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1.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 1134-1143, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-999811

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#In patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutant non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) improve response rate and survival. However, most patients eventually develop resistance. This study aimed to identify the role of CD73 in EGFR-mutant NSCLC and explore whether CD73 inhibition may serve as a therapeutic strategy in NSCLC patients with acquired resistance to EGFR-TKIs. @*Materials and Methods@#We evaluated the prognostic role of CD73 expression in EGFR-mutant NSCLC using tumor samples from a single institution. We silenced CD73 in EGFR-TKI–resistant cell lines using short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting CD73 and also transfected a vector alone as a negative control. Using these cell lines, cell proliferation and viability assays, immunoblot assays, cell cycle analysis, colony-forming assays, flow cytometry, and apoptosis analysis were performed. @*Results@#High expression of CD73 was associated with shorter survival in patients with metastatic EGFR-mutant NSCLC treated with first-generation EGFR-TKI. CD73 inhibition synergistically inhibited cell viability with first-generation EGFR-TKI treatment compared with the negative control. When CD73 inhibition and EGFR-TKI treatment were combined, G0/G1 cell cycle arrest was induced through the regulation of p21 and cyclin D1. In addition, the apoptosis rate was increased in CD73 shRNA-transfected cells treated with EGFR-TKI. @*Conclusion@#High expression of CD73 adversely affects the survival of patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC. The study demonstrated that inhibiting CD73 in EGFR-TKI–resistant cell lines resulted in increased apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, which overcame the acquired resistance to first-generation EGFR-TKIs. Further research is needed to determine whether blocking CD73 plays a therapeutic role in EGFR-TKI–resistant patients with EGFR-mutant NSCLC.

2.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 875-884, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-999785

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) for “early brain metastasis”, which occurs before extracranial recurrence (ECR), and “late brain metastasis”, which occurs after ECR, in limited-stage small cell lung cancer (LS-SCLC). @*Materials and Methods@#We retrospectively analyzed 271 LS-SCLC patients who underwent definitive chemoradiation. All patients were initially staged with brain magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography. Intracranial recurrence (ICR), ECR, progression-free rate (PFR), and overall survival (OS) were analyzed as clinical endpoints. The competing risk of the first recurrence with ICR (ICRfirst) was evaluated. Significantly associated variables in multivariate analysis of ECR were considered as ECR risk factors. Patients were stratified according to the number of ECR risk factors. @*Results@#The application of PCI was associated with higher PFR (p=0.008) and OS (p=0.045). However, PCI was not associated with any of the clinical endpoints in multivariate analysis. The competing risk of ICRfirst was significantly decreased with the application of PCI (hazard ratio, 0.476; 95% confidence interval, 0.243 to 0.931; p=0.030). Stage III disease, sequential, and stable disease after thoracic radiation were selected as ECR risk factors. For patients without these risk factors, the application of PCI was significantly associated with increased OS (p=0.048) and a decreased risk of ICRfirst (p=0.026). @*Conclusion@#PCI may play a role in preventing early brain metastasis rather than late brain metastasis after ECR, suggesting that only patients with a low risk of ECR may currently benefit from PCI.

3.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e182-2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-1001137

ABSTRACT

Background@#Clinical ethics support is a form of preventive ethics aimed at mediating ethicsrelated conflicts and managing ethical issues arising in the healthcare setting. However, limited evidence exists regarding the specific ethical issues in clinical practice. This study aimed to explore the diverse ethical issues of cases referred to clinical ethics support after the new legislation on hospice palliative care and end-of-life decision-making was implemented in Korea in 2018. @*Methods@#A retrospective study of cases referred to clinical ethics support at a university hospital in Korea from February 2018 to February 2021 was conducted. The ethical issues at the time of referral were analyzed via qualitative content analysis of the ethics consultationrelated documents. @*Results@#A total of 60 cases of 57 patients were included in the study, of whom 52.6% were men and 56.1% were older than 60 years of age. The majority of cases (80%) comprised patients from the intensive care unit. One-third of the patients were judged as being at the end-of-life stage. The most frequent ethical categories were identified as goals of care/ treatment (78.3%), decision-making (75%), relationship (41.7%), and end-of-life issues (31.7%). More specifically, best interests (71.7%), benefits and burdens/harms (61.7%), refusal (53.3%), and surrogate decision-making (33.3%), followed by withholding or withdrawal (28.3%) were the most frequent ethical issues reported, which became diversified by year. In addition, the ethical issues appeared to differ by age group and judgment of the end-of-life stage. @*Conclusion@#The findings of this study expand the current understanding of the diverse ethical issues including decision-making and goals of care/treatment that have been referred to clinical ethics support since the enforcement of the new legislation in Korea. This study suggests a need for further research on the longitudinal exploration of ethical issues and implementation of clinical ethics support in multiple healthcare centers.

