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Science & Medicine

ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series

Updated 9 days ago

Science & Medicine
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The ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series features interviews with panelists of recently published American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guidelines products highlighting key recommendations from the publication. Music:“Journeys” by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au, used under CC:BY.

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The ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series features interviews with panelists of recently published American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guidelines products highlighting key recommendations from the publication. Music:“Journeys” by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au, used under CC:BY.

iTunes Ratings

17 Ratings
Average Ratings
12
3
1
1
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Great podcast!

By B_Harvey - Feb 14 2018
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Informative & fantastic overview of ASCO guidelines

iTunes Ratings

17 Ratings
Average Ratings
12
3
1
1
0

Great podcast!

By B_Harvey - Feb 14 2018
Read more
Informative & fantastic overview of ASCO guidelines
Cover image of ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series

ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series

Updated 9 days ago

Read more

The ASCO Guidelines Podcast Series features interviews with panelists of recently published American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guidelines products highlighting key recommendations from the publication. Music:“Journeys” by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au, used under CC:BY.

Rank #1: Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment in Patients with Cancer Guideline Update

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An interview with Dr. Anna Falanga on "Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment in Patients with Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update." The guideline revises several previous recommendations. Most notably, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have been added as options for VTE prophylaxis and treatment.

Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines

Find all of ASCO's podcasts at podcast.asco.org 

TRANSCRIPT

Hi, my name is Clifford Hudis and I am the CEO of ASCO and the host of the ASCO in Action Podcast. About twice a month, I interview thought leaders in health care and experts in oncology, and we provide analysis and commentary on a wide range of cancer policy and practice issues. 

 You can find the ASCO in Action Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you are listening to this show, and you can find all 9 of ASCO’s podcasts which cover a wide range of educational and scientific content and offer enriching insight into the world of cancer care at podcast.asco.org

Disclaimer: The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care, and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin. And today I'm interviewing Dr. Anna Falanga from the hospital Papa Giovanni XXIII in Bergamo, Italy. Senior author on "Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment in Patients with Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guidelines Update." Thank you for being here today, Dr. Falanga.

Yes, thank you. I am very happy to talk on the update of the ASCO VTE guidelines.

So this guideline was first published in 2007 with an update in 2013 and a reaffirmation in 2015. So what prompted this 2019 update?

Thanks for this first question. I think that an update was urgently needed at this time. You know, before, the ASCO guidelines were published in 2007. And then an update was made in 2013, and the second one in 2015. But in 2015 was basically a confirmation of the previous 2013 update. Now the update was urgently needed, because in the very recent years there has been even more evidence of the relevance and impact of a venous thromboembolism in the cancer patients. But in addition, and very importantly, new data from prospective randomized clinical trials with the new drugs for the management of VT in the oncological patients have become available. In particular, as you know, low molecular weight heparins were largely used in the setting of the treatment and trauma prophylaxis in the cancer patients. And actually, the low molecular weight tapering have been the standard of treatment for many years. However, recently the results of prospective randomized clinical trials of direct oral anticoagulant, particularly, the anti-Xa inhibitors, Edoxaban and Rivaroxaban, for cancer associated with [INAUDIBLE] treatment support the role of this new oral agent in the VT management in this setting. And this is related to new politics in the VT management in these patients.

So what are the key recommendations for this guideline update?

The main changes to the previous recommendations are first that Rivaroxaban and Edoxiban, the two anti-Xa inhibitors oral anticoagulants have been added as an option for routine treatment in cancer patients in this update. Also, now we may offer thrombo prophylaxis with Apixaban, Rivaroxaban, or low molecular weight tapering to selected high-risk outpatients with cancer. And about other changes of these new guidelines compared to the last one include that patients with brain metastases have been addressed in the VT type treatment sections, whereas before, only patients with the primary tumors were mentioned in the previous edition. And finally, the recommendation regarding long-term postoperative thromboprophylaxis with low molecular weight heparin expanded to patients undergoing a major open or laparoscopic abdominal or pelvic surgery. These are the main changes that all I think are very, very important.

Why is this guideline so important? And how does it affect practice?

Well, I think that the question how these changes affect our practice is a very important question, because I believe that these guidelines reflect the new evidence that we have from the new data. And this data clearly expand our possibility to choose now between the different treatment options in the single patient in the cancer population. For instance, the new data show that treatment with [INAUDIBLE] anticoagulants compared to low molecular weight heparin lower the risk of a recurrent thrombosis. But in some instances there's a higher risk of bleeding, particularly in the gastrointestinal and urinary tract cancer patients. So therefore it is evident that the patient selection and the individualization of a therapy based on the patient characteristics and the type of cancer-- all these become very important. And we have the possibility now to choose between different treatments, or in the same patients we can change from one treatment to the other according to the face of the disease or complications if the patient is in a phase that is assuming chemotherapy with many side effects like nausea and vomiting. Of course, in these cases a parenteral injection is preferable for the management of a venous thromboembolism. Whereas in other instances, a long-term and oral intake is surely more convenient. So it depends also from the level of risk. But now for the six months treatment we can offer different choice of the oral treatment and also for high-risk patients the primary prophylaxis with Apixaban Rivaroxoaban, and a low molecular weight tapering can be chosen.

And what should patients be aware of when it comes to VTE risks and treatments?

I think that patients should be educated about the risk of a cancer associated with VTE. You know, there is that evidence that they are educated about it. And they know a lot better about neutropenia, and the fever associated with this the neutropenic condition and the other side effect. But they know very little about the possibility that they can experience venous thromboembolism. s So I think they should be taught on how to recognize the symptoms and alert their physician. You know, sometimes the symptoms are indistinguishable It can be just a little pain in the calf. And patients must know that these are to be considered important. They must alert their physician to undergo some test-- objective test-- to see if there is a real thrombosis in the leg or not. This is extremely important, because one important consequence of venous thromboembolism of the extremities is a pulmonary embolism that can be also fatal. So they must know about that. Also, I think they should know about the risk of bleeding associated with the anticoagulant treatment, and also that this risk of bleeding can be different in the different type of tumors. Finally, I think that also they must be told about the once they have, for instance, and episode of venous thromboembolism they have to receive a treatment for that, and these are usually six months to the minimum, and then we'll decide. So they must know what these are the efficacy and the safety profiles of the different drugs. They must know the differences in the route of administration and the other characteristics of the drug. So I think that their shared decision with the patients of the type of treatment must be an integral part of the decision making and is certainly desirable.

Great. It sounds as though there's some important considerations for patients and important conversations which may be prompted by this guideline. So thank you for taking your time to discuss this with me today, Dr. Falanga.

I thank you very much for this interview and talk that our colleagues and also the patients will be happy with these new guidelines of ASCO. Thank you.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

Aug 05 2019
10 mins
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Rank #2: Antiemetics Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Paul Hesketh from Lahey Hospital and Medical Center on the antiemetics guideline update published in 2017. The guideline update expands the recommendations to include olanzapine and neurokinin 1 receptor antagonists. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines 

May 04 2018
9 mins
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Rank #3: Disease Management for Patients With Advanced HER2 Positive Breast Cancer and Brain Metastases Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Naren Ramakrishna from University of Florida Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health on the guideline update which addresses management of brain metastases for patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–positive advanced breast cancer. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/breast-cancer-guidelines 

Jun 25 2018
7 mins
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Rank #4: Integrative Therapies During and After Breast Cancer Treatment Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Gary Lyman from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington and Dr. Lorenzo Cohen from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center on the ASCO endorsement of the SIO guideline on use of integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment. The guideline addresses the use of integrative therapies for the management of symptoms and adverse effects. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines.

Jun 11 2018
21 mins
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Rank #5: Systemic Therapy for Patients with Advanced HER2 Positive Breast Cancer Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Nancy E. Davidson from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington on the guideline update which provides recommendations on systemic therapy for patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)–positive advanced breast cancer. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/breast-cancer-guidelines 

Jun 25 2018
8 mins
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Rank #6: Antimicrobial Prophylaxis for Adult Patients with Cancer-Related Immunosuppression Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin, and today I'm interviewing Dr. Randy Taplitz from UC San Diego Health, lead author on Antimicrobial Prophylaxis for Adult Patients With Cancer-Related Immunosuppression: ASCO and IDSA Clinical Practice Guideline Update.

Thank you for being here, Dr. Taplitz.

Thank you.

So first, can you give us a general overview of what this guideline covers?

Yes. I mean, I think we're all aware that infection in the setting of neutropenia associated with cancer chemotherapy is really a major cause of morbidity in these patients. And it's also important to be aware that prevention and appropriate management of febrile neutropenia and infection should thus be a critical focus in cancer care. So the focus of this particular guideline was to evaluate the risk and benefits of antimicrobial prophylaxis in these patients and really to determine evidence-based best practices for prevention of infection and how to go about doing that. So

In this guideline, what we do is we identify the groups at risk for febrile neutropenia and really recommend settings for which prophylaxis with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral medications are indicated. And then as well make recommendations for consideration of vaccination and other measures such as respiratory etiquette, and hand hygiene, and the like that will help reduce the risk of infection in these vulnerable patients.

So since this is an update of a 2013 guideline, what are the major changes? And can you tell us a little bit about the research that informed this update?

Yes. Really, when you update a guideline, one is informed by review of articles that encompass, in this setting, randomized clinical trials as well as meta analysis of interventions to prevent microbial infections in patients with neutropenia or other types of immunosuppression.

And one example of this-- I think one of the better examples-- is we reviewed a large meta analysis of antibiotic prophylaxis in neutropenic patients after chemotherapy that showed that for fluoroquinolone prophylaxis resulted in really significant reductions in all cause mortality and febrile episodes, particularly in patients who were high risk, meaning the hematologic malignancy population and stem cell transplant population. And in that particular population, in fact, the number needed to treat to prevent one death was 29. So therefore, in that high risk population, really as with prior guidelines, the fluoroquinolone prophylaxis is recommended.

