Oncology News Round-Up: Cancer in Solid Organ Recipients, and More

Each week on DocWire News, editors bring you the latest in oncology news and cancer research. In case you missed it, here are this week’s top headlines:

Keep reading for the breakdown on these top stories.

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Cancer Linked to Shortened Life Span for Solid Organ Recipients

For solid organ transplant recipients, cancer is associated with a shortened life span, according to a study published in Cancer.

Researchers used linked transplant and cancer registry data to identify incident cancers and deaths among solid organ transplant recipients in the United States from 1987 to 2014. The researchers found that 5.9% of the 221,962 transplant recipients developed cancer within 10 years of transplantation.

The mean life-years lost (LYL) due to cancer were 0.16 years per transplant recipient and 2.7 years per cancer case during this period. In this population, cancer was responsible for a loss of 1.9 percent of the total life-years expected in the absence of cancer. The highest proportion of LYL due to cancer was seen in lung recipients followed by heart recipients (0.45% and 0.29%, respectively).

With age, there was an increase observed in LYL due to cancer, from 0.5 to 3.2 percent among those aged birth to 34 years at transplant and aged 50 years or older, respectively. Lung cancer was the largest contributor overall, followed by non-Hodgkin lymphoma, accounting for 24% and 15% of all LYL due to cancer, respectively.

Cancer Linked to Shortened Life Span for Solid Organ Recipients

Race Alone Does Not Explain Disparities in Cancer Screening

Race alone does not explain disparities in cancer screening among women, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society.

Researchers interviewed 866 women (mean age, 43.5 years; 12% White, 36% Black, and 49% Hispanic) from underserved areas of Chicago. They found that of the women older than 50 years, only 58% were up to date on colon cancer screening, with Black women, Hispanic women, and women of other races/ethnicities less likely to have up-to-date screening versus White women. This association was not significant in an adjusted analysis.

Eight in 10 women aged 50 to 75 years reported having received a mammogram within the previous two years, with no significant association observed by race. However, Black women were more likely to have received a mammogram versus White women. For cervical cancer screening, 83% of women aged 21 to 65 years reported having cervical cancer screening in the previous five years, with no differences observed by race. Other factors associated with up-to-date cancer screenings included physical disability, diabetes diagnosis, higher trust in health care practitioners, and health insurance.

Race Alone Does Not Explain Disparities in Cancer Screening

ASTRO: EBRT Underused in Liver Cancer Patients Awaiting Transplant

Few patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who are wait-listed for liver transplantation receive bridging therapy with external-beam radiation therapy (EBRT), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

Researchers examined the national prevalence of EBRT among patients with HCC waitlisted for liver transplantation in the United States in a retrospective analysis of the United Network for Organ Sharing dataset from October 2013 to June 2020. A total of 18,447 HCC patients were identified who had applied for Model of End-Stage Liver Disease exceptions to receive wait-list prioritization.

The researchers found that 60.6% of patients received a liver transplant at a median seven months from exception application. Overall, 85.4% of patients received any bridging liver-directed therapy (LDT). Six hundred fifty-eight patients (3.6 percent of the overall cohort) received EBRT alone or combined with other bridging LDTs. Among all patients, EBRT use increased over time, with a 14% average annual increase.

There was significant variation observed in use of EBRT by geographic region, with the highest and lowest use seen in the Great Lakes states (Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana) and the Southeast (Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas; 8.7% and 1.7%, respectively).

ASTRO: EBRT Underused in Liver Cancer Patients Awaiting Transplant

ACS: Attitudes Toward CRC Screening Changed During Pandemic

Colonoscopy rates were similar during versus before the COVID-19 pandemic, but use of the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) increased, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Surgeons.

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study involving 745 individuals to examine attitudes toward colorectal cancer screening during the pandemic.

The researchers found that respondents had higher completion of FOBT in the previous three years than American Cancer Society-reported FOBT use pre-COVID-19 (32% versus 11%); during the pandemic, 50% of respondents completed FOBT. Compared with pre-COVID-19 rates, respondents had higher unemployment rates (7.4% versus 2.6%). When scheduling colonoscopies, respondents confirmed concerns about copays and COVID-19 (41% and 65.9%, respectively). Some of those who had concerns reported that this delayed their screening.

The likelihood of colonoscopy was increased with offerings of gloves and masks, smaller offices, and weekend screening. In lieu of colonoscopy, 48.1% of respondents were willing to do an at-home FOBT. If the FOBT was positive, 93.0% would be willing to do a follow-up colonoscopy.

ACS: Attitudes Toward CRC Screening Changed During Pandemic

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Hematology & Oncology