4.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e169-2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-976951

ABSTRACT

Background@#Healthcare professionals often experience moral distress while providing endof-life care. This study explored how physicians and nurses experienced moral distress when they cared for critically and terminally ill patients in tertiary hospitals in South Korea. @*Methods@#This study used semi-structured in-depth interviews. A total of 22 people in two tertiary hospitals were interviewed, nine (40.9%) of which were physicians and 13 (59.1%) were nurses. The recorded interview files and memos were analyzed using grounded theory. @*Results@#Most physicians and nurses encountered similar feelings of anger, helplessness, and burden owing to a lack of appropriate resources for end-of-life care. However, the factors and contexts of their moral distress differed. Nurses mainly addressed poorly organized end-of-life care, intensive labor conditions without support for nurses, and providing care without participation in decision-making. Meanwhile, physicians addressed the prevailing misperceptions on end-of-life care, communication failure between physicians owing to hierarchy and fragmented disciplines, the burden of responsibility in making difficult decisions, and the burden of resource allocation. @*Conclusion@#Differences in moral distress between physicians and nurses leave them isolated and can affect communication regarding healthcare. Mutual understanding between job disciplines will enhance their communication and help resolve conflicts in end-of-life care.

5.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 523-530, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-976701

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#This single-arm phase II trial investigate the efficacy and safety of S-1 plus oxaliplatin (SOX) in patients with metastatic breast cancer. @*Materials and Methods@#Patients with metastatic breast cancer previously treated with anthracyclines and taxanes were enrolled. Patients received S-1 (40-60 mg depending on patient’s body surface area, twice a day, day 1-14) and oxaliplatin (130 mg/m2, day 1) in 3 weeks cycle until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR) according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumor 1.1. Secondary endpoints included time-to-progression (TTP), duration-of-response (DoR), overall survival (OS), and adverse events. @*Results@#A total of 87 patients were enrolled from 11 institutions in Korea. Hormone receptor was positive in 54 (62.1%) patients and six (6.9%) had human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–positive disease. Forty-eight patients (85.1%) had visceral metastasis and 74 (55.2%) had more than three sites of metastases. The ORR of SOX regimen was 38.5% (95% confidence interval [CI], 26.9 to 50.0) with a median TTP of 6.0 months (95% CI, 5.1 to 6.9). Median DoR and OS were 10.3 months (95% CI, 5.5 to 15.1) and 19.4 (95% CI, not estimated) months, respectively. Grade 3 or 4 neutropenia was reported in 28 patients (32.1%) and thrombocytopenia was observed in 23 patients (26.6%). @*Conclusion@#This phase II study showed that SOX regimen is a reasonable option in metastatic breast cancer previously treated with anthracyclines and taxanes.

6.
Yonsei Medical Journal ; : 463-470, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-1003223

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#The first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Korea elicited changes in healthcare service utilization. This study aimed to report changes in healthcare service utilization among cancer patients during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Korea. @*Materials and Methods@#We analyzed records from National Health Insurance Service Database and identified cancer patients as those with specific beneficiary codes (“V193” or “V194”) assigned to cancer patients. We calculated percentage changes in the number of patients between 2019 and 2020 based on claims records for outpatient clinic visits, hospitalization, and emergency room visits by month, age group, residential areas, and hospital location. @*Results@#The number of newly diagnosed cancer patients in 2020 decreased by 3.2%, compared to the previous year. The number of patients who visited an outpatient clinic, were hospitalized, and visited the emergency room decreased by 2.6%, 4.0%, and 3.5%, respectively, in 2020, compared to the year 2019. @*Conclusion@#During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of newly diagnosed cancer patients decreased by 3.2%, compared to the previous year, and their utilization of healthcare services declined significantly after the outbreak of COVID-19.

