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July-September 2018
Volume 7 | Issue 3
Page Nos. 159-214

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE: BRAIN TUMORS  

Effect of valproic acid on survival in glioblastoma: A prospective single-arm study p. 159
Deepthi Valiyaveettil, Monica Malik, Deepa M Joseph, Syed Fayaz Ahmed, Syed Akram Kothwal, M Vijayasaradhi
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_188_17  PMID:30112328
Background: Retrospective evidence suggests that valproic acid (VPA), an antiepileptic drug, is associated with improved outcomes in glioblastoma. The exact mechanism of interaction of VPA with radiation and temozolomide (TMZ) is still unclear. Laboratory studies show that VPA can enhance tumor cell kill while at the same time protect the normal neural tissue. The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate the benefit of VPA on outcomes in glioblastoma. Materials and Methods: In this single-arm prospective study, patients of glioblastoma were started on seizure prophylaxis with VPA (15–20 mg/kg/day) following maximal safe resection. All patients were treated with chemoradiation to a dose of 60 Gy in 30 fractions with concurrent TMZ followed by adjuvant TMZ for 6 cycles. VPA was continued during adjuvant treatment and follow-up. Survival analysis was done using Kaplan–Meier analysis. Results: Twenty patients were enrolled in the study. Median age was 47 years. M:F ratio was 3:1. Treatment was well tolerated with no grade 3/4 adverse events. 8/20 patients experience seizure episodes during treatment and/or follow-up which needed additional antiepileptic drugs for control. Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 10 months and 16 months, respectively. Younger patients (age ≤45 years) showed a significantly better OS (25 months) versus older patients (8 months) (P = 0.002). Conclusions: Incidence of seizures on VPA prophylaxis was 40%. Median PFS and OS were comparable to historical controls. There was no significant treatment-related toxicity. The results need validation in larger prospective randomized studies.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Top

Profile of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: An Indian perspective p. 162
Ajay Gogia, Chandan K Das, Lalit Kumar, Atul Sharma, MC Sharma, Soumya Mallick
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_60_18  PMID:30112329
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE: BREAST CANCER Top

Breast-conserving radiotherapy with simultaneous integrated boost; field-in-field three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy versus inverse intensity-modulated radiotherapy – A dosimetric comparison: Do we need intensity-modulated radiotherapy? p. 163
Bindhu Joseph, Nisma Farooq, Sabari Kumar, CR Vijay, Kurian J Puthur, C Ramesh, Vishwanath Lokesh
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_82_18  PMID:30112330
Background and Purpose: To examine the feasibility of improving breast-conserving radiotherapy with simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) and analyzing the efficiency of forward versus inverse intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) techniques in providing the same. Materials and Methods: Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) field-in-field (FIF) plans with simultaneous and sequential boost and IMRT SIB plans were generated for the datasets of 20 patients who had undergone breast-conserving surgery. The 3 plans were compared dosimetrically for efficiency in terms of planning target volume (PTV) coverage (PTV 95%), homogeneity and conformity, dose delivered to ipsilateral/contralateral lungs (I/L: V10, V20, C/L: Vmean, V5), heart and contralateral breast (Vmean, V30 for heart and Vmean, V1, V5 for C/L breast). Results: The FIF 3DCRT plan with SIB (PLAN B) was more homogeneous than the classical technique with sequential boost (PLAN A). There were less hot spots in terms of Dmax (63.7 ± 1.3) versus Dmax (68.9 ± 1), P < 0.001 and boost V107%, B (0.3 ± 0.7) versus A (3.5 ± 5.99), P = 0.001. The IMRT SIB (PLAN C) did not provide any significant dosimetric advantage over the 3DCRT SIB technique. IMRT SIB plan C was associated with increased dose to contralateral lung in-terms of V5 (10.35 +/- 18.23) vs. (1.13 +/- 4.24), P = 0.04 and Vmean (2.12 ± 2.18) versus Vmean (0.595 ± 0.89), P = 0.008. There was 3-fold greater exposure in terms of Monitor Unit (MU) (1024.9 ± 298.32 versus 281.05 ± 20.23, P < 0.001) and treatment delivery time. Conclusions: FIF 3DCRT SIB provides a dosimetrically acceptable and technically feasible alternative to the classical 3DCRT plan with sequential boost for breast-conserving radiotherapy. It reduces treatment time by 2 weeks. IMRT SIB does not appear to have any dosimetric advantage; it is associated with significantly higher doses to contralateral lung and heart and radiation exposure in terms of MU.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES: GASTRO-INTESTINAL & HEPATOBILIARY CANCER Top