However, we also reviewed other articles that include emerging data on some of the risks of fluoroquinolone prophylaxis. So for instance, the effect of fluoroquinolone on the intestinal microbiome and its association with selection of fluoroquinolone-resistant bacteria such as Gram-negative rods, as well as selection of organisms such as Clostridium difficile and enterococcus. And then we also reviewed fluoroquinolone toxicities.

So what is added to this guideline are some qualifying statements alerting clinicians to really be aware for these concerns and to consider what the clinical spectrum of things like Clostridium difficile infection, et cetera, look like.

In terms of antifungal prevention, including pneumocystis prevention, we really haven't made any major changes to this guideline with the exception that in this new guideline, the panel has also started looking at complications associated with immunotherapy and actually makes a suggestion that people consider pneumocystis prophylaxis in the setting of prolonged steroid use when it's used to treat immune-related adverse events that we've begun to see in increasing numbers associated with agents like checkpoint inhibitors and other immunotherapies.

In terms of viral infections, the updated guidelines recommend risk assessment for hepatitis B reactivation and then treatment in accordance with other ASCO guidelines and yearly influenza vaccine, as well as really endorsing other vaccines as described in the Infectious Disease Society of America Guideline for Vaccination in Immunocompromised Hosts.

So really, those are the main new events since 2013.

And what are the key recommendations of this guideline?

So the key recommendations-- the first thing is what we call a risk assessment. So after-- what one does is carefully assess, really, what the risk of febrile neutropenia is. And that includes assessment of patient, what the cancer is, and what the treatment-related factors are. And then after they're risk adjusted and risk assessed, then we take, in turn, different forms of prophylaxis that we consider.

And so the first one that we always consider is antibiotic prophylaxis against bacterial infections. And the recommendation is still with the fluoroquinolone. And that's recommended for most patients who are at high risk for febrile neutropenia or profound, really prolonged neutropenia, such as those getting therapy for AML, or myelodysplastic syndrome, or stem cell transplant recipients, particularly with myeloablative regimens. In the lower risk groups, such as those with most solid tumors, fluoroquinolone prophylaxis is not recommend.

In terms of antifungal prophylaxis, what is recommended is an oral triazole or Micafungin-- for patients, again, at risk for profound protracted neutropenia such as that AML, MDS, stem cell transplant group during that period of neutropenia.

When the risk of invasive aspergillus is high, such as in patients with AML or MDS during the neutropenia period while getting chemotherapy, then the consideration of a mold-active triazole is recommended and in addition should be considered in the context of stem cell transplant recipients with graft versus host disease.

In terms of PCP prophylaxis, PCP preventive therapies are recommended for those at high risk for PCP, which include those on greater than what we say 20 milligrams of prednisone equivalent a day for over a month, or based on purine analog use.

Viral prophylaxis for HSV is recommended for seropositive patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplant or leukemia induction.

And then as I mentioned before, patients at risk for hepatitis B reactivation are recommended treatment with a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. And this is more carefully discussed in the ASCO Provisional Clinical Opinion on Hepatitis-B Virus Screening for Patients With Cancer Before Therapy.

It's also recommended that a yearly flu vaccine is given to patients as well as given to family, household contacts, and health care workers. Other vaccination recommendations are as per the Infectious Disease Society of America Guidelines for Vaccination of Immunocompromised Hosts.

And then the other things that are recommended are really review and repeat recommendation of adherence with hand hygiene, with respiratory etiquette, which is recommended and really required for all health care workers. And that out patients with neutropenia from cancer chemotherapy should avoid high risk activities, which include really contact with environments that have high concentration of fungal spores such as construction and demolition, high intensity gardening, et cetera.

So those are really a summary of the key recommendations of this guideline.

And finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect patients?

I think it's important to remember that to ensure best practices on infection prevention, the literature needs to be reviewed frequently and guidelines need to be updated. I don't think that these current guidelines will dramatically change the preventive strategies that are used for patients, with the exception of perhaps a few extra vaccines-- some newer indications for pneumocystis prevention, hepatitis B reactivation prevention, those kinds of things.

However, I think in reviewing the literature, it becomes clear what will we will need to be thinking about in the coming years, what we will need to be assessing. And a couple of those things are the dramatic increase in the use of immune-based therapies and how that will affect infection risk in patients with or without neutropenia. We need to be considering the effects of routine antibiotic prophylaxis on the microbiome and the risks that that might incur. And we need to really understand how new vaccines can be utilized.

So yeah, I think these areas are really ripe for research and need to be followed closely to ensure optimization of these preventive strategies for our patients in the future.

Thank you for your time today, Dr. Taplitz.

You're quite welcome.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. If you've enjoyed what you heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer this show to a colleague.

Sep 04 2018
10 mins
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Rank #7: HER2 Testing in Breast Cancer Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Antonio Wolff from Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center on the ASCO/CAP guideline update which addresses IHC and ISH testing for HER2 in breast cancer.  Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/breast-cancer-guidelines 

May 30 2018
12 mins
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Rank #8: Treatment of Multiple Myeloma Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement. Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin, and I'm interviewing Dr. Joe Mikhael from the City of Hope Cancer Center and International Myeloma Foundation, lead author on "Treatment of Multiple Myeloma: ASCO and CCO Joint Clinical Practice Guideline." Thank you for being here today, Dr. Mikhael. It's a pleasure to be with you. So first, can you give us some context as to why this guideline was developed? Well, we had a lot of ideas when we put together this guideline, but most importantly, multiple myeloma continues to be a rare disease in the cancer world. It really only accounts for about 1% to 2% of cancers. So for the practicing oncologist, they spend perhaps 3-ish percent of their time doing multiple myeloma. And when you add to that there has been really a revolution in myeloma with new drugs approved, new treatments, new approaches, it really leaves the general oncologist with a complexity of how to treat this disease. And so we wanted to create a very practical guideline that would give very precise advice to walk through how one would care for a multiple myeloma patient, right from their diagnosis to indeed relapse disease. We felt this approach was so important now, more than ever, because of the fact that myeloma has really changed so much, and now, thankfully, we're seeing our patients live so much longer that the treatment options can become a little bit more complicated over time. Furthermore, we partnered with Cancer Care Ontario, because this was really felt to be not just an American phenomenon, but really a full North American phenomenon of how we could work together to really give practical advice as to how to treat this disease. So what are the key recommendations of this guideline? In this guideline, we focused really on the treatment of the disease itself. There have been other guidelines that have focused on supportive care and bone disease and multiple myeloma, but we really focused on the treatment of patients really from induction therapy through to relapse. So we spend time helping guide the decision around whether or not a patient is transplant eligible or ineligible, because that's really the first dividing marker in myeloma, because we know that transplant still has a role in myeloma, and eligible patients should have a transplant, or at least have access to a transplant. And historically, this was really done on the basis of age. But the guidelines helps the clinician see that it's really not just an age phenomena. It's really a decision based on comorbidities and really what's best for the patient. So we spend time helping making that decision, and then provide very practical advice as to how to treat a patient who's going to transplant versus a patient who's not going to transplant. We also, then, after the transplant, or in lieu of a transplant, we discuss the importance of continuous therapy, or sometimes called, maintenance therapy in myeloma. Again, we've seen maintenance therapy, now, have an impact on both progression free and overall survival. And so we felt it was really important to be very practical in giving advice as to what maintenance therapy agents to use and how to use them. And then lastly, the guideline provides a lot of practical advice as to a patient who has relapsed with multiple myeloma. We have so many choices now with three major classes of drugs of proteasome inhibitors, immuno-modulatory drugs, and now newer monoclonal antibodies, it can be difficult sometimes to know which combination to use. We know that triplet combinations tend to be preferred. So we walk through a number of those triplets and provide advice as how to explicitly use them. We do emphasize the importance of supportive care and of risk factor analysis throughout the guideline, so that we can understand the difference between high risk and low risk myeloma, so that we can understand how important a patient's comorbidities, especially in a disease that primarily affects older patients, can be managed. And so we try to do so in a comprehensive way, but one that really distills down to the critical pieces to allow the practicing clinician some real advice. So why is this guideline so important, and how will it change practice? There are several kinds of guidelines for multiple myeloma, but I really think this is a critical guideline because it is so clinical and practical in its essence. It's really designed to not just give the utopian view or the clinical trial view of a disease, but practically in the trenches, how do we use the drugs that we know are going to benefit our patients. Myeloma is one of the few cancers where we have seen a doubling, if not a tripling of survival in the last decade, because of so many of these new agents. And so making sure that our patients are treated optimally really is important. And we want to be able to ensure that they receive the best therapy possible, so they can live a longer life, but also live it with a greater quality of life. And so finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect patients? Well, we really hope that this is going to help patients all across North America and the whole world, because it will give very concrete advice to the practicing clinician in how to approach the disease. And one of the things I think will directly impact patients, if you will, right away is one of the themes of these guidelines, which is that you don't treat a patient simply based on the biopsy or simply based on their age, but that it is really a complex network of comorbidities, risk factors from the disease itself, the potential side effects of certain drugs, and a patient's own very personal history. It really fits in with the ASCO modality that we have of ensuring that we bring personalized medicine to our patients. And so this will allow the person who's reading it and who's applying it to their patient to recognize the importance of general guidelines, but also of applying it to the specific patient they care for. Because as I like to say, we don't treat multiple myeloma, we treat people. And so hopefully, this will allow the clinician to have that precision to care for their patient in the best way possible. Great. Thank you for that overview of this guideline, and thank you for your time today Dr. Mikhael. It's been a real pleasure. Thank you very much. And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/hematologic-malignancies-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast, and refer the show to a colleague.

Apr 01 2019
7 mins
Play

Rank #9: Initial Diagnostic Workup of Acute Leukemia Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin and today I'm interviewing Dr. Valerie de Haas from Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in the Netherlands, lead author on "Initial Diagnostic Workup of Acute Leukemia: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Endorsement of the CAP and ASH Guideline.”

Thank you for being here today, Dr. de Haas.

