite a strong association with improved overall survival (OS). We aimed to evaluate patterns of hospital and regional adherence to National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for gastric cancer. METHODS:Using the National Cancer Database (2004-2015), we identified patients with stage I-III gastric cancer. Hospital-level guideline adherence was calculated by dividing the patients who received guideline adherent care by the total patients treated at that hospital. OS was estimated for each hospital. Associations between adherence, region, and survival were compared using mixed-effects, hierarchical regression. RESULTS:Among 576 hospitals, the median hospital guideline adherence rate was 25% (range 0-76%) and varied significantly by region (pÂ =Â 0.001). Adherence was highest in the Middle Atlantic (29%) and lowest in the East South Central region (19%); hospitals in the New England, Middle Atlantic, and East North Central regions were more likely to be guideline adherent than those in the East South Central region (all pÂ <Â 0.05), after adjusting for patient and hospital mix. Most (35%) of the adherence variation was attributable to the hospital. Median 2-year OS varied significantly by region. After adjusting for hospital and patient mix, hazard of mortality was 17% lower in the Middle Atlantic (hazard ratio 0.82, 95% confidence interval 0.74-0.90) relative to the East South Central region, with most of the variation (54%) attributable to patient-level factors. CONCLUSIONS:Hospital-level guideline adherence for gastric cancer demonstrated significant regional variation and was associated with longer OS, suggesting that efforts to improve guideline adherence should be directed toward lower-performing hospitals.
Parental attitudes towards choosing between operative and nonoperative management of pediatric acute appendicitis
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Making healthcare decisions for children can be challenging for parents or guardians. We aimed to characterize the decision-making preferences and stress of parents or guardians who were offered both appendectomy or nonoperative management (NOM) for children with acute appendicitis. METHODS:Criteria was developed for offering operative or NOM for patients. At the time of decision, parents or guardians completed a survey assessing their understanding of treatment options, stress and preferences in being given the choice. An outpatient follow-up survey was later administered to evaluate post-decision satisfaction. RESULTS:A total of 45 respondents were included in the study. More than 95% endorsed understanding of the risks/benefits of the options and felt supported and satisfied with their decision. Half felt the process was more than minimally stressful, 77% felt the decision was easy to make, 89% liked being asked and 95% preferred to make the decision themselves with varying degrees of input from their physician. Of the 62% of parents or guardians who completed the follow-up survey, >90% were satisfied with their decision and one respondent regretted their choice. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:When offered the choice between operative and NOM of acute appendicitis, half of parents or guardians felt greater than minimal stress. The majority endorsed adequate understanding of the options, felt it was an easy decision, and maintained the desire to be the primary decision maker for their child. Our study provides preliminary data on parental or guardian attitudes towards shared decision-making in the surgical setting. Follow-up studies should focus on identifying predictors for those who feel increased stress and difficulty with decision-making. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE/METHODS:III.
Perception of risk and treatment decisions in the management of differentiated thyroid cancer
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:The recent de-escalation of care for differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) has broadened the range of initial treatment options. We examined the association between physicians' perception of risk and their management of DTC. METHODS:Thyroid specialists were surveyed with four clinical vignettes: (1) indeterminate nodule (2) tall cell variant papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), (3) papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (mPTC), and (4) classic PTC. Participants judged the operative risks and likelihood of structural cancer recurrence associated with more versus less aggressive treatments. A logistic mixed effect model was used to predict treatment choice. RESULTS:Among 183 respondents (13.4% response rate), 44% were surgical and 56% medical thyroid specialists. Risk estimates and treatment recommendation varied markedly in each case. Respondents' estimated risk of 10-year cancer recurrence after lobectomy for a 2.0-cm PTC ranged from 1% to 53% (interquartile range [IQR]: 3%-12%), with 66% recommending lobectomy and 34% total thyroidectomy. Respondents' estimated 5-year risk of metastastic disease during active surveillance of an 0.8-cm mPTC ranged from 0% to 95% (IQR: 4%-15%), with 36% choosing active surveillance. Overall, differences in perceived risk reduction explained 10.3% of the observed variance in decision-making. CONCLUSIONS:Most of the variation in thyroid cancer treatment aggressiveness is unrelated to perceived risk of cancer recurrence.