Geographical pattern of carcinoma gallbladder in Bihar and its association with river Ganges and arsenic levels: Retrospective individual consecutive patient data from Regional Cancer Centre p. 167
Richa Madhawi, Avinash Pandey, Shraddha Raj, Manish Mandal, Seema Devi, Prabhat Kumar Sinha, Rajesh Kumar Singh
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_37_18  PMID:30112331
Background: Indo-Gangetic basin is known to have higher incidence of gallbladder cancer. Proximity to River Ganga and high heavy metal in soil exposure have been postulated as risk factors. Aim: This study aims to evaluate the geographical pattern of gallbladder cancer from consecutive patient database enrolled in hospital-based cancer registry (HBCR). Objectives: To evaluate demographic profile and districtwise/zonewise dispersion of gallbladder cancer cases registered in HBCR from year 2014 to 2016. To evaluate association of carcinoma gallbladder (CaGB) due to proximity of Ganges, districts of high soil arsenic levels and referral bias. Materials and Methods: Demographic profile and district-based location of individual consecutive gallbladder cancer patient registered in Regional Cancer Centre from the year 2014 till 2016 were analyzed. Population data from 2011 census and arsenic soil content data from central groundwater body were obtained. Frequency distribution, cross tabulation, and odds ratio were used to analyze risk of CaGB across population subsets in Bihar. Results: A total of 1291 consecutive patients of CaGB were registered from 2014 to 2016. Median age at diagnosis was 55 years (range 18–95 years). Male to female ratio was 0.6. Patna (16%) followed by Vaishali (5.8%), Sitamarhi (5%), Madhubani (4.7%), Gaya (4%), and Samastipur (4%) had highest cases. Districts along main central River Ganga (n = 12) and those exposed to high arsenic soil content (n = 15) had higher odds ratio for CaGB, 1.72 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.54–1.91, P = 0.001), and 1.45 (95% CI: 1.30–1.62, P = 0.001), respectively. Districts within 100 km radius of our institute had higher gallbladder cancer cases, odds ratio 1.81 (95% CI: 1.62–2.03, P = 0.001), suggesting significant referral bias predominantly contributed by cases registered under Patna and Vaishali districts. Conclusion: CaGB is major public health problem in Bihar. Exposure to high soil arsenic levels and proximity to River Ganga are strongly associated with gallbladder cancer. Systematic population-based longitudinal studies are needed to explore above hypothesis.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Top

Isolated central nervous system blast crisis in a case of chronic myeloid leukemia on dasatinib p. 170
PK Kiran, Girish V Badarke, CN Suresh, BJ Srinivas, Radheshyam Naik
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_63_18  PMID:30112332
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES: GASTRO-INTESTINAL & HEPATOBILIARY CANCER Top