Thank you.

So first, can you give us a general overview of what this guideline covers?

Well, yes. The laboratory evaluation of patients who are suspected of having acute leukemia is very complex, and it has evolved significantly with the incorporation of advanced laboratory techniques. The traditional backbone of initial workup of AL, of acute leukemia, is composed of ctyomorphology, cytochemistry, immunophenotyping, and molecular cytogenetics.

These techniques are the backbone of the initial diagnostic workup of acute leukemia. This is leading to risk stratification and fine tuning of the therapy by molecular signatures. The advanced molecular diagnostics, such as next-generation sequencing, has become more important in the diagnosis and in the risk stratification of acute leukemia.

This guideline is meant for both pediatric and adult patients, and it was initially published in 2017. This year, we reviewed this guideline, and we have taken into account two important developments.

First, since 2017, we've seen that there are major advances in molecular techniques and also that we can identify and validate new molecular markers. And those two events have contribute to a better risk stratification. And the second development is the effect that the WHO classification was revised in 2017 which also has led to new risk recoveries and refined subclassifications.

So what are the key recommendations of this guideline?

Well, in total, we have reviewed 27 guideline statements by the ASCO endorsement expert panelists. And discussion points are used to summarize issues that were identified from the updated literature. The ASCO expert panel determined that the recommendations from the guideline as published in 2016 are clear, thorough, and they are based upon the most relevant scientific evidences.

We fully endorse the CAP-ASH guideline on initial diagnostic workup of acute leukemia. And we decided to include some discussion points according to clinical practice and according to the updated literature. In fact, we identified four categories of key recommendations. The first one is the initial diagnostics focusing on basic diagnostics and determination of risk parameters.

This concerns, in total, about 11 guideline recommendations, and they give an overview of the initial workup varying from the collection of the clinical history of the patient to initial basic diagnostics by cytomorphology, flow cytometry and molecular cytogenetic analysis of peripheral blood, bone marrow, and cerebrospinal fluids.

Secondly, the second category were molecular markers and MRD detection, and they were addressed by 10 of the recommendations. And these recommendations give a structural overview of the molecular and cytogenetic workup for acute lymphoblastic leukemia versus acute myeloid leukemia identifying different prognostic markers.

Also, the detection of MRD is taken into account in this recommendation. There is a major difference between children and adults, and this part is given most attention in the discussion part as the developments have been major during the past few years.

The third one is the context of referral to another institution with expertise in the management of acute leukemia. This is addressed by four recommendations, emphasizing the point that referral to an institution with specific expertise is of major importance for the central workup of acute leukemia.

And finally, the final reporting and report keeping is reflected in three recommendations, mainly supporting conclusions from 2017 which were describing the fact that the complete report with basic diagnostics in one central report should be available within 48 to 72 hours. And this should be followed by complete, final, comprehensive report in one or two weeks.

So can you tell us about those discussion points that were made and why the panel decided to include these?

The discussion points include mostly issues regarding diagnostics that involve flow cytometry and molecular techniques as addressed in part one and two of the guidelines. We think that the cytomorphologic assessment is essential for initial diagnosis of acute leukemia.

Multicolor flow cytometry using 8 to 10 colors has led to a better distinction between myeloids, lymphoid, and mixed lineage blast origin. Even when the number of cells are limited, for instance in CNS involvement, fine needle aspirate of extramedullary leukemic infiltration, or skin biopsy for leukemic cutis.

Also, it was suggested to better assess the central nervous system involved in leukemia. The expert panel recommends the immunophenotyping studies as an additional detection technique next to the cytomorphological examination of cytospins and particularly for those with a low level involvement of acute leukemia that cannot be well addressed by a morphologic examination only.

The TDT immunohistochemistry staining of cytospins has alternatively been used for detection of CNS disease in AML and evaluation of CSF by multicolor flow cytometry has been recently adopted in some centers. Flow cytometry, using at least six, but we now use in some laboratories, even 8 to 10 colors has led to a much more specific in tentative diagnosis. And this has improved the detection of CNS involvement.

The use of molecular tools, for instance, polymerase change reaction, PCR, NGS for low-level CSF involvement is still under study, and therefore, we did not recommend this in our discussion.

Regarding the molecular markers and MRD detection, the discussion here was mainly based upon the results of translational research supported by better molecular detection techniques. And those molecular diagnoses have been developing in the past few years with the inclusion of many more molecular markers. And they included one of the key diagnostic criteria in the revised WHO classification, which was revised in 2017. And we made substantial changes that have been made in the ASH-CAP guidelines concerning molecular diagnostics.

Those newly identified targets by advanced molecular techniques give possibilities for better risk stratification. Some examples of better molecular characterization of acute lymphoblastic leukemia are, for instance, additional testing for MLL translocations. Furthermore, we can look in patients with T-ALL for NOTCH1, and FBXW7 mutations.

The Ikaros family zinc finger gene, the IKZF1 gene is frequently deleted in adults as well in children with B-ALL. And it was shown to have an independent prognostic significance and was also associated with poor clinical outcome.

In the current text of the current risk that the protocols IKZF1 should be regularly included in the screening panels for all ALL patients.

If we look for examples for better characterization of AML, acute myeloid leukemia, we have found an increasing number of additional cytogenetic aberrations, like for instance FLT3 ITD which is associated with poor outcome.

Another example is appropriate mutational analysis for kids, which can be detected both in adult patient as pediatric patients with a confirmed core binding factor acute myeloid leukemia. So this is myeloid leukemia with a translocation A21, RUNX1, or inversion 16.

This recommendation is very strong in adults, whereas in children, this prognostic fact impact remains unclear. So there have been proven several publications which refer to a similar prognosis for children and others who refer to a poor prognosis in comparison to known mutated genes. So we suggest to test for this mutation in adults, especially, but also in children to learn from it.

Finally, emerging evidence supports molecular studies as principle test for monitoring minimal residual disease of acute leukemia. And there are several key molecular markers that are included in the initial workup, which will be carried on for monitoring MRD, for instance, PML- RAR-alpha, RUNX1-RUNXT1, CBFB-MYH11, and NPM1, CEBP-alpha and others.

Beside those aforementioned markers, it's very important to screen for other molecular markers that have predictive or prognostic value in the individual. And it is possible to use them for MRD. We have found a recent consensus from the European Leukemia Net MRD Working Group, who was proposing that for detection of molecular MRD, and they refer the RT PCR platform to NGS and digital PCR platforms.

Although all those molecular techniques have been developed very quickly and it is very tempting to use them for initial diagnostics, currently, not all laboratories will have all those techniques available. So the expert panel strongly advises understanding to make distinction between diagnostic that are needed in the first phase to start treatment and subsequently, treatment stratification, in contrast to the usual dose findings in a broader research.

For instance, available karyotyping, FISH, PCR techniques, if possible, NGS can be used in the initial start of treatment, whereas techniques like whole exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, and epigenomic studies are meant for a broader research.

And finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect patients?

Well, in the end, the patients will receive better and especially, more personalized treatment. If we have results available within two weeks from diagnosis, it will be possible to better identify which basis will better benefit from more intensified and more personalized treatment, whereas others may need less intensive treatment with less toxicity.

If you use traditional techniques to do this supported by molecular techniques like karyotyping, FISH, and PCR techniques, and in the end, following MRD to see which patients are responding to treatment, MRD detection will help to identify these patients and stratify them finally to the best treatment.

Great. Thank you for your work on this important guideline, and thank you for your time today, Dr. de Haas.

OK. Thanks a lot.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning in to the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. If you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer this show to a colleague.

Dec 03 2018
12 mins
Play

Rank #10: Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw Guideline

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An interview with Dr. Noam Yarom, Dr. Charles Shapiro, Dr. Deborah Saunders and Dr. Doug Peterson on "Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: MASCC/ISOO/ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline." This guideline addresses the prevention and management of MRONJ in patients with cancer. This guideline is intended for oncologists and other physicians, dentists, dental specialists, oncology nurses, clinical researchers, oncology pharmacists, advanced practitioners, and patients with cancer. Read the full guideline at www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines

Find all of the ASCO podcasts at podcast.asco.org

TRANSCRIPT

Disclaimer: The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin. And today, I'm interviewing a panel of authors from "Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: MASCC/ISOO/ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline." So could I have you each introduce yourselves for the listeners today?

Thank you, Shannon. I'm Dr. Deborah Saunders. I'm the president of the International Society of Oral Oncology and was the section head for the Systematic Review on "Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw," with MASCC and ISOO. I was a proud part of the steering committee and one of the authors.

Thank you, Debbie. My name is Dr. Douglas Peterson. I am professor of oral medicine in the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, Connecticut. I am also a faculty member in the Head and Neck Cancer Oral Oncology Program at the university's Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center. I'm a member of the steering committee for this clinical practice guideline and one of the co-authors as well. In addition, and as of June 2019, I have been serving as chair elect during this next year for ASCO's Clinical Practice Guidelines committee.

Thank you, Doug. My name is Noam Yarom. I'm an all medicine specialist from the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv University in Israel. I'm serving as a culture of this guideline, and it is a pleasure to be with you today.

Thanks, Noam. I am Dr. Charles Shapiro, professor of medicine at the Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. And I'm co-chair of the guideline "Medical-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw." And I'm happy to be here.

Thank you all for being here today to discuss this guideline on the podcast. So first, can you give us a general overview of what this guideline covers.

Sure. So you know, ASCO and MASCC, as well as ISOO decided that it would be great to provide a practical evidence-based approach in a multidisciplinary type setting to address this important topic that impacts all of our professions, that being medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw. It's terminology and its definition and the path that's varied and even part of this publication identifies the need for us to move forward with a concise definition and similar terminology, that being medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw. Medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw is defined as the presence of an exposed or bone that is probable by a probe in a patient that has a history or is undergoing present use of a bone-modifying agent. This being in the absence of any patients having received any radiation to the head and neck and the absence of metastatic lesions to the jaw. The importance of us identifying this definition and agreeing on the terminology allows us to move forward in future publication to better compare outcome and provide better prevention and treatment for our patients moving forward.

