Prognosis following cancer surgery during holiday periods

This study aimed to test the new hypothesis that cancer surgery performed during holiday periods is associated with worse long-term prognosis than for non-holiday periods | International Journal of Cancer

This nationwide Swedish population-based cohort study included 228,927 patients during 1997-2014 who underwent elective resectional surgery for a cancer where the annual number of resections was over 100. The 16 eligible cancer sites were grouped into 10 cancer groups. The exposure, holiday periods, was classified as wide (14-weeks) or narrow (7-weeks). Surgery conducted inside versus outside holiday periods was compared regarding overall disease-specific (main outcome) and overall all-cause (secondary outcome) mortality.

Cox regression provided hazard ratios (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) adjusted for age, sex, comorbidity, hospital volume, calendar period, and tumor stage. Surgery conducted during wide and narrow holiday periods were associated with increased HRs of disease-specific mortality for cancer of the breast (HR 1.08, 95% CI 1.03-1.13 and HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.01-1.12) and possibly of cancer of the liver-pancreas-bile ducts (HR 1.09, 95% CI 0.99-1.20 and HR 1.12, 95% CI 0.99-1.26).

Sub-groups with cancer of the colon-rectum, head-and-neck, prostate, kidney-urine bladder, and thyroid also experienced statistically significantly worse prognosis following surgery conducted during holiday periods. No influence of surgery during holiday was detected for cancer of the esophagus-stomach, lung, or ovary-uterus. All-cause HRs were similar to the disease-specific HRs. The prognosis following cancer surgery might not be fully maintained during holiday periods for all cancer sites.

Full reference: Lagergren, J. et al. (2017) Prognosis following cancer surgery during holiday periods. International Journal of Cancer. Published online: 21 July 2017

Preoperative conventional chemoradiotherapy versus short-course radiotherapy with delayed surgery for rectal cancer

Latkauskas, T. et al. BMC Cancer. Published: 1 December 2016

https://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTION_=query&_IXFIRST_=1&_IXSR_=Mo87xcXUtuT&_IXSS_=_IXMAXHITS_%3d250%26_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft%26_IXFIRST_%3d1%26c%3d%2522historical%2bimages%2522%2bOR%2b%2522contemporary%2bimages%2522%2bOR%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bOR%2b%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%26%252asform%3dwellcome%252dimages%26%2524%253dsi%3dtext%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26i_pre%3d%26IXTO%3d%26t%3d%26_IXINITSR_%3dy%26i_num%3d%26%2524%253dsort%3dsort%2bsortexpr%2bimage_sort%26w%3d%26%2524%253ds%3drectal%2bcancer%26IXFROM%3d%26_IXSUBMIT_%3dSubmit%26_IXshc%3dy%26%2524%2b%2528%2528with%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%2529%2band%2bnot%2b%2528%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2bor%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2529%2529%2band%2bnot%2bwith%2bsys_deleted%3d%252e%26_IXrescount%3d5&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft

Image source: Richard Kirsch and Raw’n’ Wild – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Background: There still is no evidence which neoadjuvant therapy regimen for stage II–III rectal cancer is superior. The aim of this study was to compare results achieved after long-course chemoradiotherapy (CRT) with short-term radiotherapy (RT) followed by delayed surgery.

 

Conclusion: Three-years disease-free survival was better in CRT group comparing with RT group with no difference in overall survival.

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Impact of laparoscopic versus open surgery on hospital costs for colon cancer

Laudicella, M. et al. (2016) BMJ Open. 6:e012977

L0028353 A gynaecological operation. Colour lithograph by Virginia Po

Image source: Virginia Po – Wellcome Library // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Objective: Laparoscopy is increasingly being used as an alternative to open surgery in the treatment of patients with colon cancer. The study objective is to estimate the difference in hospital costs between laparoscopic and open colon cancer surgery.

Design: Population-based retrospective cohort study.

Settings: All acute hospitals of the National Health System in England.

Population: A total of 55 358 patients aged 30 and over with a primary diagnosis of colon cancer admitted for planned (elective) open or laparoscopic major resection between April 2006 and March 2013.

Primary outcomes: Inpatient hospital costs during index admission and after 30 and 90 days following the index admission.