Metastatic Gastric cancer: Real world scenario from a developing country p. 171
Sandip Ganguly, Bivas Biswas, Joydeep Ghosh, Deepak Dabkara
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_2_18  PMID:30112333
Aim: Data on epidemiology and outcome in metastatic stomach carcinoma patients from India are scarce. We aimed to evaluate clinical features and treatment outcome in patients treated at our center. Materials and Methods: This is a single institutional review of metastatic gastric carcinoma patients treated between May 2011 and October 2016. Patients who received at least one cycle of chemotherapy were included for modified intent-to-treat survival analysis. Results: A total of 143 patients were diagnosed with metastatic stomach carcinoma with a median age of 56 years (range: 29–86). The most common symptoms were abdominal pain in 112 (78%) patients. The most common site was body in 81 (57%) patients. Common site of metastasis was peritoneum in 86 (60%) and liver in (62%). Seventy-one (50%) patients were eligible for survival analysis. Common chemotherapy regimens were capecitabine-cisplatin in 27 (38%) and EOX in 22 (31%) patients. Survival status could not be assessed in 29 (41%) patients who lost to follow-up. After a median follow-up 9.7 months (range: 0.5–37.7), median progression-free survival (PFS) was 7.9 months (range: 0.5–23.9) and median overall survival (OS) was 12.2 months (range: 0.5–37.7). The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) ≥2 and the presence of linitis plastica showed a trend toward inferior PFS (P = 0.052 and 0.053, respectively) only in univariate analysis. Female sex and ECOG PS ≥2 predicted inferior OS in both univariate and multivariate analysis (P = 0.012, 0.02 and 0.03 and 0.05, respectively). Conclusions: Platinum-based doublet chemotherapy was used in the majority of patients. The overall outcome was comparable to that of the available literature. Female sex and ECOG PS ≥2 predicted the inferior outcome.
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Robotic radiosurgery treatment in liver tumors: Early experience from an Indian center p. 175
Debnarayan Dutta, Sathiya Krishnamoorthy, H Sudahar, M Muthukumaran, T Ramkumar, Jayraj Govindraj
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_19_18  PMID:30112334
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to report CyberKnife experience in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and liver metastasis (LM). Materials and Methods: Fifty liver lesions in 31 consecutive patients with liver lesion [mean age 54.5 years (range 32-81 years), 77% were male patient, GTV <10cc in 5 patients, 11-90cc in 18 & >90cc in 8 patients respectively. Eighty percentage (25/31) had prior treatment (chemotherapy 18 patient & TACE in 7 patients). Dosage schedule was 21-45Gy/3# (mean PTV dose 33Gy, Prescription isodose 84%, target coverage 94%). Mean CI, nCI & HI were 1.19, 1.31 & 1.18 respectively. Mean liver dose was 5.4 Gy, 800 cc liver dose 11.1 Gy; Results: At mean follow-up of 12.5 months (range 1.9–44.6 months), 19 patients were expired and 12 were alive (nine patient with stable disease, two local progression, and one with metastasis). Median overall survival (OS) of all patients are 9 months (1.9–44.6 months), in HCC patients 10.5 months (2.1–44.6 months) and MT 6.5 months (1.9–24.6 months) respectively. Gr-I-II GI toxicities were in 11/50 (22%) patients. OS was influenced by PS (Karnofsky Performance Status 70–80 vs. 90–100: 9.9 vs. 16.4; P = 0.024), Child-Pugh (CP A/B vs. C: 23.6 vs. 6.5; P = 0.069), cirrhosis (only fatty liver vs. diffuse cirrhosis: 17.8 vs. 10.6; P = 0.003), prior treatment (no Rx vs. prior Rx: 30.1 vs. 8.2; P = 0.08), number of lesions (single vs. multiple: 16.4 vs. 6.9; P = 0.001), and target volume (<10 cc vs. >90 cc: 24.6 vs. 11.2; P = 0.03). Conclusion: Stereotactic body radiation therapy is a safe and effective treatment. Patient related factors such as performance status, Child-Pugh classification, cirrhosis status, prior treatment, number of liver lesion & target volume (GTV) influence the survival functions.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES: HEAD AND NECK CANCER Top