And what are the key recommendations of this guideline?

There are six clinical questions associated with this clinical practice guideline as well as a series of recommendations built within each of the clinical questions. Clinical question one is directed to the preferred terminology and definition for osteonecrosis of the jaw, both of the maxilla and the mandible, as associated with pharmacologic therapies in oncology patients. The panel recommends that the term medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw, MROJ, be used when referring to bone necrosis associated with pharmacologic therapies. As Dr. Saunders has described, the definition contains three key elements-- current or previous treatment with a bone-modifying agent or angiogenic inhibitor, exposed bone, or bone that can be probed through an intra or extra-oral fistula in the maxillofacial region and that has persisted for longer than eight weeks. And third, no history of radiation therapy to the jaws and no history of metastatic disease to the jaws. Clinical question two is directed to specific steps that should be taken to reduce the risk of MRONJ. The recommendation begins with emphasizing the absolute importance of interprofessional communication of the oncology team with the dental team in advance of initiating the bone-modifying agent. For patients with cancer who are scheduled to receive a bone-modifying agent in a non-urgent setting, a comprehensive oral care assessment, including dental examination and periodontal examination and an oral radiographic exam when feasible to do so should be undertaken prior to initiating the BMA therapy. Once the dental care plan has been developed, it should be discussed with the dental team, the patient, and the rest of the oncology team and then implemented based on medically necessary dental procedures. These procedures should be performed prior to the initiation of the bone-modifying agent. Once the bone-modifying agent is implemented, there should be ongoing followup by the dentist on a routine schedule, for example, every six months following initiation of the BMA therapy. It's also important to realize that there are a series of modifiable risk factors which should be emphasized with the patient. For example, poor oral health, invasive dental procedures, ill-fitting dentures, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, and tobacco use are all factors that have been associated with development of a MRONJ. All of these modifiable risk factors should be addressed, where appropriate, with the patient in advance of the bone-modifying agent. As far as elective dental alveolar surgery, these procedures, if they are not medically necessary, for example, extractions or alveoloplasties or implants, they should not be performed during active therapy with a bone-modifying agent being given at an oncologic dose. Now, exceptions to this may be considered when a dental specialist with expertise in prevention and treatment of MROJ has reviewed the benefits and risks of the proposed invasive procedures with the patient and the oncology team. In general, however, elective dental alveolar surgical procedures should be deferred while the patient is undergoing active therapy with a bone-modifying agent. If the dental alveolar surgery is performed, the patient should be evaluated by a dental specialist on a systematic and frequently scheduled basis, for example, every six to eight weeks until there is full mucosal coverage of the surgical site. And once again, communication between the dental team and the rest of the oncology team is absolutely paramount in assuring ongoing comprehensive care of the patient. Interestingly, there are still questions in the literature relative to whether or not there should be temporary discontinuation of bone-modifying agents prior to dental alveolar surgery. Unfortunately, there remains insufficient evidence to support or refute the need for discontinuation of the bone-modifying agent prior to dental alveolar surgery. And so the administration of the bone-modifying agent may be deferred at the discretion of the treating physician, in conjunction with discussion with the patient and the oral health provider. So it really becomes an individual judgment call by the treating physician relative to whether or not to temporarily discontinue the bone-modifying agent prior to dental alveolar surgery. Clinical question three involves the staging of MROJ. There are a number of well-established staging systems in the literature addressing severity and extent of MROJ. For example, the 2014 American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Staging System is one example. Another example is the National Cancer Institute's Common Terminology Criteria For Adverse Events. And there is a 2017 International Task Force on O and J Staging System for MROJ that is available as well. So there are at least three well-established, widely utilized staging systems for MROJ. Having said this, it's important in the view of the panel that the same staging system should be used throughout an individual patient's MROJ course of care. And optimally, the staging should be performed by a clinician experienced with the management of MROJ. Clinical question four involves management of MROJ directly. Here, the recommendations talk in terms of initial treatment of MROJ, which is centered in conservative measures. Now, these conservative measures may include antimicrobial mouth rinses, antibiotics if clinically indicated, effective oral hygiene, and conservative surgical intervention such as a removal of a superficial bone spicule. In cases, however, of refractory MROJ, more advanced MROJ, aggressive surgical interventions, for example, mucosal flap elevations, bloc resections of necrotic bone may be used if MROJ is persisting and severely affects function despite conservative initial treatment. Clinical question five involves bone-modifying agents and whether they should be temporarily discontinued after a diagnosis of MROJ has been established. And once again, there is insufficient evidence to support or refute the discontinuation of the bone-modifying agents after a diagnosis of MROJ has been established. The bone-modifying agent may be deferred at the discretion of the treating physician, again in discussion with the patient and the oral health care provider. And finally, clinical question six involves what outcome measures that should be utilized in clinical practice to describe the response of MROJ lesion to treatment. During the course of MROJ treatment, the dentist, dental specialist, should communicate with a medical oncologist in an ongoing way, both the objective and subjective status of the lesion. The guideline presents a scale that can be utilized to describe the trajectory of the MROJ-- resolved, improving, stable, or progressive. The clinical course of MROJ may impact both local and systemic treatment decisions relative to the cessation or the recommencement of bone-modifying agents. So once again, it becomes very, very important that the ongoing interprofessional communication relative to the clinical course of MROJ-- resolved, improving, stable, or progressive-- be discussed with the oncology team.

Great. Thank you, Dr. Peterson. So on that last note, how can oncologists, dental specialists, and dentists all work together to manage medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw?

Throughout these guidelines, we do emphasize the importance of collaboration among the cancer care team, dentist, and dental specialists in order to coordinate care and modify risk factors. It is very important that cancer care team and the dental care team speak the same language. Therefore, we spend time on clarifying the definitions, the diagnostic criteria, and staging of MROJ. As been said earlier, we have developed a new system to evaluate the response to treatment, which is based both on objective findings and symptoms. By using this scale, oncologists and dentists would be able to communicate more easily for the benefit of the patients. We emphasized the need for multidisciplinary discussion in a few critical points throughout the course of bone-modifying agent therapy. And it is most important in case of a planned oral surgery in a patient without MROJ or before aggressive surgical treatment of refractory MROJ.

And how will these guideline recommendations affect patients, and what should they talk to their doctors about?

There are a number of things that patients, providers, dental specialists, and medical oncologists can do to lessen the risk and prevent MROJ. Because the key to MROJ is prevention. Once MROJ is established, it's difficult to treat, impacting a patient's quality of life. So we want to prevent, reduce the risk of developing MROJ. Patients can do a number of things-- pursue good oral hygiene, stop smoking, or reduce smoking, and control their diabetes, for example. Those things lessen the risk of MROJ. Providers, dental providers, dental specialists, who are specialized in the area or providers, dentists otherwise in the community, when they encounter a patient that's contemplating bone-modifying agents, they can do what's called a complete dental screening exam, which involves a complete examination of the mouth, Panorex X-rays and X-rays as clinically indicated. We want to identify work in the mouth that needs to be repaired before initiating bone-modifying agents. That way, we don't have to deal with an emergent situation when it could be preventable prior to bone-modifying agents, because one of the single highest risk factors for MROJ is emergent dental work while you're on bisphosphonate or another anti-resorptive agent-- bone-modifying agents. So a dental screening exam is critical to prevent or reduce the risk of MROJ. And medical oncologists have a role too in communication with the dental specialists and really think hard about the indications for bone-modifying agents, whether it be for osteoporosis, whether it be for metastatic disease, and whether it be for anti-cancer effects.

And finally, where can both patients and clinicians go to get more information on this topic or to find a dentist or a dental specialist?

Now, as far as websites, ASCO, MASCC, and ISSO all have websites you can go to to find out more information about MROJ.

Yeah, I think that's great advice. Our links for additional information are listed in the Clinical Practice Guideline as well. This is a really first step at a framework in trying to manage a side effect that affects our patients but is very multidisciplinary. And like Dr. Shapiro was saying, really the best way to prevent this is with proper communication between the dentist and the oncologist and making the patient aware of what is needed prior to commencement of these treatments.

Well, it certainly sounds as though there are some important considerations for clinicians and patients. And I really hope that this guideline is widely read and makes a real impact on the management of osteonecrosis and the communication between oncologists, dental specialists, and dentists. So from me and all of our listeners, thank you all for coming on the podcast today to discuss "Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: MASCC/ISOO/ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline."

  Thank you. Thank you for having us. Thank you very much for this opportunity to contribute to this important discussion. Thank you for allowing me to participate in this important podcast.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full guideline, go www.asco.org/supportive-care-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

Jul 22 2019
18 mins
Play

Rank #11: Duration of Oxaliplatin-Containing Adjuvant Therapy for Stage III Colon Cancer Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin. And today, I'm interviewing Dr. Nancy Baxter from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, senior author on "Duration of Oxaliplatin-Containing Adjuvant Therapy for Stage III Colon Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline." Thank you for being here today, Dr. Baxter.

Thanks very much, Shannon, for speaking with me. I'm happy to share our work developing this guideline.

So first, can you give us a general overview of what this guideline covers and the studies which provide the evidence?