7.
The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine ; : 190-200, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-919191

ABSTRACT

Background/Aims@#Treatment decisions for locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (LA-HNSCC) are complicated, and multi-modal treatments are usually indicated. However, it is challenging for older patients to complete treatments. Thus, we investigated disease characteristics, real-world treatment, and outcomes in older LA-HNSCC patients. @*Methods@#Older patients (aged ≥ 70 years) were selected from a large nationwide cohort that included 445 patients with stage III–IVB LA-HNSCC from January 2005 to December 2015. Their data were retrospectively analyzed and compared with those of younger patients. @*Results@#Older patients accounted for 18.7% (83/445) of all patients with median age was 73 years (range, 70 to 89). Proportions of primary tumors in the hypopharynx and larynx were higher in older patients and older patients had a more advanced T stage and worse performance status. Regarding treatment strategies of older patients, 44.5% of patients received concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT), 41.0% underwent surgery, and 14.5% did not complete the planned treatment. Induction chemotherapy (IC) was administered to 27.7% (23/83) of older patients; the preferred regimen for IC was fluorouracil and cisplatin (47.9%). For CCRT, weekly cisplatin was prescribed 3.3 times more often than 3-weekly cisplatin (62.2% vs. 18.9%). Older patients had a 60% higher risk of death than younger patients (hazard ratio, 1.6; p = 0.035). Oral cavity cancer patients had the worst survival probability. @*Conclusions@#Older LA-HNSCC patients had aggressive tumor characteristics and received less intensive treatment, resulting in poor survival. Further research focusing on the older population is necessary.

8.
Radiation Oncology Journal ; : 260-269, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-968571

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) has a higher prevalence of regional nodal metastasis than other head and neck cancers; however, level IB lymph node involvement is rare. We evaluated the safety and feasibility of level IB-sparing radiotherapy (RT) for NPC patients. @*Materials and Methods@#We retrospectively reviewed 236 patients with NPC who underwent definitive intensity-modulated RT with or without chemotherapy between 2004 and 2018. Of them, 212 received IB-sparing RT, and 24 received non-IB-sparing RT. We conducted a propensity score matching analysis to compare treatment outcomes according to IB-sparing status. In addition, dosimetric analysis of the salivary glands was performed to identify the relationship between xerostomia and the IB-sparing RT. @*Results@#The median follow-up duration was 78 months (range, 7 to 194 months). Local, regional, and distant recurrences were observed in 11.9%, 6.8%, and 16.1% of patients, respectively. Of the 16 patients with regional recurrence, 14 underwent IB-sparing RT. The most common site categorization of regional recurrence was level II (75%), followed by retropharyngeal lymph nodes (43.8%); however, there was no recurrence at level IB. In the matched cohorts, IB-sparing RT was not significantly related to treatment outcomes. However, IB-sparing RT patients received a significantly lower mean ipsilateral and contralateral submandibular glands doses (all, p < 0.001) and had a lower incidence of chronic xerostomia compared with non-IB-sparing RT patients (p = 0.006). @*Conclusion@#Our results demonstrated that IB-sparing RT is sufficiently safe and feasible for treating NPC. To reduce the occurrence of xerostomia, IB-sparing RT should be considered without compromising target coverage.