Results: Propensity score matching was used to create comparable exposed and control groups. The hospital cost of an index admission was estimated to be £1933 (95% CI 1834 to 2027; p<0.01) lower among patients who underwent laparoscopic resection. After including the first unplanned readmission following index admission, laparoscopy was £2107 (95% CI 2000 to 2215; p<0.01) less expensive at 30 days and £2202 (95% CI 2092 to 2316; p<0.01) less expensive at 90 days. The difference in cost was explained by shorter hospital stay and lower readmission rates in patients undergoing minimal access surgery. The use of laparoscopic colon cancer surgery increased 4-fold between 2006 and 2012 resulting in a total cost saving in excess of £29.3 million for the National Health Service (NHS).

Conclusions: Laparoscopy is associated with lower hospital costs than open surgery in elective patients with colon cancer suitable for both interventions.

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Race/ethnicity and socio-economic differences in colorectal cancer surgery outcomes

Akinyemiju, T. et al. BMC Cancer. Published online: 5 September 2016

Image shows photomicrograph of adenocarcinoma of the colon

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine racial and socio-economic differences in the receipt of laparoscopic or open surgery among patients with colorectal cancer, and to determine if racial and socio-economic differences exist in post-surgical complications, in-hospital mortality and hospital length of stay among patients who received surgery.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of hospitalized patients with a primary diagnosis of colorectal cancer between 2007 and 2011 using data from Nationwide Inpatient Sample. ICD-9 codes were used to capture primary diagnosis, surgical procedures, and health outcomes during hospitalization. We used logistic regression analysis to determine racial and socio-economic predictors of surgery type, post-surgical complications and mortality, and linear regression analysis to assess hospital length of stay.

Results: A total of 122,631 patients were admitted with a primary diagnosis of malignant colorectal cancer between 2007 and 2011. Of these, 17,327 (14.13 %) had laparoscopic surgery, 70,328 (57.35 %) received open surgery, while 34976 (28.52 %) did not receive any surgery. Black (36 %) and Hispanic (34 %) patients were more likely to receive no surgery compared with Whites (27 %) patients. However, among patients that received any surgery, there were no racial differences in which surgery was received (laparoscopic versus open, p = 0.2122), although socio-economic differences remained, with patients from lower residential income areas significantly less likely to receive laparoscopic surgery compared with patients from higher residential income areas (OR: 0.74, 95 % CI: 0.70-0.78). Among patients who received any surgery, Black patients (OR = 1.07, 95 % CI: 1.01-1.13), and patients with Medicare (OR = 1.16, 95 % CI: 1.11-1.22) and Medicaid (OR = 1.15, 95 % CI: 1.07-1.25) insurance experienced significantly higher post-surgical complications, in-hospital mortality (Black OR = 1.18, 95 % CI: 1.00-1.39), and longer hospital stay (Black β = 1.33, 95 % CI: 1.16-1.50) compared with White patients or patients with private insurance.

Conclusion: Racial and socio-economic differences were observed in the receipt of surgery and surgical outcomes among hospitalized patients with malignant colorectal cancer in the US.

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Study shows patients require less painkilling medication after breast-cancer surgery if they have opiate-free anesthesia

ScienceDaily. Published online: 30 May 2016.

Image shows Remifentanil’s 3D molecular structure

In this study, painkiller requirements were examined after patients received opiate anaesthesia and non-opiate anaesthesia. A randomised controlled trial was conducted, containing two groups each containing 33 breast cancer patients undergoing a mastectomy or lumpectomy. The study took place between September 2014 and July 2015 at the Jules Bordet Institute, Brussels.

Perioperative non-opiate analgesia was obtained by combining clonidine (0.2 mcg/kg), ketamine (0.3 mg/kg) and lidocaine (1.5 mg/kg). An extra bolus of ketamine (0.2mg/kg) was given if necessary. Opiate analgesia was obtained via a combination of remifentanil infusion, ketamine (0.3 mg/kg) and lidocaine (1.5 mg/kg). Both groups received intravenous paracetamol (1000mg/6h) and intravenous diclofenac (75 mg/12h). Patients received a PCA (patient-controlled analgesia) pump for breakthrough pain during the first 24 hours post-operatively.

