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Peer review is an essential quality assurance component of radiation therapy planning. A growing body of literature has demonstrated substantial rates of suggested plan changes resulting from peer review. There remains a paucity of data on the impact of peer review rounds for stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). We therefore aim to evaluate the outcomes of peer review in this specific patient cohort.
Methods and materials:
We conducted a retrospective review of all SBRT cases that underwent peer review from July 2015 to June 2018 at a single institution. Weekly peer review rounds are grouped according to cancer subsite and attended by radiation oncologists, medical physicists and medical radiation technologists. We prospectively compiled ‘learning moments’, defined as cases with suggested changes or where an educational discussion occurred beyond routine management, and critical errors, defined as errors which could alter clinical outcomes, recorded prospectively during peer review. Plan changes implemented after peer review were documented.
Nine hundred thirty-four SBRT cases were included. The most common treatment sites were lung (518, 55%), liver (196, 21%) and spine (119, 13%). Learning moments were identified in 161 cases (17%) and translated into plan changes in 28 cases (3%). Two critical errors (0.2%) were identified: an inadequate planning target volume margin and an incorrect image set used for contouring. There was a statistically significantly higher rate of learning moments for lower-volume SBRT sites (defined as ≤30 cases/year) versus higher-volume SBRT sites (29% vs 16%, respectively; p = 0.001).
Peer review for SBRT cases revealed a low rate of critical errors, but did result in implemented plan changes in 3% of cases, and either educational discussion or suggestions of plan changes in 17% of cases. All SBRT sites appear to benefit from peer review, though lower-volume sites may require particular attention.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) shows promising results in treating radionecrosis (RN) but there is limited evidence for its use in brain RN. The purpose of this study is to report the outcomes of using HBOT for symptomatic brain RN at a single institution.
This was a retrospective review of patients with symptomatic brain RN between 2008 and 2018 and was treated with HBOT. Demographic data, steroid use, clinical response, radiologic response and toxicities were collected. The index time for analysis was the first day of HBOT. The primary endpoint was clinical improvement of a presenting symptom, including steroid dose reduction.
Thirteen patients who received HBOT for symptomatic RN were included. The median time from last brain radiation therapy to presenting symptoms of brain RN was 6 months. Twelve patients (92%) had clinical improvement with median time to symptom improvement of 33 days (range 1–109 days). One patient had transient improvement after HBOT but had recurrent symptomatic RN at 12 months. Of the eight patients with evaluable follow-up MRI, four patients had radiological improvement while four had stable necrosis appearance. Two patients had subsequent deterioration in MRI appearances, one each in the background of initial radiologic improvement and stability. Median survival was 15 months with median follow-up of 10 months. Seven patients reported side effects attributable to HBOT (54%), four of which were otologic in origin.
HBOT is a safe and effective treatment for brain RN. HBOT showed clinical and radiologic improvement or stability in most patients. Prospective studies to further evaluate the effectiveness and side effects of HBOT are needed.
Purpose: We identified key clinicopathologic features of brain metastasis (BM) patients who are long-term survivors (LTS). Methods: We screened a prospective database of 1892 patients (treated 2006-2017), identified 92 (5%) who lived > 3 years following BM diagnosis, and performed per patient analyses. Results: Median age at diagnosis of BM was 57 years (range 19-77), 77% were women. The most common tumors were lung (50%), breast (26%), thyroid (7%) and skin (5%). 42% had tumors with drug-targetable oncoproteins (e.g. EGFR mutant) and 15% expressed hormonal receptors. ECOG was <2 in 70%. 47% had stage IV disease at diagnosis (75% with brain as the first site). 55% had controlled extracranial disease at the time of BM diagnosis. Median BM diameter was 1.5 cm (range 0.2-7) and 62% had a single lesion. Treatment was with surgery, radiosurgery, whole brain radiation (WBRT), or systemic therapy alone in 38%, 62%, 52%, and 4%, respectively. 53% received targeted- or immuno-therapy. Median follow up was 63 months (range 36-113). 61% failed intracranially at a median 24 months (range 1-99). 5 and 10- year survival (from BM diagnosis) was 82%, and 34%, respectively. Neither upfront WBRT nor other variables tested correlated with improved survival. In patients who died, an MRI was available within 3 months from death in 57%; of those 55% had no active intracranial disease, suggesting that the majority of deaths were non-neurologic. Conclusion: In general, LTS of BM had a limited number of BM, inactive extracranial disease, and drug targetable mutations.
Background: Glioblastoma is the most common adult malignant glioma, with poor prognosis and adverse neurological sequelae. Physical activity improves outcomes in patients with other cancers, but has not been evaluated in GBM. This prospective, single-arm intervention trial examines feasibility and preliminary efficacy of exercise on PFS, cognition and QOL in newly diagnosed GBM patients. Method: Participants are English-speaking GBM patients scheduled for concurrent chemoradiation at PMH, 18-65 years old, ECOG ≤ 2. The 3-month home-based exercise program includes aerobic and resistance training, tailored to prior fitness level, current physical status, and individual interests. Assessments of physical and neurocognitive functions, mood, fatigue, sleep, and QOL, occur within 2 weeks of starting chemoradiation, and approximately 3, 6, 12, and 18 months later, or until tumor progression. Feasibility will be assessed by accrual, retention, and adherence rates. Outcomes include PFS (RANO criteria), change in cognition (reliable change index method), physical activity and sleep (actigraphy, self-report questionnaires). Time-to-event outcomes will be estimated (Kaplan-Meier), and mixed modelling will explore individual and disease variables that contribute to outcomes. Results: During the first five months of recruitment, 13 of 19 eligible patients consented. Nine completed the exercise program. One patient died after the intervention and none of the others progressed. No exercise-related serious adverse events occurred. Preliminary results will be presented at the meeting. Discussion: Exercise appears feasible for GBM patients. Effects on survival, performance status, cognition, sleep, mood, and QOL are ongoing. Results may guide physical activity recommendations in GBM and generate avenues for translational research.
Objectives: Glioblastoma is a lethal disease in the elderly population. We aimed to evaluate disease and treatment outcomes in the oldest-old patients. Methods: Patients >80 years old with histologically confirmed glioblastoma treated between 2004 and 2009 were identified. We included patients managed with best supportive care (BSC), temozolomide (TMZ) alone, radiotherapy (RT) alone, or concomitantly with TMZ (CRT). Survival outcomes were analyzed using the Kaplan–Meier method. Results: Ultimately, 48 patients were analyzed. Median age and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status were 82 years and 2, respectively. The median Age-Adjusted Charlson Index (AAC) was 6. Gross total and subtotal resections were performed in 16.7% and 18.8% of patients, respectively. Biopsy followed by RT alone was the treatment modality for 23/48 (47.9%), while 17/48 (35.4%) received surgery followed by RT alone or CRT. A total of 8 (16.7%) were managed with BSC after biopsy. Median overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were 4.1 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 3.3-4.9) and 2.7 (95% CI 1.5-3.9) months, respectively. Improved median OS was observed in those treated with surgical resection followed by RT alone or CRT (7.1 months), compared to biopsy followed by RT alone (4.2 months) or BSC (2.0 months; p=0.002). Surgical resection, age≤85, and AAC<6 were associated with better OS (p=0.032, p=0.031, and p=0.02, respectively). Cause of death was neurological progression in 56% of cases. RT was well-tolerated. Conclusions: PFS and OS outcomes remain poor in the oldest-old patients (>80 years old). Younger age, lower AAC, surgical resection, and adjuvant treatment were associated with improved OS.
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