9.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e111-2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-925886

ABSTRACT

Advances in medical technology have increased people’s lifespans, and evidence-based medicine that utilizes health technology assessments has contributed significantly to medical development. Owing to the ever-increasing costs of medical services, cost-effectiveness analysis has been adopted to ensure the efficient use of limited healthcare resources.However, problems that cannot be solved through medical technology alone have emerged because of the aging of the global population. When faced with a choice providing lifesustaining treatment to a terminally ill patient or offering them comfortable end-of-life care in a hospice, value-based choice takes precedence over technical judgment.In addition to cost, various values must be considered when making medical decisions. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expect “value-based healthcare” (VBHC) to play a major role in solving these problems. 1 However, the concept itself remains vague and has not attracted significant attention in the field of medicine.

10.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 109-117, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-913830

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#Certain patient subgroups who do not respond to induction chemotherapy (IC) show inherent chemoresistance in locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (LA-HNSCC). This study aimed to assess the prognostic value of IC, and role of IC in guiding the selection of a definitive locoregional therapy. @*Materials and Methods@#Out of the 445 patients in multi-institutional LA-HNSCC cohort, 158 (36%) receiving IC were enrolled. The study outcome was to assess overall survival (OS) through IC responsiveness and its role to select subsequent treatments. @*Results@#Among 135 patients who completed subsequent treatment following IC, 74% responded to IC (complete response in 17% and partial response in 58%). IC-non-responders showed 4.5 times higher risk of mortality than IC-responders (hazard ratio, 4.52; 95% confidence interval, 2.32 to 8.81; p < 0.001). Among IC-responders, 84% subsequently received definitive concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) and OS was not differed by surgery or CCRT (p=0.960). Regarding IC-non-responders, 54% received CCRT and 46% underwent surgery, and OS was poor in CCRT (24-month survival rate of 38%) or surgery (24-month survival rate of 63%). @*Conclusion@#Response to IC is a favorable prognostic factor. For IC-responders, either surgery or CCRT achieved similar survival probabilities. For IC-non-responder, multidisciplinary approach was warranted reflecting patients’ preference, morbidity, and prognosis.

11.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 140-149, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-913828

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#Epidermal growth factor receptor kinase domain duplication (EGFR-KDD) is a rare and poorly understood oncogenic mutation in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We aimed to investigate the acquired resistance mechanism of EGFR-KDD against EGFR-TKIs. @*Materials and Methods@#We identified EGFR-KDD in tumor tissue obtained from a patient with stage IV lung adenocarcinoma and established the patient-derived cell line SNU-4784. We also established several EGFR-KDD Ba/F3 cell lines: EGFR-KDD wild type (EGFR-KDDWT), EGFR-KDD domain 1 T790M (EGFR-KDDD1T), EGFR-KDD domain 2 T790M (EGFR-KDDD2T), and EGFR-KDD both domain T790M (EGFR-KDDBDT). We treated the cells with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and performed cell viability assays, immunoblot assays, and ENU (N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea) mutagenesis screening. @*Results@#In cell viability assays, SNU-4784 cells and EGFR-KDDWT Ba/F3 cells were sensitive to 2nd generation and 3rd generation EGFR TKIs. In contrast, the T790M-positive EGFR-KDD Ba/F3 cell lines (EGFR-KDDT790M) were only sensitive to 3rd generation EGFR TKIs. In ENU mutagenesis screening, we identified the C797S mutation in kinase domain 2 of EGFR-KDDBDT Ba/F3 cells. Based on this finding, we established an EGFR-KDD domain 1 T790M/domain 2 cis-T790M+C797S (EGFR-KDDT/T+C) Ba/F3 model, which was resistant to EGFR TKIs and anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody combined with EGFR TKIs. @*Conclusion@#Our study reveals that the T790M mutation in EGFR-KDD confers resistance to 1st and 2nd generation EGFR TKIs, but is sensitive to 3rd generation EGFR TKIs. In addition, we identified that the C797S mutation in kinase domain 2 of EGFR-KDDT790M mediates a resistance mechanism against 3rd generation EGFR TKIs.