Absolutely. So use of adjuvant therapy for patients with stage III colon cancer is common, and it's effective. We know that these patients are at substantial risk of recurrence of their disease and that adjuvant therapy can reduce that risk. But we also know that comes with a cost. The most effective adjuvant therapy is FOLFOX or oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapy regimens. And we know that a really substantial number of people will end up with neurotoxicity, with peripheral sensory neurotoxicity, that can be long lasting and certainly affects their quality of life. So the whole question was whether the duration of oxaliplatin-containing chemotherapeutic regimens could be shortened when they're used for adjuvant therapy, so if we could give three months instead of six months. Because we know that if we give three months of therapy, the risk of neurotoxicity is much lower. So if we had the same effectiveness with the shorter duration, then we could spare patients the negative consequences of the agent given for a longer period of time. So in developing these guidelines, we looked at the results of international group of trials, the six trials from the IDEA collaboration. So these were six randomized trials in various jurisdictions that tried to look at this question, so three months of an oxaliplatin-based chemotherapeutic regimen for adjuvant therapy for stage III cancer versus six months duration of therapy. And so there was a planned analysis to bring all of these data together to develop the evidence base to make this recommendation. So our guideline and our systematic review basically identified this is the key piece of literature to base our recommendations and guidelines on. That's essentially the main study, so the meta-analysis of these six randomized controlled trials that formed the basis of the IDEA collaboration. So the IDEA collaboration studies-- there were six individual randomized trials that formed part of the IDEA collaboration. And they were conducted in Italy, Greece, Japan, North America, through CALGB/SWOG, the UK, Denmark, Spain, Australia, Sweden, and New Zealand, as well as France. So data came from, really, around the world. The median age of people in the studies was 64 years of age. And these people had a really good performance status, so almost all of these patients had an ECOG performance status of 0 or 1. So they were healthy patients that were in the study. And so some patients received CAPOX, and some received FOLFOX. That wasn't part of the randomization scheme. Other than the CALGB/SWOG study, this was up to the discretion of the investigator or patient. In the SWOG/CALGB study, only FOLFOX was given. And the authors planned a prespecified subgroup analysis to look at differences between CAPOX and FOLFOX. There was also a prespecified analysis to look at differences based on stage. What they found when they looked at the results was that, overall, the difference between groups in terms of the three months versus six months was that the hazard ratio between these two was 1.07, meaning a small difference between the groups in terms of recurrence or death between three months and six months overall. But because the prespecified confidence interval, noninferiority interval, for the difference in outcome was 1.12, the 95% confidence interval for the hazard ratio was above this. So it was 1.15, indicating that this prespecified noninferiority margin was exceeded. And so the study did not prove noninferiority of the three-month regimen. So we're left with an inconclusive result. So that's why our guidelines don't have a strong recommendation for the three months, because we can't rule out a small but potentially important difference between the two groups in terms of recurrence or death. Now, interestingly, when they looked at the prespecified subgroup analysis, which was looking at CAPOX versus FOLFOX, a difference was found. So they actually found that for FOLFOX chemotherapy, three months of therapy was inferior to six months of therapy, while for CAPOX, actually, three months and six months were the same. So it met the criteria of noninferiority. So these are kind of two different conclusions based on which type of chemotherapy was used. This was surprising to the investigators and was not expected. And certainly, it was not consistent with the randomized trials that we have comparing these regimens. So we therefore did not make any conclusions in our recommendations about CAPOX versus FOLFOX. But this is certainly something that requires further investigation in the future. In terms of stage, we did not find that there was an interaction between T stage or end stage when you looked at the differences between the three and the six month. And that was the prespecified analysis. But in non-prespecified analysis, which was the higher risk versus lower risk categories, you did find this difference where the patients with high-risk disease had inferior disease-free survival with three months versus six months of therapy, while those at low risk of disease, it seemed quite safe to give three months versus six months. So that's a long story. But essentially, because the high risk versus low risk analysis was not prespecified, there's a limitation to how strong our recommendations can be to have three months of therapy. However, given that the hazard ratio associated with three months versus six months of therapy for this lower risk group was only 1.01, indicating they were the same, and the risk of neuropathy was substantially higher with six months, this has led to us making recommendations that the three months of therapy is adequate for patients with low-risk disease after discussion with patients about the possible pros and cons.

And what are the key recommendations of this guideline?

Well, so the recommendations of this guideline do depend on the pathology, so how high risk the patient is. So based on the evidence from the IDEA collaboration, the researchers found that patients who had a high risk of recurrence-- so had T4 disease or heavily node-positive disease, N2 disease-- the six-month duration of therapy was better than the three-month duration of therapy. These studies and the meta-analysis were designed as noninferiority meta-analyses. But it was clear from the results that the three-month duration was inferior when compared to three months for these high-risk patients. So that seems clear, although we know that those patients will also be at more risk of neuropathy. And so that needs to be discussed with patients, as well. So for the second group, which are patients who are at lower risk of recurrence, what we found was there was less of a clear benefit of six months of therapy. The recommendation was that patients who are in this low-risk category-- so T1, T2, or T3 cancers that are N1, so not heavily node-positive-- clinicians can offer three months versus six months of therapy after having a discussion with their patients about the pros and cons of that. So the clinicians can go ahead and offer that to patients and still be within the common guidelines based on evidence for treatment of stage III colon cancer. So because there's some uncertainty after analysis of the IDEA collaboration, one of the really important recommendations that we make is about this shared decision-making approach. So the third recommendation that we make is that oncologists should discuss these factors with their patients who have stage III resected colon cancer and that the duration of therapy needs to take into account the tumor characteristics-- the surgical resection, the number of lymph nodes examined, the comorbidities, the patient functional status, all of these various things-- and there needs to be a discussion of the potential for benefit and the risk of harm based on the duration of therapy. And oncologists definitely discuss these things with their patients. And this just emphasizes how this is yet another component of the discussion that needs to be included, particularly when speaking with low-risk patients who are at substantial risk of harm from neuropathy and are unlikely to benefit greatly by extending chemotherapy to six months.

So why is this guideline so important? And how will it change practice?

Well, I think, until now, the standard recommendation has been six months of FOLFOX or six months of oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy. And again, there are many patients who have quality of life-affecting neuropathy because of this. So for a substantial proportion of patients who present to us with stage III cancer-- so those that are low risk-- I think this provides some options to them. So they can opt for a shorter duration of chemotherapy with a lower risk of toxicity. This saves time. This saves cost to the patient and to the system and potentially improves their quality of life without a great impact on outcome in terms of disease recurrence. So that's a substantial number, a substantial proportion of our patients, who can be treated in this way. So I think that this is a real benefit. Again, oncologists need to have a conversation with their patients about the pros and cons. But this is an option for their patients, whereas from an evidence-based perspective, it wasn't before the publication of the IDEA collaboration.

Finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect patients?

So for patients who have heavily node-positive disease-- so high-risk patients with T4 or N2 disease-- it's not going to affect care. So the expectation would be those patients would be treated with six months of therapy, similar to previous recommendations. So this will be for people who are at lower risk of disease recurrence, so patients with T1 to 3 tumors that are N1 positive, so not heavily node positive. So these patients will have the opportunity to opt for a shorter duration of therapy. So that's a major benefit to patients. Again, it's important that there's a discussion and that patients understand the pros and cons. But this is now an option for them, which is excellent.

Thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full guideline, please go to www.asco.org/gastrointestinal-cancer-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