Outcomes After Surgical Palliation of Patients With Gastric Cancer
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:Surgery is an option for symptom palliation in patients with metastatic gastric cancer. Operative outcomes after palliative interventions are largely unknown. Herein, we assess the trends of surgical palliation use for patients with gastric cancer and describe outcomes of patients undergoing surgical palliation compared to nonsurgical palliation. METHODS:Patients with clinical Stage IV gastric cancer in the National Cancer Database (2004-2015) who received surgical or nonsurgical palliation were selected. We identified factors associated with palliative surgery. Survival differences were assessed by Kaplan-Meier estimate, Cox proportional hazard regression, and log rank test. RESULTS:Six thousand eight hundred twenty nine patients received palliative care for gastric cancer. Most patients (87%, nÂ =Â 5944) received nonsurgical palliation: 29% radiation therapy, 57% systemic treatment, and 14% pain management. The number of patients receiving palliative care increased between 2004 and 2015; however, use of surgical palliation declined significantly (22% in 2004, 8% in 2015; PÂ <Â 0.001). Median overall survival (OS) for the cohort was 5.65Â mo (95% confidence interval 5.45-5.85); 1-year and 2-year OS were 24% and 9%, respectively. Older age at diagnosis and diagnosis between 2004 and 2006 were significantly associated with undergoing surgical palliation. Patients who underwent surgical palliation had significantly shorter median OS and a 20% higher hazard of mortality than those who received nonsurgical palliation. CONCLUSIONS:Patients with metastatic gastric cancer experience very short survival. While palliative surgery is used infrequently, the observed association with shorter median OS underscores the importance of careful patient selection. Palliative surgery should be offered judiciously and expectations about outcomes clearly established.
The Association Between Risk Aversion of Surgeons and Their Clinical Decision-Making
BACKGROUND:The extent to which a surgeon's risk aversion influences their clinical decisions remains unknown. We assessed whether a surgeon's attitude toward risk ("risk aversion") influences their surgical decisions and whether the relationship can be explained by differences in surgeons' perception of treatment risks and benefits. MATERIALS AND METHODS/METHODS:We presented a series of detailed clinical vignettes to a national sample of surgeons (nÂ =Â 1,769; 13.4% adjusted response rate) and asked them to complete an instrument that measured how risk averse they are within their clinical practice (scale 6-36; higher number indicates greater risk aversion). For each vignette, participants rated their likelihood of recommending an operation and judged the likelihood of complications or full recovery. We examined whether differences in perceived likelihood of complications versus recovery could explain why risk-averse surgeons may be less likely to recommend an operation. RESULTS:Surgeons varied in their self-reported risk aversion score (medianÂ =Â 25, interquartile range[22,28]). Scores did not differ by level of surgeon experience or gender. Risk-averse surgeons were significantly less likely to recommend an operation for patients with exactly the same condition (65.5% for surgeons in highest quartile of risk aversion versus 62.3% for lowest quartile; PÂ =Â 0.02). However, after controlling for surgeons' perception of the likelihood of complications versus recovery, there was no longer a significant association between surgeons' risk aversion and the decision to recommend an operation (64.7% versus 64.8%; PÂ =Â 0.96). CONCLUSIONS:Surgeons vary widely in their self-reported risk aversion. Risk-averse surgeons were significantly less likely to recommend an operation, a finding that was explained by a higher perceived probability of post-operative complications than their colleagues.
Addressing the Dilemma of Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy With Behavioral Science
Injury-specific variables improve risk adjustment and hospital quality assessment in severe traumatic brain injury
BACKGROUND:Hospital benchmarking is essential to quality improvement, but its usefulness depends on the ability of statistical models to adequately control for inter-hospital differences in patient mix. We explored whether the addition of injury-specific clinical variables to the current American College of Surgeons-Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) algorithm would improve model fit. METHODS:We analyzed a prospective registry containing all adult patients who presented to a regional consortium of 14 trauma centers between 2010 and 2011 with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). We used hierarchical logistic regression and stepwise forward selection to develop two novel risk-adjustment models. We then tested our novel models against the current TQIP model and ranked hospitals by their risk-adjusted mortality rates under each model to determine how model selection affects quality benchmarking. RESULTS:Seven hundred thirty-four patients met inclusion criteria. Stepwise selection resulted in two distinct models: one that added three TBI-specific variables (pupil reactivity, cerebral edema, loss of basal cisterns) to the model specification currently used by TQIP and another that combined two TBI-specific variables (pupil reactivity, cerebral edema) with a three-variable subset of TQIP (age, Abbreviated Injury Scale score for the head region, Glasgow Coma Scale motor score). Both novel models outperformed TQIP. Although rankings remained largely unchanged across model configurations, several hospitals moved across quality terciles. CONCLUSION:The inclusion of injury-specific variables improves risk adjustment for patients with severe TBI. Trauma Quality Improvement Program should consider replacing several of its general patient characteristics with injury-specific clinical predictors to increase efficiency, reduce the risk of overfitting, and improve the accuracy of hospital benchmarking. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:Prognostic and epidemiological, level II.
Safeguarding Against Conflicts of Interest in the Surgical Literature [Comment]