12.
The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine ; : 975-984, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-903674

ABSTRACT

Background/Aims@#Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, a validated predictive biomarker for anti-PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors, is reported to change over time. This poses challenges during clinical application in non-small cell lung cancer. @*Methods@#This study included patients with non-small cell lung cancer who underwent surgery or biopsy and evaluation of PD-L1 expression in tumor cells via immunohistochemistry more than twice. We set the threshold of PD-L1 positivity to 10% and categorized patients into four groups according to changes in PD-L1 expression. Clinicopathologic information was collected from medical records. Statistical analyses, including Fisher’s exact test and log-rank test, were performed. @*Results@#Of 109 patients, 38 (34.9%) and 45 (41.3%) had PD-L1 positivity in archival and recent samples, respectively. PD-L1 status was maintained in 78 (71.6%) patients, but changed in 31 (28.4%), with 19 (17.4%) from negative to positive. There were no significant differences in characteristics between patients who maintained PD-L1 negativity and whose PD-L1 status changed from negative to positive. Patients harboring PD-L1 positivity in either archival or recent samples achieved better responses (p = 0.129) and showed longer overall survival than those who maintained PD-L1 negativity when they received immune checkpoint inhibitors after platinum failure (median overall survival 14.4 months vs. 4.93 months; hazard ratio, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.20 to 0.93). @*Conclusions@#PD-L1 status changed in about one-fourth of patients. PD-L1 positivity in either archival or recent samples was predictive of better responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Therefore, archival samples could be used for assessment of PD-L1 status. The need for new biopsies should be decided individually.

13.
Korean Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care ; : 130-134, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-902159

ABSTRACT

In the era of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), social distancing and strict visitation policies at hospitals have made it difficult for medical staff to provide high-quality endof-life (EOL) care to dying patients and their families. There are various issues related to EOL care, including psychological problems of patients and their families, difficulties in EOL decision-making, the complicated grief of the bereaved family, moral distress, and exhaustion of medical staff. In relation to these issues, we aimed to discuss practical considerations in providing high-quality EOL care in the COVID-19 pandemic. First, medical staff should discuss advance care planning as early as possible and use the parallel planning strategy. Second, medical staff should play a role in facilitating patient-family communication. Third, medical staff should actively and proactively evaluate and alleviate dying patients’ symptoms using non-verbal communication. Lastly, medical staff should provide care for family members of the dying patient, who may be particularly vulnerable to postbereavement problems in the COVID-19 era. Establishing a system of screening highrisk individuals for complicated grief and connecting them to bereavement support services might be considered. Despite the challenging and limited environment, providing EOL care is essential for patients to die with dignity in peace and for the remaining family to return to life after the loved one’s death. Efforts considering the practical issues faced by all medical staff and healthcare institutions caring for dying patients should be made.

14.
The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine ; : 175-181, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-875449

ABSTRACT

Background/Aims@#Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is a rare salivary gland tumor characterized by indolence, with a high rate of local recurrence and distant metastasis. This study aimed to investigate the effect of concurrent chemoradiation (CCRT) on locally advanced unresectable ACC. @*Methods@#We retrospectively analyzed clinical data from 10 patients with pathologically confirmed ACC of the head and neck who received CCRT with cisplatin in Seoul National University Hospital between 2013 and 2018. @*Results@#Ten patients with unresectable disease at the time of diagnosis or with positive margins after surgical resection received CCRT with weekly cisplatin. Eight patients (80%) achieved complete remission, of which three later developed distant metastases without local relapse; one patient developed distant metastasis and local relapse. Two patient achieved partial remission without progression. Patients experienced several toxicities, including dry mouth, radiation dermatitis, nausea, and salivary gland inflammation of mostly grade 1 to 2. Only one patient showed grade 3 oral mucositis. Median relapse-free survival was 34.5 months (95% confidence interval, 22.8 months to not reached). @*Conclusions@#CCRT with cisplatin is effective for local control of ACC with manageable toxicity and may be an effective treatment option for locally advanced unresectable ACC.