Apr 15 2019
13 mins
Play

Rank #12: Management of the Neck in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Oral Cavity and Oropharynx Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement. Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin, and today I'm interviewing Dr. Shlomo Koyfman from the Cleveland Clinic, lead author on "Management of the Neck in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Oral Cavity and Oropharynx: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline." Thank you for being here today, Dr. Koyfman. It's a pleasure. So first, can you give us a general overview of what this guideline covers? Yeah, so this is an exciting guideline because it covers a topic that we don't usually think about in head and neck cancer in a formal way, and that is management of the neck in squamous cell cancer of the oral cavity and the oropharynx. So there's a lot of literature and guidelines out there on how to manage oropharynx cancer, which is becoming a more and more common cancer, especially in the HPV-positive era, less so on oral cavity. But a lot of times it's focused on people who don't get surgery, chemoradiation, or people who do get surgery and TORS, Transoral Robotic Surgery, and different approaches. But rarely do we have something focus on management of the neck per se, which is really, really important in these cancers and often overlooked in favor of the primary tumor itself. So these guidelines really take us through some salient questions in how to manage the neck in these two cancers. And what are the key recommendations of this guideline? The recommendations came off of six fundamental questions, three in oral cavity and three in oropharynx. There are some commonalities between the two and some differences. A lot of the fundamental questions revolve around surgical quality, and neck dissection is the standard surgical approach for management of the neck in these patients. And as we enter the quality era, how do we define benchmarks of surgical quality, which is one thing that it deals with. The other is when to do adjuvant therapy like adjuvant radiation or chemoradiation. We also deal with when to do surgery for the neck or to do nonoperative approaches like radiation or chemoradiation. And then lastly, how do you follow patients after you've treated them? So those are kind of the salient issues that we dealt with. And what we came out with was nothing earth shatteringly new, but I think the way it was organized and systematically put together, I think it's going to be really, really helpful for people. So some of the most important findings that this recommendation does, I think this is the first that incorporates surgical quality, as I mentioned before. So specifically neck dissection should have 18 or more nodes as multiple studies have shown that that's associated with better outcomes. And similarly we define for different diseases of oral cavity and oropharynx, and depending on what kind of tumor it is and where, what nodal levels should be dissected or treated, whether surgically or nonsurgically, and when to do just one side of the neck versus both sides of the neck. So I think there's a lot of good guidance there in terms of the surgical quality. From a standpoint of adjuvant therapy, we define pretty clearly indications for when after surgery for oral cavity cancer, for example, when radiation should be added and when chemoradiation should be added, and I think that's very helpful. And especially for the neck itself, there's been confusion about what happens if I have 30 nodes taken out and they're all negative but I have a big, large primary tumor. What do I do with the neck? Do I radiate it? Do I not radiate it at one side, both sides? And this guideline gives some pretty clear guidance in different scenarios about how to think about that, which is pretty novel and really important, I think. I get questions about this all the time. It comes up in tumor boards all the time, and it's pretty practical. And mostly what we say is if you have a primary tumor that's like a T3 or T4 oral cavity cancer or it approaches midline, either a contralateral neck dissection should be done or radiation should be done to the contralateral neck. And even if you have a lot of lymph nodes taken out and they're negative, if you have very high-risk primary tumor features like very large tumor or multifocal perineural invasion, those kinds of things, even with a negative neck dissection we still typically do treat the neck. So the next recommendation that's really helpful is who can be observed after surgery? And specifically low-volume N1 you can consider observing in oral cavity cancer, whereas N2 or N3 patients all need radiation or chemoradiation in the setting of extranodal extension and positive margins. We did come out pretty firmly advocating for bolus cisplatin 100 milligrams per meter squared every three weeks as recent studies suggest that weekly cisplatin or other regimens are not as effective, and we were pretty clear about that. We were pretty synchronized with recent ASCO-endorsed guidelines in oropharynx cancer that say similar things. In addition, one of the very important questions that comes up is a surgeon will say, well, I'm cutting out the neck tumor, and I know it comes to midline and he's got a bunch of nodes on the right side, but do I really need to do a left neck dissection? Aren't you going to radiate it anyway? And that comes up all the time. Is radiation adequate to manage a clinically negative neck in oral cavity cancer and oropharynx cancer? I think in oropharynx cancer everybody feels pretty comfortably yes. I think in oral cavity cancer it's been somewhat controversial. We favor neck dissections when possible, but if radiation is known to be happening, especially to an elective contralateral neck, that that is adequate therapy. However, we're pretty strong in the fact that neck dissections are the tried and true way to treat oral cavity cancer and that in a T2 or above tumor where a neck dissection is indicated, just resecting the primary and leaving the neck to elective radiation is not something that we thought there was enough evidence for to advocate, and we still advocate classic neck dissection first followed by adjuvant radiotherapy as indicated. One area of controversy that we did touch on is the issue of early stage tongue cancers and whether they need a neck dissection at all. And we came down pretty consistently with all of the co-authors on the guideline that we advocated for a neck dissection for all patients with oral cavity cancer unless it is a very small tumor that we define with very compliant patient who is amenable to very rigorous follow-up that has been done in Europe and in some other places with, specifically, people trained in careful neck ultrasound techniques. So all of those really help guide, both in early stage and more advanced stage, how to manage the neck and oral cavity cancer. And in oropharynx cancer, again, many of the same quality metrics apply. We have some guidance about when doing transoral robotic surgery how to reduce bleeding risk by ligating feeding blood vessels, which is an important addition. We also discuss the fact that, as opposed to lateralized oral cavity patients where a unilateral either neck dissection of radiation is often indicated, in oropharynx cancer the group felt very strongly that bilateral neck should be treated. And typically if tumors extend to midline or involve the posterior oropharyngeal wall, which has bilateral drainage, that either bilateral neck dissection should be performed in those cases or a unilateral neck dissection can be done as long as adjuvant radiation is planned to both necks. Finally, a couple of very important questions of who should not be treated surgically and who should be treated with a nonoperative chemoradiation based approach. In oral cavity cancer, as long as they were not metastatic, we felt people should be resected as long as they were surgically resectable and medically operable. In oropharynx cancer, however, anybody who had unequivocal extranodal extension of nodes into soft tissues or involvement to the carotid artery or extensive cranial-nerve involvement or skull-based involvement by extensive nodal disease are not good candidates for surgery and should be preferentially treated with chemoradiation. That was pretty strong. And finally, the other thing we gave clarity on is when we treat oropharynx cancer with chemoradiation, how do we follow them and when do we decide to do a neck dissection or not? And essentially we recommended a PET CT scan at 12 weeks. And as long as that was negative, a neck dissection should not be done. If you don't have a PET scan and you just have high quality CT or MRI but all of the neck disease has resolved, similarly there should be no neck dissection. And then most importantly, the situation we all face which is very complex is what happens when you have a PET CT done three to four months after treatment and you have small nodes that are still there? You have a little bit of uptake. The FDG avidity is much less than it was. There still is a lesion there, but it's much better and the patient is feeling well. And we felt pretty comfortable not doing a standard neck dissection on those patients but rather following them closely with a follow-up CT scan two to three months later and continual assessment and reserving surgery for obvious progressive disease. So why is this guideline so important, and how will it change practice? So this guideline is really important because head and neck cancer being not the most common cancer, and especially because head and neck cancer is not really one disease-- there's so many different diseases. Even oral cavity and oropharynx, there's quite a bit of variability in how we think about it. There's not a one size fits all recipe for how to manage people properly, and that leads to a lot of confusion and sometimes doubt as to what the best thing to do is in these patients. And that is a very common thing. So I think the most important reason why these guidelines are helpful is they're really clear. They give really clear guidelines of if you're going to do surgery, here's the expectations of what nodal levels to take out and how many nodes to take out. Here's when you should do adjuvant radiation. Here's when you should do adjuvant chemoradiation. Here's when you should treat one side of the neck. Here's when you should treat both sides of the neck. If you're not going to do surgery, here's when you do radiation. And for oropharynx cancer, here's when you can consider surgery. Here's where surgery is not the best idea. And when you treat them and if you do surgically, here's how you do it. If you do with radiation, here are the nodes that should be treated, the nodal levels. And finally, after you do that, how do you watch and act to make sure that people don't fail? So I feel like all of those things lend a lot of clarity to some complicated decision-making processes for these patients, and this really lends clarity to that, which should help kind of lend consistency of practice. That's really our goal. Our goal was there a lot of great docs taking care of these patients out there, but patients are treated in very different ways depending on who they're seeing and where you go. Our goal was to try to increase the consistency of how people are treated no matter where they are. And if practitioners, surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists see this guideline and kind of follow it and, of course, reach out with any questions at any time, then what we'll be able to do is kind of harmonize the way patients are treated in this country, which should help, I think, the quality of care. And finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect patients? They're going to affect patients because right now a lot of patients get great care, but there are some patients that are not getting ideal care either because maybe they're in parts of the country that don't have the same access to resources or they're in places where the volume of these kind of very complicated and yet not so common diseases aren't seen as high and there's confusion about how to manage them or what the quality metrics are. I think patients are going to be affected knowing, hey, if I'm going to have a neck dissection, here's what I should be asking to make sure my surgeon knows to do and does consistently to make sure it's of high quality. Here's where I think I should be treated with surgery, maybe I shouldn't be treated with surgery, and here's how to follow me. Because there is a lot of variability in how patients are treated, and sometimes there's too many surgeries being done, not enough surgeries being done. If they're being done, maybe they're not the best quality. Even if we don't treat with surgery and we do chemoradiation, we're watching them and we may not be following them as closely, and then people may be recurring and we're not picking it up closely enough. So I think it's going to harmonize, for patients, the way they're ultimately treated. If everybody in the country is treated relatively compatible with this guideline, I think the standard of care will go up across the board. Great. Thank you so much for your work on this important guideline, and thank you for your time today, Dr. Koyfman. Thank you so much. And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. If you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

Feb 27 2019
13 mins
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Rank #13: Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy for Women with Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin and today I'm interviewing Dr. Jennifer Griggs from the University of Michigan, senior author on "Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy for Women with Hormone Receptor Positive Breast Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Focused Update." Thank you for being here, Dr. Griggs.

And thank you for the opportunity to talk about this focused update to the guidelines on extended adjuvant therapy. I would, of course, like to thank all my co-authors in the ASCO guidelines team for their contribution to this effort.

So first, can you give us a general overview of what this guideline covers and their research which informed this focus update?

Yes. First of all, the goal of the guideline was to give an update to the previous guidelines on this topic. And we specifically focused on extended adjuvant therapy. In particular, the aromatase inhibitors in women who had completed five years of adjuvant endocrine therapy. And it goes without saying, but it's worth reminding our listeners that the guideline is restricted only to post-menopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. And, of course, our guidelines are only as good as the data upon which we rely. So for this guideline, six phase III randomized controlled trials met the pre-specified eligibility criteria for the updated systematic review and provide the evidence base for the guideline recommendations on the duration of aromatase inhibitor therapy. Each of the trials used the standard doses of the drugs that we use in practice today. So I'm not going to say the doses of each of the medications. So I'm going to go briefly over those six trials and just describe them so everybody's up to date with how the studies were designed.

So briefly, the first trial I'll describe is MA17R, which compares letrozole to placebo for five years in over 1,900 women who had already received 4.5 to six years of adjuvant therapy with an AI, proceeded in most women by treatment with tamoxifen. The second study is NSABP B-42. And this also compares letrozole to placebo in nearly 4,000 women who'd completed five years of endocrine therapy with either five years of an aromatase inhibitor or up to three years of tamoxifen followed by an aromatase inhibitor, for a total of five years.

The third study that we looked at is the DATA trial, which stands for the Different Durations of Adjuvant Anastrozole Therapy. This trial compared six years of adjuvant anastrozole with three years of adjuvant anastrozole in over 1,600 women after two to three years of adjuvant tamoxifen. The fourth trial out of the six is the IDEAL trial, the Investigation on the Duration of Extended Adjuvant Letrozole. This study randomized over 1,800 women to either 2 and 1/2 or five years of letrazole after five years of tamoxifen, an AI, or a combination in sequence of tamoxifen and an AI. So very similar study designs.

The fifth study is the ABCSG-16 trial, the Austrian Breast Cancer Study Group Trial 16, which randomized nearly 3,500 women following four to six years of adjuvant therapy with tamoxifen and AI or a sequence of tamoxifen and then an AI, to either two or five years of anastrozole as extended therapy. And finally, the study of letrozole extension, or the SOLE trial, randomized over 4,800 women with node-positive breast cancer who had completed five years of adjuvant endocrine therapy to receive either continuous letrozole for five years or five years of an intermittent schedule of letrozole given nine months on and three months off in years one to four and on continuously for a year or five.

So I know that's a lot to take in, but I do think it was important for our audience to understand the six trials that were included. These were all large studies, randomized, and patients had completed five years of adjuvant endocrine therapy. And then, were randomized either to placebo or different durations of an aromatase inhibitor or a placebo. For all of these studies, it's important to know that the primary outcome was disease-free survival. Overall survival and adverse events where secondary outcome.

Great. So given that research and those trials, what are the key recommendations for this guideline update?

