The incidence of brain tumours: analysis of epidemiology figures and neurooncology service status in the Ulyanovsk region during 1996-2005 was investigated. This article demonstrates lack of early brain tumour diagnosis in the region owing to insufficient equipment of medical care facilities and low level of expertise among primary care phycisians. Risk factors for complications development and increase in postoperative mortality are defined. The uniform algorithm of medical care for brain tumour patients will allow considerably improve treatment results.
The uptake of new health care technologies is usually driven by industry promotion, physician interest, patient demand, and institutional ability to acquire the technology. The introduction of positron emission tomography (PET) scanning in the province of Ontario, Canada, followed a different path.
The Ontario provincial government, through its Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, commissioned a systematic review of the literature. When this found only weak evidence that PET has a positive impact on clinical outcomes, the Ministry introduced a provincial PET evaluation program to close the evidence gap.
This article describes the challenges encountered establishing the PET evaluation program. These included the design and conduct of the initial clinical trials, the establishment of a PET cancer registry, standardizing how PET scans were performed and reported, and gaining acceptance by health professionals for the evaluative program.
The proliferation of health technologies is a key driver of increasing health care costs. The Ontario approach to the introduction of PET is a model worth consideration by health systems seeking to ensure that they receive value for money based on a strong evidentiary base when introducing new health technologies.
Locoregional recurrence (LRR) after therapy for early breast cancer is common. A questionnaire was used to assess consensus between breast oncologists about the definition, prognosis and management of patients with LRR. The questionnaire was mailed to surgical, radiation and medical oncologists in Canada, the UK and the USA. Of 495 questionnaires, 322 (65%) were returned. Most clinicians sampled agree that disease in the skin of the chest wall, surgical scar, axilla, ipsilateral breast tumor recurrence (IBTR), infraclavicular lymph nodes, supraclavicular fossa lymph nodes and internal mammary lymph nodes constitute sites of LRR. The sites that were felt to be curable by the majority of respondents were: IBTR, surgical scar, axilla or chest wall. It was for these disease sites that local therapy was generally recommended. Irrespective of the site of recurrence, most respondents surveyed recommend initiation of a new systemic therapy at the time of LRR. While the results of this survey show general agreement regarding the definition of sites of LRR, treatment recommendations vary among oncologists. Due to the variation in sites of recurrence, time since initial diagnosis and prior therapy, the exact prognosis and optimal management of LRR remain undefined. In the absence of randomized prospective trial data, recommendations for local and systemic therapy of LRR will continue to mimic those offered at the time of initial presentation of breast cancer.
Geriatric assessment is a multidisciplinary diagnostic process that evaluates the older adult's medical, psychological, social, and functional capacity. No systematic review of the use of geriatric assessment in oncology has been conducted. The goals of this systematic review were: 1) to provide an overview of all geriatric assessment instruments used in the oncology setting; 2) to examine the feasibility and psychometric properties of those instruments; and 3) to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of geriatric assessment in predicting or modifying outcomes (including the impact on treatment decision making, toxicity of treatment, and mortality).
We searched Medline, Embase, Psychinfo, Cinahl, and the Cochrane Library for articles published in English, French, Dutch, or German between January 1, 1996, and November 16, 2010, reporting on cross-sectional, longitudinal, interventional, or observational studies that assessed the feasibility or effectiveness of geriatric assessment instruments. The quality of articles was evaluated using relevant quality assessment frameworks.
We identified 83 articles that reported on 73 studies. The quality of most studies was poor to moderate. Eleven studies examined psychometric properties or diagnostic accuracy of the geriatric assessment instruments used. The assessment generally took 10-45 min. Geriatric assessment was most often completed to describe a patient's health and functional status. Specific domains of geriatric assessment were associated with treatment toxicity in 6 of 9 studies and with mortality in 8 of 16 studies. Of the four studies that examined the impact of geriatric assessment on the cancer treatment decision, two found that geriatric assessment impacted 40%-50% of treatment decisions.
Geriatric assessment in the oncology setting is feasible, and some domains are associated with adverse outcomes. However, there is limited evidence that geriatric assessment impacted treatment decision making. Further research examining the effectiveness of geriatric assessment on treatment decisions and outcomes is needed.
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