15.
Annals of Laboratory Medicine ; : 207-213, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-874173

ABSTRACT

Background@#Hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC) is an autosomal dominant cancer predisposition syndrome. HLRCC is characterized by the development of cutaneous leiomyomas, early-onset uterine leiomyomas, and HLRCC-associated renal cell cancer (RCC) and caused by germline fumarate hydratase (FH) deficiency. We investigated the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of Korean patients with HLRCC. @*Methods@#We performed direct sequencing analysis of FH in 13 patients with suspected HLRCC and their family members. A chromosomal microarray test was performed in female patients with negative sequencing results but highly suspected HLRCC. In addition, we analyzed the clinical characteristics and evaluated the genotype–phenotype correlations in Korean patients with HLRCC. @*Results@#We identified six different pathogenic or likely pathogenic FH variants in six of the 13 patients (46.2%). The variants included two nonsense variants, two splicing variants, one frameshift variant, and one missense variant. Of the six variants, two (33.3%) were novel (c.132+1G > C, and c.243dup). RCC and early-onset uterine leiomyoma were frequently observed in families with HLRCC, while cutaneous leiomyoma was less common. No significant genotype–phenotype correlation was observed. @*Conclusions@#We describe the genotypic and phenotypic spectrum in a small series of Korean patients with HLRCC. Our data reveal the unique characteristics of Korean patients with HLRCC and suggest a need for establishing an optimal diagnostic approach for them.

16.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 671-677, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-897471

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (R/M HNSCC) after platinum-containing chemotherapy. We also identified clinical biomarkers which may be predictive of patient prognosis. @*Materials and Methods@#We analyzed 125 patients with R/M HNSCC who received ICIs, retrospectively. Overall response rate (ORR) was the primary study outcome. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were the secondary study outcomes. @*Results@#The patients received anti–programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) (n=73, 58%), anti–programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) (n=24, 19%), or a combination of anti–PD-1/PD-L1 and anti–cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (n=28, 22%). The median age was 57 years (range, 37 to 87). The location of the primary tumor was in the oral cavity in 28% of the cases, followed by oropharynx (27%), hypopharynx (20%), and larynx (12%). The ORR was 15% (19/125). With 12.3 months of median follow-up, median PFS was 2.7 months. Median OS was 10.8 months. A neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) > 4 was significantly associated with poor response to ICIs (odds ratio, 0.30; p=0.022). A sum of the target lesions > 40 mm (hazard ratio [HR], 1.53; p=0.046] and a NLR > 4 (HR, 1.75; p=0.009) were considered to be predictive markers of short PFS. A poor performance status (HR, 4.79; p 40 mm (HR, 1.93; p=0.025), and an NLR > 4 (HR, 3.36; p < 0.001) were the significant predictors for poor survival. @*Conclusion@#ICIs exhibited favorable antitumor activity in R/M HNSCC. Clinically, our findings can be used to recognize patients benefit from receiving ICI.

17.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 584-592, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-897422

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#This study aimed to investigate difficulties doctors experience during life-sustaining treatment (LST) discussion with seriously ill patients and their families after enactment of the LST Decisions Act in February 2018. @*Materials and Methods@#A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a tertiary hospital in the Republic of Korea in August 2019. Six hundred eighty-six doctors who care for seriously ill patients were given a structured questionnaire, and difficulties during the discussion were examined. @*Results@#One hundred thirty-two doctors completed the questionnaire. Eighty-five percent answered they treat cancer patients. Most (86.4%) experienced considerable difficulties during LST discussions (mean score, 7.4±1.6/10). The two most common difficulties were communication with patients and family and determining when to discuss LST. Two-thirds of doctors found direct discussions with the patient difficult and said they would initiate LST discussions only with family. LST discussions were actually initiated later than considered appropriate. When medically assessing whether the patient is imminently dying, 56% of doctors experienced disagreements with other doctors, which could affect their decisions. @*Conclusion@#This study found that most doctors experienced serious difficulties regarding communication with patients and family and medical assessment of dying process during LST discussions. To alleviate these difficulties, further institutional support is needed to improve the LST discussion between doctors, patients, and family.