Five key recommendations are included in this focused update to the previous guidelines. And they are for women with node-negative breast cancer, extended adjuvant aromatase inhibitor therapy can be offered for up to a total of five years of adjuvant therapy. Recommendations are based on considerations of recurrence risk using our usual established prognostic factors. However, since the recurrence risk is lower, the benefits are likely narrower in node-negative patients.

The guidelines panel recommends that women with low-risk, node-negative tumors should not routinely be offered extended adjuvant therapy. Now, that might sound vague. We did not make recommendations using genomic profiling results because we don't have sound data to support such views that we felt were strong enough to integrate genomic testing results. Our second recommendation is that women with node-positive breast cancer should be offered extended AI therapy for up to a total of 10 years of adjuvant endocrine therapy. And that means combined tamoxifen and aromatase endocrine therapy. That's the total that we meant to recommend.

Third recommendation is that women receiving extended adjuvant endocrine therapy should receive no more than 10 years of total treatment. The fourth recommendation is when given as prevention of secondary or contralateral breast cancer, the risk of second breast cancers based on prior therapy should inform the decision to pursue extended therapy. So what this means is specifically, a woman who has had a bilateral mastectomy will not reap the benefit of preventative therapy with endocrine therapy.

The fifth recommendation is that extended therapy carries ongoing risks and side effects, and these should be weighed against the potential absolute benefits of longer treatment in a shared decision-making process between the clinical team and the patient. Specifically, to date, none of the studies have shown improvement in overall survival with longer duration aromatase inhibitor therapy. As such, the recommendations, therefore, an extended adjuvant AI therapy are based on benefits that include prevention of distant recurrence and prevention of second breast cancers.

So why is this guideline so important and how will it change practice?

The importance of this guideline rests in the fact that it supports what many clinicians and patients are already doing in practice. The second is it recommends against durations of endocrine therapy longer than 10 years in the absence of data supporting such a practice. So it's our thought that doctors and patients and other care providers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, primary care doctors, are already practicing what we're recommending, and it supports doing so. And the second is that for those providers and patients who aren't sure that 10 years is enough, this guideline suggests that 10 years is sufficient. We don't have any data supporting giving more than 10 years.

And the third recommendation is that this guideline really supports the need for shared decision-making, given the absence of data supporting an improvement in overall survival.

So finally, since you did mention shared decision-making, how does this guideline recommendation affect patients?

Well, the panel strongly believes that the tailored decision-making process is key in the decision to recommend extended adjuvant therapy. So tailoring on disease factors plays a role in the recommended duration of therapy. Obviously, since we stratified by high-risk and low-risk and what treatment's been received specifically. And if a woman's had bilateral mastectomy, she's not going to benefit from the risk reduction that's achieved with giving somebody extended therapy.

But in addition to disease factors, patient preferences and tolerance of therapy should inform clinician and patient decision-making. Again, since none of the studies have shown improvement in overall survival with longer duration of AI therapy, patients and their medical providers need to make decisions based on an awareness that the benefits include, specifically prevention of distant recurrence and prevention of second breast cancers. And the importance of those benefits is going to vary according to a patient and how she views her life going forward and how bad her side effects have been, how well she tolerates the therapy.

From my own personal point of view, as a breast oncologist, I believe two things. Number one, we should provide aggressive support for managing symptoms in patients who are most likely to benefit from extended therapy. That is, we should not stop therapy early if she is very likely to benefit if we haven't maximized control of her symptoms. There are many things we can do to improve symptoms and we shouldn't just stop therapy because she's not tolerating treatment if we haven't done the most that we can to improve her quality of life and her symptoms.

Conversely, my hope is that we are not doggedly persisting in recommending prolonged therapy in a patient who has a fear of recurrence but who has little to gain from extended therapy. In the latter case, high quality information support is more therapeutic than extended therapy with a medication that's proven, in randomized controlled trials and in her own personal experience, to decrease her quality of life with marginal, if any, medical benefit.

Thank you so much for the overview of this guideline today and thank you for your time.

Thank you.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines podcast series. If you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer this show to a colleague.

Nov 19 2018
12 mins
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Rank #14: Adjuvant Therapy for Resected Biliary Tract Cancer Guideline

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The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement.

Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin, and today I'm interviewing Dr. Rachna Shroff from the University of Arizona Cancer Center, lead author on "Adjuvant Therapy for Resected Biliary Tract Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline." Thank you for being here today, Dr. Shroff.

Thank you so much for having me.

So what does this guideline recommend?

This is a guideline that is basically looking at the role of post-operative therapy in patients who undergo surgical resection for biliary tract cancers. Biliary tract cancers are a somewhat heterogeneous group of malignancies that include intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, and gall bladder cancer. And so the question always in most cancers are, if you are able to undergo surgical and curative treatment, is there a role for post-operative chemotherapy or radiation therapy to help improve the chance of cure and decrease the risk of recurrence? So that is exactly what we investigated as an expert panel. So our recommendations are actually twofold. The first one is that we are clearly recommending that patients with resected biliary tract cancer should be offered adjuvant chemotherapy with capecitabine for a total of six months. Within that recommendation, we do acknowledge that this is based on the BILCAP phase III randomized controlled trial and that there was a specific dosing and treatment schedule that was done in that study, but that we are allowing for institutional and regional variances that we've noted in terms of dosing of capecitabine. And so as a result, we're recommending adjuvant capecitabine, and we're allowing practitioners to determine what the best and safest dosing would be, based on their experience. The second recommendation is more specifically for patients with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma or gallbladder cancer who undergo resection and have a microscopically positive surgical margin, which is an R1 resection. And in those patients, we are recommending that we could consider offering these patients chemoradiation therapy. Now, again, this is not as strong of a recommendation, because we do not have prospective randomized phase III data to support it. This was based more on a prospective single-arm study out of the Southwest Oncology Group, as well as some other retrospective studies. And so we do go on to qualify that that recommendation should really be made in a shared decision-making approach, with a multidisciplinary conversation to decide the risks and benefits of radiation in these patients-- and that we acknowledge that a prospective study would really help clarify that question a little bit more.

So can you tell us about the research that informed these recommendations?

There have been a number of studies that have looked at the role of adjuvant therapy in biliary cancers. And up until very recently, a lot of these studies were small retrospective series, single-institution or multi-institution, but everything in retrospect-- no prospective or randomized data. And so I think a lot of the reasons that we decided to have these guidelines come out now is that in the last two to three years we do finally have prospective randomized data that helps guide the recommendations. And the majority of the recommendations that we made are based on one randomized phase III, which is BILCAP study. This was a study that was done in the UK and was presented at ASCO in 2018 and is currently in press. And it is basically a randomized controlled trial that compares adjuvant capecitabine by itself versus surveillance alone in patients who undergo surgery for biliary tract cancers. And so our recommendations, which include that study as well as a couple others, is primarily hinged on that, since that is the largest prospective data we have so far. And based on that study, we did in fact recommend that there was a role for adjuvant chemotherapy with capecitabine after complete resection for biliary tract cancers. And based on that research that was done in that trial that was completed, we do believe that the role for capecitabine for six months is pretty strong and that the data supports that now.

So why is this guideline so important, and how will it change practice?

Well, I think it's going to be practice-changing because up until now there has not been a clear consensus on how we approach these patients. And I will say that even now, it's really just this one study that has helped guiding these recommendations. There were a number of other studies that we looked at as part of the expert panel. And these were all prospective studies as well that looked at things like gemcitabine and oxaliplatin in the adjuvant setting, or single-arm phase II studies that came out of the Southwest Oncology Group that also explored the role of radiation. But really, nothing was a positive study other than the BILCAP study. And so up until now, I would say it was a little bit all over the place in terms of how medical oncologists approached resected biliary cancers. I think the majority of us felt that there was probably a role for adjuvant chemotherapy or perhaps chemoradiation. But there was no rules that we could follow, and there was no clear study that we could turn to that would tell us what we should give, how long we should give it for, and whether it should be a combination of chemotherapy or chemoradiation. And so I think it will be practice-changing because now, as part of the expert panel, we are making a very clear recommendation that patients with resected biliary tract cancer should be offered adjuvant capecitabine chemotherapy for a total of six months, hopefully eliminating that kind of regional or specialist-based variation that has been happening up until this point.

And finally, how will these guideline recommendations affect patients?

Again, I think that the main way it's going to affect them is that there's going to be a little bit less gray area, in terms of medical oncologists having conversations with the patients and saying, well, you know, I think that there's probably a role for agent therapy here, but I can't show you the data that supports why I think that. And as a result, I would hope that patients will have a little bit more faith and confidence in knowing that there is a large study that has looked at and proven the benefit of adjuvant capecitabine and that that decreases the chance of recurrence and improves overall survival. The improvement in overall survival was dramatic in this study. And we had not seen a survival of 51 months, which is what we saw in this study, in a very long time. So for patients, not only does it make clear what they should be doing after surgery, but I would hope it also gives them additional hope that we have really changed the bar by doing this adjuvant capecitabine, and that the chance for cure is even higher when we can offer adjuvant chemotherapy. I think the only other thing that may still be a gray area, and that is kind of what we allude to in our second recommendation, and that is in patients who undergo resection and have a microscopically positive margin or an R1 resection. And that's typically patients with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma or gall bladder cancer. In those patients, we suggest that they could be offered chemoradiation therapy, but the evidence is not as strong there. Again, it's more retrospective studies that we looked at. There is no prospective study that answers the question of whether or not there's a role for radiation. And so as a result for patients, I think that is still the one area that's a little bit of a gray zone in terms of knowing whether chemoradiation would benefit them if they undergo surgery and have a microscopically positive resection. But I do think that there is a definitive benefit to giving adjuvant chemotherapy, and that, hopefully, will clarify things not only from the physician perspective but also from the patient perspective. Great.

Thank you for your work on these important guidelines, and thank you for your time today, Dr. Shroff.

Thank you.

