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This paper aims to describe the clinical and regulatory aspects of new drugs and indications that were approved for lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer, from 2016 to 2018, in order to provide health technology assessment trends in oncology.
Data were collected from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) online database for new medications and indications approved for the above-mentioned types of cancer. Data regarding clinical study characteristics and regulatory information were collected.
From 2016 to 2018, 53 percent of the FDA approvals of new drugs and indications for the most incident cancers were for oral protein kinase inhibitor monotherapy for advanced lung cancer. Since 2018, four drugs were approved as tumor-agnostic therapies. A biomarker was included in 72 percent of indications, and 58 percent of approvals were for targeted therapies, potentially heralding an end to research into conventional cytotoxic agents. A special designation for faster approval was granted in 78 percent of new approvals. The majority of the studies were open label randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (44 percent), followed by blind RCTs, single-arm clinical trials, and cohort studies. Only 14 percent of studies used overall survival as the primary end point; the vast majority used surrogate end points, and did not use patient-important outcomes. Three biosimilars were approved in the period.
Advanced lung cancer therapy, mainly targeted drugs, accounted for 53 percent of approvals. Special designations for faster approval were used in 78 percent of FDA approvals, and four drugs were approved for tumor-agnostic treatment—a new form of approval.
Severe aortic stenosis with symptoms or left ventricular dysfunction has commonly a poor prognosis and therefore, aortic valve replacement is usually performed for patients aiming at improving their functional class and survival rate.
This retrospective study evaluated a convenience sample of patients at high risk for open surgery for the correction of aortic valve dysfunction treated with TAVI from 2013 to 2018. Data from a private healthcare organization in Belo Horizonte, Brazil were used to assess all-cause mortality. Continuous variables were expressed as mean and standard deviation. Cox proportional regression model and Log-Rank test were used to adjust the survival curve.
Fifty-two patients were included in the study (mean 83 ± 5.7 years of age, range 67 to 93 years; female 55.8 percent). Patients were characterized by: left ventricular ejection fraction (n = 30; mean 52.9 percent, range 26 to 81 percent); aortic valve area (n = 36; mean 0.68 cm2, range 0.4 to 1.2 cm2); left atrium size (n = 14; range 30 to 61 ml/m2); pulmonary artery pressure (n = 20; mean 53 mmHg, range 31 to 70 mmHg). Death occurred in 19 patients during the follow-up period (mean 8.4 months, range 0 to 60 months). Nine deaths occurred within the first 30 days of follow-up (17.3 percent) and 14 (26.9 percent) in the first year. Stroke occurred in three patients (5.8 percent) in the post-implant period. A pacemaker device was required for nine patients (17.3 percent).
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has become an alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement for patients at high risk for surgery. Real-world studies might result in a better understanding of the local team expertise on TAVI utilization.
Open repair was considered for several years the gold standard therapy for the treatment of peripheral artery aneurysms (PAAs). However, with advancements in endovascular technology increasing attention has been directed toward repairing PAAs using an endovascular stent graft.
This retrospective study evaluated a cohort of patients after the correction of PAAs with Viabahn. Patients treated from January 2011 to January 2018 were assessed for all-cause mortality, amputation and the need for re-intervention. Data were extracted from an administrative database from a healthcare organization in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Fifty-two patients were included in the study (median age 69.1 years, range 15 to 90 years; male 63.5 percent), three of whom also received Viabahn for contralateral PAAs. In total, 84 devices were used (average 1.5 per PAA); distribution: popliteal and tibial arteries (n = 30; 57 percent), femoral and iliac arteries (n = 19; 37 percent), axillary artery (n = 1; 2 percent), splenic artery (n = 1; 2 percent), abdominal aorta (n = 1; 2 percent). After a mean follow up time of 1.98 ± 1.68 years, we observed death (n = 3; 5.8 percent), amputation (n = 3; 5.8 percent) and the need for re-intervention (n = 17; 32.6 percent) in 23 patients (44.2 percent). The combined overall survival for the first, second and third year of follow up was 70.2 percent (Confidence Interval [95% CI]: 58.9 - 83.6); 63 percent (95% CI: 51.0 - 78.0) and 57.3 percent (95% CI 44.6 - 73.6).
There are still several unanswered questions regarding the best approach for patients with PAAs. In the absence of well-designed clinical studies, the assessment of databanks on real-world patients may contribute to improve our understanding of treatment alternatives and provide guidance to improve current clinical results.
Many patients presenting with arrhythmias are treated with antiarrhythmic drug therapy. However, for some patients, usually survivors of previous serious ventricular arrhythmias, treatment implies the use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) and/or Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) devices.