18.
The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine ; : 975-984, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-895970

ABSTRACT

Background/Aims@#Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, a validated predictive biomarker for anti-PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors, is reported to change over time. This poses challenges during clinical application in non-small cell lung cancer. @*Methods@#This study included patients with non-small cell lung cancer who underwent surgery or biopsy and evaluation of PD-L1 expression in tumor cells via immunohistochemistry more than twice. We set the threshold of PD-L1 positivity to 10% and categorized patients into four groups according to changes in PD-L1 expression. Clinicopathologic information was collected from medical records. Statistical analyses, including Fisher’s exact test and log-rank test, were performed. @*Results@#Of 109 patients, 38 (34.9%) and 45 (41.3%) had PD-L1 positivity in archival and recent samples, respectively. PD-L1 status was maintained in 78 (71.6%) patients, but changed in 31 (28.4%), with 19 (17.4%) from negative to positive. There were no significant differences in characteristics between patients who maintained PD-L1 negativity and whose PD-L1 status changed from negative to positive. Patients harboring PD-L1 positivity in either archival or recent samples achieved better responses (p = 0.129) and showed longer overall survival than those who maintained PD-L1 negativity when they received immune checkpoint inhibitors after platinum failure (median overall survival 14.4 months vs. 4.93 months; hazard ratio, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.20 to 0.93). @*Conclusions@#PD-L1 status changed in about one-fourth of patients. PD-L1 positivity in either archival or recent samples was predictive of better responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Therefore, archival samples could be used for assessment of PD-L1 status. The need for new biopsies should be decided individually.

19.
Korean Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care ; : 130-134, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-894455

ABSTRACT

In the era of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), social distancing and strict visitation policies at hospitals have made it difficult for medical staff to provide high-quality endof-life (EOL) care to dying patients and their families. There are various issues related to EOL care, including psychological problems of patients and their families, difficulties in EOL decision-making, the complicated grief of the bereaved family, moral distress, and exhaustion of medical staff. In relation to these issues, we aimed to discuss practical considerations in providing high-quality EOL care in the COVID-19 pandemic. First, medical staff should discuss advance care planning as early as possible and use the parallel planning strategy. Second, medical staff should play a role in facilitating patient-family communication. Third, medical staff should actively and proactively evaluate and alleviate dying patients’ symptoms using non-verbal communication. Lastly, medical staff should provide care for family members of the dying patient, who may be particularly vulnerable to postbereavement problems in the COVID-19 era. Establishing a system of screening highrisk individuals for complicated grief and connecting them to bereavement support services might be considered. Despite the challenging and limited environment, providing EOL care is essential for patients to die with dignity in peace and for the remaining family to return to life after the loved one’s death. Efforts considering the practical issues faced by all medical staff and healthcare institutions caring for dying patients should be made.

20.
Cancer Research and Treatment ; : 671-677, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-889767

ABSTRACT

Purpose@#This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (R/M HNSCC) after platinum-containing chemotherapy. We also identified clinical biomarkers which may be predictive of patient prognosis. @*Materials and Methods@#We analyzed 125 patients with R/M HNSCC who received ICIs, retrospectively. Overall response rate (ORR) was the primary study outcome. Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were the secondary study outcomes. @*Results@#The patients received anti–programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) (n=73, 58%), anti–programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) (n=24, 19%), or a combination of anti–PD-1/PD-L1 and anti–cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (n=28, 22%). The median age was 57 years (range, 37 to 87). The location of the primary tumor was in the oral cavity in 28% of the cases, followed by oropharynx (27%), hypopharynx (20%), and larynx (12%). The ORR was 15% (19/125). With 12.3 months of median follow-up, median PFS was 2.7 months. Median OS was 10.8 months. A neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) > 4 was significantly associated with poor response to ICIs (odds ratio, 0.30; p=0.022). A sum of the target lesions > 40 mm (hazard ratio [HR], 1.53; p=0.046] and a NLR > 4 (HR, 1.75; p=0.009) were considered to be predictive markers of short PFS. A poor performance status (HR, 4.79; p 40 mm (HR, 1.93; p=0.025), and an NLR > 4 (HR, 3.36; p < 0.001) were the significant predictors for poor survival. @*Conclusion@#ICIs exhibited favorable antitumor activity in R/M HNSCC. Clinically, our findings can be used to recognize patients benefit from receiving ICI.

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