And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full guideline, go to www.asco.org/gastrointestinal-cancer-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer this show to a colleague.

Mar 11 2019
8 mins
Play

Rank #15: Role of Treatment Deintensification in the Management of p16+ Oropharyngeal Cancer PCO

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An interview with Dr. David Adelstein of the Cleveland Clinic on the ASCO PCO which provides statements on the role of treatment deintensification in the management of p16+ oropharyngeal cancer. Read the full PCO at www.asco.org/head-neck-cancer-guidelines

The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care, and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions. Guests on this podcast express their own opinions, experience, and conclusions. The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement. Hello and welcome to the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. My name is Shannon McKernin. And today I'm interviewing Dr. David Adelstein from the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. Lead author on "Role of Treatment Deintensification in the Management of p16 Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer: ASCO Provisional Clinical Opinion."  Thank you for being here today, Dr. Adelstein. Thank you, Shannon. Before we get started, I'd like to first note the contributions of my panel co-chair, Drew Ridge, and those of all of the other panel members. And I'd like to extend a special thank you to ASCO for their support in allowing us to put this together and specifically Nofisat Ismaila who did a tremendous amount of work in allowing us to complete this provisional clinical opinion. First, can you give us an overview of the clinical issue for this PCO? Sure. So this really came out of the implications of human papillomavirus mediated oropharynx cancer. I think as most of the listeners know, over the last several decades we've recognized the fact that oropharynx cancer has a second ideology, that not all of it is caused by tobacco use, but that the human papillomavirus is now the major ideologic factor in North American and northern Europe. The importance of this is that the human papillomavirus-induced oropharynx cancer is a different disease. It has a number of different characteristics from the kinds of head and neck cancer we've seen in the past. It's a disease that tends to occur in younger patients, patients who are otherwise generally more healthy. It is unassociated with smoking, although it can occur in smokers. But it's much more frequent in nonsmokers. And I think most importantly, it's a disease that has a dramatically better prognosis than the tobacco related disease. Now over the last several decades, our ability to treat advanced head and neck cancer has improved significantly, because we've begun to incorporate non-operative treatments-- chemotherapy and radiation-- and have been more aggressive in our utilization of chemotherapy and radiation with significantly greater success than we had in the past. The problem with this kind of treatment is that it is quite rigorous. And there's a good deal of acute and, more importantly, late toxicity that patients experience from these kinds of approaches. Now as we became more familiar with the importance of HPV associated oropharynx cancer, we realized that there are subgroups of these patients who have cure rates that are in excess of 90%. And the question arose whether the kinds of rigorous chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments that we were utilizing were really necessary. Was it necessary to cause this much acute and late toxicity in patients who in vast majority of cases were going to be cured of the disease. And it's important, because these are younger patients. And the late toxicities are going to have a major impact on their quality of life for a number of years. What came about was the notion of treatment deintensification, the idea that perhaps it would be possible to deintensify the kinds of treatments we were giving in select patients. It's a very compelling hypothesis for medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. But there are a number of problems as we try to test this hypothesis. The first problem is how do we identify the good risk patients? There are patients with HPV-positive disease who do not do so well-- the heavy smokers and patients with very advanced tumors. And we need to be careful if we're going to be talking about giving less treatment that we don't give less treatment to the patients who have a worse prognosis. We pick the best prognosis patients. There have been a number of what we call risk stratification schemes that have been developed looking at trying to identify the very good prognosis patients-- those patients who are HPV positive who don't smoke and who have relatively limited disease extent. There's not universal agreement on how best to define these patients. All we know is that they do exist, that you can look at patients with these characteristics and see very good outcomes. One of the issues that has come up is how do we utilize the American Joint Committee staging system-- AJCC the 8th edition. One of the things that AJCC 8 did which is new is that it defined a separate staging system for patients with HPV-positive oropharynx cancer, a system which is entirely different than the staging system that we've used for head and neck cancers for many years. This was based on the recognition that the prognosis of patients with HPV-positive disease is so good so that many patients who we would previously have considered to have stage 4 disease are now classified as having stage 1 tumors, because their prognosis is so good. And that can be confusing, because the typical thought process for an oncologist is that a patient with stage 1 disease should be treated with single modality therapy. The reason that the HPV-positive patients have such a good prognosis, however, is that many of them have been treated with combined modality therapies. And to make the assumption that because now they're classified as stage 1 is incorrect. It is they shouldn't be treated with less intensive treatments and can be confusing. AJCC 8th edition is a prognostic robust staging system, but it really doesn't help us in defining treatment. First problem is how best to define patients who are appropriate for deintensification. Second problem is, what do you do to deintensify? What constitutes meaningful deintensification? Well, over the last 10 or 20 years there have been some significant advances in our standard treatments for all head and neck cancers that weren't developed the idea of deintensification. We now have tremendous experience using transoral surgical techniques, which are generally minimally morbid, much less morbid than the former open techniques that previously were used, which allows consideration of surgery for many of these patients where we wouldn't have considered it before. Similarly, intensity modulated radiation therapy has been widely adopted, and d clearly an approach using radiation, which is far less difficult, far less toxic than the former 2D or 3D radiation planning techniques that used to be used. But if we talk about intensification, what kinds of things can we do to deintensify our treatments? Well, one thought is to reduce the radiation dose. Then the question is, how much reduction is reasonable? And how much reduction is going to actually impact on this toxicity? And are our toxicity measuring tools adequate to even detect the difference in reduction of a radiation dose? Many of our toxicity tools are very crude. Perhaps we should be using some of the patient-reported outcome quality of life instruments that are available. Other thoughts are, perhaps one can reduce the size of the radiation therapy field. Can we reduce the dose of the chemotherapy? Can we eliminate chemotherapy? Can we even use less intensive chemotherapy? Generally, the other treatments for this disease have employed high doses of cisplatin, which is a toxic agent. And then there the question has been asked as to whether we can reincorporate minimally morbid transoral surgical techniques in an effort to better pathologically stage patients and define more appropriate adjuvant treatment. Perhaps not all patients need adjuvant radiation or chemotherapy and radiation. All of these approaches are interesting. They're exciting. They're being tested. But all of the experiences is preliminary. And that really brings us to the third and the biggest problem in any deintensification approach. And that's the need to be certain that if we deintensify our therapy, we're not going to compromise outcomes. It would not be acceptable to give less treatment or less intensive treatment if our survival were compromised. And we have to be certain that we don't do this. So what has evolved over the past decade is a whole number of treatment approaches that have some very enthusiastic early results. But these are generally single arm phase 2 reports where there is no comparison to conventional treatment. And they become difficult to interpret, because the results in general are very good. I think what really raised a red flag for us and that really caused us to take notice was the results of the RTOG 1016 trial that we reported last year. And at the same time, the European de-escalate trial, both of which had a similar design. These were studies that were designed in an effort to see if treatment deintensification would be possible by randomly comparing the standard treatment radiation and cisplatin with what was felt to be a less intensive approach-- radiation and concurrent cetuximab. And cetuximab is an accepted agent in the United States for treating head and neck cancer. The assumption here is that the survival would be equivalent when these two arms were compared, but that the toxicity would be improved by giving the less intensive systemic agent-- the cetuximab. The surprise when the study was analyzed was that that assumption was incorrect, that the radiation and cetuximab arm-- the deintensified arm-- actually proved inferior in terms of survival. And this was in both trials-- both the RTOG trial and the trial from Europe. And that was a big note of caution, because it was somewhat unexpected. I think we learned from that kind of a study, from a good randomized-- a large randomized trial-- that even though the outcomes may appear to be good, we need to be very careful about deintensifying our treatment until we're sure that the survival is equivalent. So although it's tempting for the clinician to see these very exciting reports about administering less treatment with the idea of producing less toxicity, the guideline advisory committee for ASCO really thought it was important that we get the message out that this kind of approach is not a treatment standard. This remains an investigational approach, and that the treatment standards for this disease really haven't changed. So what are the provisional clinical opinions that were made by the expert panel? They made several statements. The first was to acknowledge that the idea of treatment deintensification is a very compelling hypothesis, and it does require careful and appropriate testing. The second was that even though we are now better at identifying good prognosis patients, and we've seen some very promising early results, and even though we're now reclassifying patients with previously advanced stage HPV-positive disease as stage 1 or stage 2 tumors, the treatment recommendations for this disease have not changed. And they're based on the results achieved using AJCC 6 and 7. Standard of non-operated management to patients who are eligible to receive cisplatin remains high concurrent radiation and high dose cisplatin given every three weeks. If patients undergoing a surgical resection, then adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation with radiation and high dose cisplatin every three weeks is recommended in those patients with high risk factors of positive surgical margins or external tumor extension. And most importantly, deintensification, though it's a compelling hypothesis, is something that should only be undertaken on a clinical trial. Why is this guidance so important? And how will it affect practice? Well, I think the important thing about this guideline is that it shouldn't affect practice. The practice shouldn't change. The standards of care are not altered. And that for the clinician, this remains something that is exciting, something that should encourage enrollment on a clinical trial, but that we haven't changed treatment standards. And finally, how will this guidance affect patients? So from a patient's point of view, I think there is continued reason for optimism. A patient with the diagnosis of an HPV-positive oropharynx cancer is a patient with a very good prognosis. Patients are increasingly sophisticated. They read about the potential for treatment deintensification, and recognize that this is not something which is an accepted standard. But it should encourage their participation in clinical trials if [INAUDIBLE] is offered. I think ultimately it's a remarkable thing when oncologists can consider the possibility of reducing treatment intensity because the treatment results have been so good. Great. Thank you for your overview of this PCO. And thank you for your time today, Dr. Adelstein. And thank you, Shannon. And thank you to all of our listeners for tuning into the ASCO Guidelines Podcast series. To read the full PCO, go to www.asco.org/head-neck-cancer-guidelines. And if you've enjoyed what you've heard today, please rate and review the podcast and refer the show to a colleague.

Apr 25 2019
14 mins
Play

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