Clinical characteristics and post-operative piritramide painkiller consumption (through the patient controlled pump) were assessed during the first 24 hours post-operatively. Data were not complete for two patients in the non-opiate group, and thus a total of 64 patients were included in the study. The total mean piritramide usage 24 hours post-operatively was 8.1 mg (range 2.0-14.5) in the non-opiate group and 13.1 mg (range 6.0-16.0) in the opioid group. The difference observed was statistically significant.

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Environmental and social benefits of the targeted intraoperative radiotherapy for breast cancer

Coombs, N.J. et al. BMJ Open 2016. 6:e010703. 

car

Objective: To quantify the journeys and CO2 emissions if women with breast cancer are treated with risk-adapted single-dose targeted intraoperative radiotherapy (TARGIT) rather than several weeks’ course of external beam whole breast radiotherapy (EBRT) treatment.

Setting: (1) TARGIT-A randomised clinical trial (ISRCTN34086741) which compared TARGIT with traditional EBRT and found similar breast cancer control, particularly when TARGIT was given simultaneously with lumpectomy, (2) 2 additional UK centres offering TARGIT.

Participants: 485 UK patients (249 TARGIT, 236 EBRT) in the prepathology stratum of TARGIT-A trial (where randomisation occurred before lumpectomy and TARGIT was delivered simultaneously with lumpectomy) for whom geographical data were available and 22 patients treated with TARGIT after completion of the TARGIT-A trial in 2 additional UK breast centres.

Outcome measures: The shortest total journey distance, time and CO2 emissions from home to hospital to receive all the fractions of radiotherapy.

Methods: Distances, time and CO2 emissions were calculated using Google Maps and assuming a fuel efficiency of 40 mpg. The groups were compared using the Student t test with unequal variance and the non-parametric Wilcoxon rank-sum (Mann-Whitney) test.

Results: TARGIT patients travelled significantly fewer miles: TARGIT 21 681, mean 87.1 (SE 19.1) versus EBRT 92 591, mean 392.3 (SE 30.2); had lower CO2 emissions 24.7 kg (SE 5.4) vs 111 kg (SE 8.6) and spent less time travelling: 3 h (SE 0.53) vs 14 h (SE 0.76), all p<0.0001. Patients treated with TARGIT in 2 hospitals in semirural locations were spared much longer journeys (753 miles, 30 h, 215 kg CO2 per patient).

Conclusions: The use of TARGIT intraoperative radiotherapy for eligible patients with breast cancer significantly reduces their journeys for treatment and has environmental benefits. If widely available, 5 million miles (8 000 000 km) of travel, 170 000 woman-hours and 1200 tonnes of CO2 (a forest of 100 hectares) will be saved annually in the UK.

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What surgeons tell patients and what patients want to know before major cancer surgery: a qualitative study

McNair, A.G.K. et al. BMC Cancer2016 16:258.

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Background: 
The information surgeons impart to patients and information patients want about surgery for cancer is important but rarely examined. This study explored information provided by surgeons and patient preferences for information in consultations in which surgery for oesophageal cancer surgery was discussed.

Methods: Pre-operation consultations in which oesophagectomy was discussed were studied in three United Kingdom hospitals and patients were subsequently interviewed. Consultations and interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed in full and anonymized. Interviews elicited views about the information provided by surgeons and patients’ preferences for information. Thematic analysis of consultation-interview pairs was used to investigate similarities and differences in the information provided by surgeons and desired by patients.

Results: Fifty two audio-recordings from 31 patients and 7 surgeons were obtained (25 consultations and 27 patient interviews). Six consultations were not recorded because of equipment failure and four patients declined an interview. Surgeons all provided consistent, extensive information on technical operative details and in-hospital surgical risks. Consultations rarely included discussion of the longer-term outcomes of surgery. Whilst patients accepted that information about surgery and risks was necessary, they really wanted details about long-term issues including recovery, impact on quality of life and survival.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated a need for surgeons to provide information of importance to patients concerning the longer term outcomes of surgery. It is proposed that “core information sets” are developed, based on surgeons’ and patients’ views, to use as a minimum in consultations to initiate discussion and meet information needs prior to cancer surgery.

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