The epidemiology, treatment, and determinants of outcome of primary head and neck cancers at the Jos University Teaching Hospital p. 183
Adeyi A Adoga, Daniel D Kokong, Nuhu D Ma'an, Olugbenga A Silas, Ayuba M Dauda, John P Yaro, Joyce G Mugu, Chukwunonso J Mgbachi, Caleb J Yabak
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_15_18  PMID:30112335
Introduction: This study aims to evaluate the epidemiology, treatment, and factors that determine the outcomes of head and neck cancers (HNC). Patients and Methods: Retrospective analytical review of HNC managed at the Jos University Teaching Hospital between May 2007 and April 2017 using the International Classification of Diseases version 10. Results: Of 487 head and neck neoplasms, 129 (26.5%) were malignant and 122 health records met the criteria for analysis consisting of 83 (68.0%) males and 39 (32.0%) females aged 13 years to 85 years (mean = 51 years; standard deviation = ±16.0 years). The most common presenting feature was nasal obstruction (n = 47; 38.5%). The most common tumor site was the nasopharynx (n = 34; 27.9%). Mean duration of symptoms was 13.3 months. Alcohol (P = 0.02), cigarette smoking (P = 0.01), and cooking wood smoke (P = 0.01) were associated with advanced tumor stage. Squamous cell carcinoma was the most common histological type. Posttreatment complication rate was 47.5%. Lost to follow-up rate was 55.7%. The lungs were the most common distant metastatic site. The case fatality rate was 18.0%. Conclusion: HNC constitutes almost a quarter of head and neck tumors affecting twice the number of males in their sixth decade with nasopharyngeal cancers being the most common in both genders. Several modifiable variables are noted to target appropriate future cancer education for lifestyle modification, screening for early detection and treatment.
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Efficacy and safety of nimotuzumab in unresectable, recurrent, and/or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: A hospital-based retrospective evidence p. 188
Sundaram Subramanian, Nithya Sridharan, V Balasundaram, Sameer Chaudhari
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_87_18  PMID:30112336
Context: Role of nimotuzumab in locally advanced head and neck cancer (HNC) is well established in India; however, no clinical evidence is available for its role in recurrent and/or metastatic HNC. Aims: The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of nimotuzumab when added to standard treatment in unresectable, recurrent, and metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) Settings and Design: Hospital records of 14 patients diagnosed with recurrent and/or metastatic HNC with histologically confirmed squamous cell carcinoma and being treated with nimotuzumab along with standard treatments from December 2010 to December 2016 were retrospectively evaluated. Subjects and Methods: The tumor response rate and overall survival (OS) were analyzed. Toxicity and adverse events (AEs) were assessed as per common terminology criteria for adverse events (CTCAE) v 4. Results: Oral cavity was most commonly involved region followed by hypopharynx and oropharynx. At 24 weeks after completion of treatment, overall response rate (complete response (CR) + partial response (PR)) was 75%. Survival rate at 1, 2, and 3 years was 77.80%, 64.81%, and 64.81%, respectively. At a median follow-up of 15.17 months, median OS was not reached. All AEs were either Grade I (66.7%) or Grade II (33.3%). No Grade III or Grade IV AEs were observed. No added toxicity was observed due to nimotuzumab. Conclusions: In the first of its kind study, the addition of nimotuzumab to standard treatment showed promising response rate as well as survival outcomes in recurrent and/or metastatic SCCHN patients without producing additional toxicity.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Top