This retrospective study evaluated a cohort of patients with arrhythmia requiring the use of ICDs, CRT or ICDs + CRT from January 2004 to March 2018. Data from a private healthcare organization in Belo Horizonte, Brazil were used to assess all-cause mortality and the need for replacement of the device. Continuous variables were expressed as mean and standard deviation. Cox proportional regression model and Log-Rank test were used to adjust the survival curve.
Five hundred and ninety-three patients were included in the study (median age 67.6 years, range 23 to 89 years; male 62 percent). According to the type of device used to treat these patients, the distribution was 338 (57.0 percent), 169 (28.5 percent), 86 (14.5 percent), for ICDs, ICDs + CRT, CRT, respectively. After a mean follow-up time of 3.12 years (range 0 to 13.6 years), 283 devices were replaced (ICDs n = 140; ICDs + CRT n = 90; CRT n = 53) and 284 deaths occurred (median survival of 6.9 years). The median survival was 7.3, 5.8, 4.8, 5.5 years for ICDs single-chamber, ICDs dual-chamber, ICDs + CRT, CRT, respectively.
Randomized trials are often criticized for their enrollment of highly selected patients. Studies on real-word data can provide reliable information regarding the use of ICDs and/or CRT devices in the treatment of patients with serious ventricular arrhythmias.
Bariatric surgery has become one of the fastest growing operative procedures due to its sustained results and the increasing prevalence of obesity worldwide. Despite this fact, bariatric surgery carries the usual risks and threats of surgical interventions and therefore its benefits might be undermined by its mid and long-term complications.
This retrospective study included obese patients requiring bariatric surgery from January 2004 to December 2017 provided by a private healthcare organization in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Data regarding healthcare utilization were extracted from an administrative database (software Oracle Business Intelligence). Continuous variables were expressed as mean and standard deviation. Log-Rank test was used to adjust the survival curve (software STATA 13.1, Stata Corp, USA). This historical cohort resulted in no interventions, neither during the instituted treatment nor after the observed outcome. Privacy of subjects and the confidentiality of their personal information were handled in accordance with the ethical principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.
In total, 16,786 patients were included in the study (mean age 37.2 ± 10.2 years; female 79.2 percent; mean body mass index 42.4 ± 5.5 kg/m2). Patients were followed for up to seven years before and after surgery (total of 78,113 patients/year). For this group, the hospitalization rate was 0.099 / patients-year before versus 0.151 / patients-year after the bariatric surgery (p < 0.001). There were 224 deaths (1.33 percent) identified during the follow-up period, 0.4 percent in the first 30 postoperative days. The average costs for hospitalization were USD 3,339.36 and USD 4,305.04 for open and laparoscopic surgery, respectively.
Bariatric surgery has been an increasingly popular choice in the management of obesity. In our sample, it did not reduce the overall mid-term healthcare utilization rate.
Severe aortic stenosis with symptoms or left ventricular dysfunction has commonly a poor prognosis. Aortic valve replacement is usually performed for these patients aiming at improving their functional class and survival rate. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is often presented as an option in patients with high surgical risk for conventional surgical valve replacement.(1) Nonetheless, in this group of patients, the literature has yielded conflicting evidence suggesting that benefits of TAVI for patients of high or intermediate surgical risk is not consistent.(2,3)
This retrospective study aimed to evaluate the mortality rate from a cohort of patients after the correction of aortic valve dysfunction with TAVI. It consisted of a convenience sample of patients at high risk for open surgery for the correction of aortic valve dysfunction treated with TAVI from 2013 to 2016. All included patients were being provided healthcare assistance by a private nonprofit health maintenance organization (HMO) operating in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Since TAVI is not currently covered by the Brazilian supplementary healthcare system, reimbursements were enforced by lawsuits. Data was extracted from an administrative database, using the software Oracle Business Intelligence®. Continuous variables were expressed as mean and standard deviation. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to adjust the 1-year survival curve using the software STATA 13.1 (Stata Corp, College Station, TX, USA). This historical cohort resulted in no interventions, neither during the course of the instituted treatment nor after the observed outcome. Privacy of subjects and the confidentiality of their personal information were handled in accordance to the ethical principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.
Overall, seventeen patients with a mean age of 80.5 years (68-91) underwent TAVI; 59 percent were women. Peri-operative mortality rate was 23.5 percent (n = 4) and accumulated overall one-year mortality was 35.3 percent (n = 6). Mean length of hospital stay was 26.9 ± 16.6 days. Prolonged hospital stay (≥ 7 days) occurred in 14/17 cases (82.3 percent), with a maximum of 51 days.
In similarity to our findings, other authors described a high early and late mortality rate in patients undergoing TAVI. The strategy to use TAVI as an alternative in patients at high risk for open surgery is still under debate and should be carefully discussed taking into consideration the local team expertise as well as local healthcare available recourses.
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