Increasing the awareness of the clinical and psychosocial needs that are particular to adolescents and young adults (AYA) was a top priority, as was strengthening advocacy efforts to empower and support this group. To date, AYA advocates had some success in generating public awareness and building a solid clinical justification for increased focus on this population. It had been established that the economic burden of their mortality was significant, their cancers were unusual, their medical care was often inadequate, and their outcomes for many cancers had not improved in the past 3 decades. As the awareness and advocacy campaign continued to grow and evolve across the globe, it was an important goal to integrate the efforts of all stakeholders to ensure that it progressed with a single, consensual, focused message identifying a common priority for action. By coordinating the efforts of the scientific, medical, and advocacy communities, it was possible to amplify their separate efforts and activities and more efficiently achieve large-scale change in the world of AYA oncology.
To evaluate clinical outcome of patients with limited-stage diffuse large-cell lymphoma (DLCL) treated with three cycles of chemotherapy followed by involved-region irradiation (IRRT).
Adults with limited-stage DLCL were treated with brief doxorubicin-containing chemotherapy regimens between 1980 and 1998. IRRT was administered 3 to 4 weeks after the third chemotherapy treatment in a dose equivalent to 30 Gy in 10 fractions.
Three hundred and eight patients (median age, 64 years) were included, and 299 experienced complete remission. After a median follow-up of 86 months, 64 patients developed progressive disease, and 104 patients died (43 from lymphoma, three from toxicity, and 58 from other causes). Actuarial overall and progression-free survival (PFS) rates were, respectively, 80% and 81% at 5 years and 63% and 74% at 10 years. For subgroups identified using the Miller modification of the International Prognostic Index (IPI), the overall survival rates at 5 and 10 years were, respectively, 97% and 89% (no factors), 77% and 56% (one or two factors), and 58% and 48% (three or four factors), and the 5-year and 10-year PFS rates were, respectively, 94% and 89% (no factors), 79% and 73% (one or two factors), and 60% and 50% (three or four factors). Men with testicular presentation, had a definitely inferior outcome.
Long-term outcome with three cycles of doxorubicin-based chemotherapy and IRRT confirms that this is a successful approach for the majority of patients with limited-stage DLCL. Subgroups with worse prognoses can be identified, and these patients should be offered alternative treatment approaches.
A key challenge in cancer control is the need for translational research to link discovery research with improved health outcomes. In British Columbia, we have built upon the idea of communities of practice to develop networks that will meet our cancer-control mandate.