Bone marrow limited diffuse large B-cell lymphoma following prolonged immunosuppressive therapy with methotrexate and corticosteroids p. 192
Pravesh Dhiman, Parameswaran Anoop, Channappa N Patil
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_90_17  PMID:30112337
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE: IMMUNO - ONCOLOGY Top

Ipilimumab: A tale of twists and turns p. 193
Dhiraj Abhyankar
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_231_17  PMID:30112338
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Top

Sequential treatment with alectinib in crizotinib-resistant non-small-cell lung cancer p. 194
Swaratika Majumdar, Vanita Noronha, Amit Joshi, Vijay Patil, Rajiv Kumar, Vaibhavi Trivedi, Kumar Prabhash
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_199_18  PMID:30112339
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES: LEUKEMIA, LYMPHOMA & PLASMA CELL DISORDER Top

Adult Burkitt lymphoma: An institutional experience with a uniform chemotherapy protocol p. 195
Mukesh Patekar, Ajay Gogia, Akash Tiwari, Lalit Kumar, Atul Sharma, Soumya Ranjan Mallick, Mehar Chand Sharma, Sanjay Thulkar, Ritu Gupta
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_230_17  PMID:30112340
Background: Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is treated with short, intensive, noncross resistant multidrug chemotherapy regimens. The management of this aggressive lymphoma is a challenge in our resource-limited setting, and the published data from India is scarce. Aim: This retrospective study aims to evaluate the clinical features and treatment outcomes in adult patients with BL treated with uniform chemotherapy, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, methotrexate, ifosfamide, etoposide, cytarabine (CODOX-M/IVAC) protocol (± Rituximab). Materials and Methods: The hospital records between 2011 and 2017 were reviewed to identify adult patients (age ≥18 years) who were treated with CODOX-M/IVAC protocol (± Rituximab). The demographic and clinical details, treatment, outcomes, and toxicity were recorded from the patient's prospectively maintained case records. Results: Eighteen patients were included in this study. The median age was 38 years with male:female ratio 3.5:1. The majority of patients were high risk (14/18). All patients had extranodal site of involvement. The treatment completion rate was 83.3%. The overall response rate = 77.8% including complete response rate = 66.7%. Five patients (27%) had progressive disease on therapy. The estimated 2-year overall survival and event-free survival were 73% and 68.4%, respectively. The most common toxicity was myelosuppression (grade v3/4 neutropenia = 88.8%, grade 3/4 thrombocytopenia = 77.7%, and grade 3/4 anemia = 66.6%), febrile neutropenia was seen in 66.6% cases. Most common nonhematological toxicity was mucositis (grd3/4 = 33.3%). No toxic death was seen. Conclusion: This one of the first retrospective analyses of treatment outcomes from India suggests that our patients are demographically and clinically similar to the western counterpart. The treatment completion rate is high despite significant toxicity. BL has a good outcome if treated adequately.
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Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: An institutional analysis p. 200
Ajay Gogia, Chandan K Das, Lalit Kumar, Atul Sharma, Akash Tiwari, MC Sharma, Soumya Mallick
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_65_18  PMID:30112341
Introduction: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. We conducted a retrospective study to analyze the clinicopathological characteristics, cell of origin, response to therapy, and the outcome of patients with DLBCL. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective study which included all patients with DLBCL registered at our center, between May 1, 2013, and July 31, 2015. The data regarding demography, clinical presentation, histopathology, stage, prognostic index, treatment, and treatment-related outcome were collected from prospectively maintained clinical case records of the patients. Results: In the study, we included 267 patients. The median age is 49 (20–81) years with male: female ratio of 2:1. B symptoms were seen in 124 (45%) of patients. Early Stages (I and II) were seen in 130 (52%) patients, while advanced Stages (III and 1V) were seen in 119 (48%) patients. Bulky disease (>7.5 cm) was seen in 30% of cases, and bone marrow was involved in 12%. Extranodal involvement is present in 35% of cases. Cell of origin data was available in 160 (60%) of cases, of which 88 (55%) were germinal center and 72 (45%) were activated B cell in origin. The distribution according to the international prognostic index (IPI) was as follows: low risk 40%, intermediate risk 45%, and high risk in 15%. Rituximab was used in 45% of cases. The overall response rate was 84% with a complete response (CR) rate of 70.5%. The CR rates were better with RCHOP compared with CHOP (77% vs. 61.5%, P = 0.001) and good-risk IPI (83.3% vs. 65.2%, P < 0.001) compared with intermediate- and high-risk IPI. Median follow-up period was 24 months, and 2-year event-free survival (EFS) was 70%. The presence of B symptoms, high IPI, failure to attain CR, poor PS, and nonrituximab-based chemotherapy were significantly associated with lower EFS. Conclusions: This is the first study from India, which investigated the impact of chemotherapy with or without rituximab in context of cell of origin. Adding rituximab to CHOP showed better response rate and EFS irrespective of cell of origin.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE: LUNG CANCER Top

Patterns of epidermal growth factor receptor testing across 111 tertiary care centers in India: Result of a questionnaire-based survey p. 203
Kumar Prabhash, Purvish M Parikh, Senthil J Rajappa, Vanita Noronha, Amit Joshi, Shyam Aggarwal, Shailesh Bondarde, Shekar Patil, Chirag Desai, Palanki Satya Dattatreya, Rajesh Naik, Sohit Anand, Raju Titus Chacko, Ghanshyam Biswas, Tarini P Sahoo, Deepak Dabkara, Vijay Patil, MV Chandrakant, Pratap K Das, Ashok K Vaid, Dinesh C Doval
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_30_18  PMID:30112342
Background: We conducted a survey of 111 medical oncologists across India to understand the current pattern of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation testing at their respective centers. Methods: Medical oncologists from 111 institutes across India were interviewed face to face using a structured questionnaire. They were divided into two groups – Group 1 with in-house EGFR testing and Group 2 who send samples to central/commercial laboratories outside their institutions. Answers of the two groups were analyzed to see the prevailing patterns of EGFR testing and differences between the two groups if any. Results: Ninety-five percent (105/111) of medical oncologists recommended testing for EGFR mutations in patients with adenocarcinoma histology and 40% (44/111) recommended EGFR testing in squamous cell histology. The average time duration to get EGFR test results was 10 days in Group 1 centers versus 18 days in Group 2 centers. Ninety-six percent (106/111) of the medical oncologists from Group 1 centers requested for factoring additional sample for biomarker testing compared to 69% (77/111) of the oncologists from Group 2 centers. Sixty-nine percent (77/111) of medical oncologists in Group 1 centers would prefer to wait for the test results before initiating treatment compared to 46% (51/111) in Group 2. EGFR tyrosine-kinase inhibitors were used in only approximately 60% of patients with diagnosed EGFR mutation in the first line. For patients in whom chemotherapy was initiated while waiting for test results, 50% (56/111) of medical oncologists would prefer to complete 4–6 cycles before switching to targeted therapy. At the time of progression, rebiopsy was possible in approximately 25% of the patients. Conclusions: Turnaround time for molecular testing should improve so that eligible patients can benefit from targeted therapies in the first line. There is a need to increase the awareness among pulmonologists, oncologists, and interventional radiologists regarding the importance of adequate samples required for molecular tests.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE: NEUROENDOCRINE TUMORS Top

Clinical profile and treatment outcomes of metastatic neuroendocrine carcinoma: A single institution experience p. 207
KN Lokesh, Abhishek Anand, KC Lakshmaiah, K Govind Babu, Dasappa Lokanatha, Linu Abraham Jacob, MC Suresh Babu, AH Rudresha, LK Rajeev, Smitha C Saldanha, GV Giri, Dipti Panwar, Deepak Koppaka, Rajesh Patidar
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_176_17  PMID:30112343
Background: Neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) is a rare tumor arising from the diffuse neuroendocrine system. Most of these present in the advanced stage and palliative chemotherapy remains the only option. The prognosis remains poor with the standard chemotherapy regimen of platinum and etoposide (EP) providing modest survival benefit. Methods: The study was done for 3 years at a tertiary cancer center in South India. Patients with a diagnosis of metastatic NEC were analyzed for clinical and pathological characteristics. The treatment outcomes and prognostic factors were evaluated using appropriate statistical test. Results: A total of 114 patients of metastatic NEC satisfied the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. Gastrointestinal including hepatobiliary tract (33%) was the most common site of primary disease followed by lung (26%), genitourinary (15%), head and neck (14%), and unknown primary (9%). On analysis of pattern of metastasis, liver (65%) was the most common site followed by bone (54%) and lung (42%). The median overall survival was 11 months with a statistically significant difference between pulmonary and extrapulmonary disease (8 vs. 13 months; P = 0.003). Ki67% value was strongly associated with prognosis (hazard ratio 0.517, 95% confidence interval; 0.318–0.840, P = 0.008) whereas age, sex, and lactate dehydrogenase level did not show any relation with survival. Conclusion: The outcome of advanced NEC with standard chemotherapy remains poor. Larger studies with other therapeutic and novel agents are warranted to improve the treatment outcomes.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE: PALLIATIVE CARE Top

Palliative care and end-of-life measure outcomes: Experience of a tertiary care institute from South India p. 210
Praveen Adusumilli, Lingaraj Nayak, Vidya Viswanath, Leela Digumarti, Raghunadha Rao Digumarti
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_257_17  PMID:30112344
Introduction: Desisting from disease directed treatment in the past weeks of life is a quality criterion in oncology service. Patients with advanced cancer have unrealistic expectations from chemotherapy and hold on to it as a great source of hope. Many oncologists continue futile and unnecessary treatments, instead of conveying to the patients the lack of benefit, resulting in delayed referral for palliative care (PC). Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of case records from June 2014 to December 2015. The primary objective was to study, how far back in time terminally ill cancer patients received definitive cancer directed therapy (DCDT). Apart from patient demographics, the diagnosis, stage, and details of DCDT, and death were captured. PC referral data were recorded. DCDT to death was taken as treatment-free interval (TFI). Analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 20. Results: A total of 292 case records were evaluated. Seventy-three had inadequate treatment details. Hence, 219 records were analyzed. PC referral was done in 78.5% of patients. Only best supportive care (BSC) without any DCDT was given in 27 patients. The most common reason for BSC was a poor performance status in 92.5%. The median time from PC referral till death was 43.5 days (range: 1–518 days). Chemotherapy was the most common DCDT in 52.9% of patients. The median time from DCDT and death was 49 days (range: 0–359 days). Cervical and ovarian cancers patients had the longest TFI ; shortest in unknown primary. Most patients died at home (70.4%). Patients receiving PC preferred home or hospice as place of death. Of the 80 patients given hospice care, 39 (36.5%) died in the hospice. Conclusion: While DCDT needs to be started at the right time, it should also be discontinued when futile. Early involvement of the PC team, even while patients are on DCDT makes the transition smoother and more meaningful.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Top

Excellent response of solifenacin in chemotherapy-induced hemorrhagic cystitis in a child with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma p. 213
Bablesh Mahawar, Vivek Mahawar, Ankush Jajodia, Venkata Pradeep Babu Koyyala
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_145_18  PMID:30112345
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Long-term survival outcomes of technically unresectable carcinoma maxilla postinduction chemotherapy p. 213
Sachin Babanrao Dhumal, Vijay M Patil, Amit Joshi, Vanita Noronha, Arun Chandrasekharan, Prathamesh Pai, Kumar Prabhash
DOI:10.4103/sajc.sajc_165_18  PMID:30112346
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