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White R.,A+ Network | Cassano-Piche A.,A+ Network | Fields A.,Cancer Care | Fields A.,University of Alberta | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice | Year: 2014

Background: This exploratory study was launched following a critical chemotherapy medication incident to thoroughly and proactively examine the current processes for ordering, preparing, labeling, verifying, administering, and documenting ambulatory intravenous chemotherapy in Canada, and to identify factors that may contribute to preventable adverse drug events. Methods: Field observations in six Canadian cancer centers to identify end-to-end processes in clinic, pharmacy, and treatment areas; analysis of processes to identify risks. Results: Three types of previously locally unrecognized potential chemotherapy preparation errors in Canadian oncology pharmacies were uncovered, all of which are undetectable if they occur. Although the frequency of these errors is unknown, their impact is potentially catastrophic. Interpretation: Dispensing errors in high-risk intravenous preparation have been studied in the past, but it is unlikely that these studies have detected these errors because of the inherent limitations of the detection methods used. Research on preparation errors using more sensitive methods is therefore urgently needed to establish the extent to which pharmacy preparation practices may be error-prone, and to allow reliable evaluation of the impact of mitigation strategies. Widespread practice changes in Canadian oncology pharmacies are necessary, and are currently underway. © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.


Aggarwal A.,Kings College London | Lewison G.,Kings College London | Lewison G.,Evaluametrics Ltd | Idir S.,Macquarie University | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Thoracic Oncology | Year: 2016

Introduction: Lung cancer is the leading cause of years of life lost because of cancer and is associated with the highest economic burden relative to other tumor types. Research remains at the cornerstone of achieving improved outcomes of lung cancer. We present the results of a comprehensive analysis of global lung cancer research between 2004 and 2013 (10 years). Methods: The study used bibliometrics to undertake a quantitative analysis of research output in the 24 leading countries in cancer research internationally on the basis of articles and reviews in the Web of Science (WoS) database. Results: A total of 32,161 lung cancer research articles from 2085 different journals were analyzed. Lung cancer research represented only 5.6% of overall cancer research in 2013, a 1.2% increase since 2004. The commitment to lung cancer research has fallen in most countries apart from China and shows no correlation with lung cancer burden. A review of key research types demonstrated that diagnostics, screening, and quality of life research represent 4.3%, 1.8%, and 0.3% of total lung cancer research, respectively. The leading research types were genetics (20%), systemic therapies (17%), and prognostic biomarkers (16%). Research output is increasingly basic science, with a decrease in clinical translational research output during this period. Conclusions: Our findings have established that relative to the huge health, social, and economic burden associated with lung cancer, the level of world research output lags significantly behind that of research on other malignancies. Commitment to diagnostics, screening, and quality of life research is much lower than to basic science and medical research. The study findings are expected to provide the requisite knowledge to guide future cancer research programs in lung cancer. © 2016 International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. Published by Elsevier Inc.


Fisher S.,University of Alberta | Al-Fayea T.M.,Princess Noorah Oncology Center | Winget M.,University of Alberta | Gao H.,University of Alberta | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Cancer Epidemiology | Year: 2012

The treatment of elderly cancer patients is complicated by many factors. We sought to assess the uptake and tolerance of chemotherapy among patients 75 years and older diagnosed with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) in years 2004-2008 in Alberta, Canada, and assess their survival. All patients who met the above criteria and had an oncologist-consult were included. Data were obtained from the Alberta Cancer Registry and chart review. A total of 171 patients were included in the study, 117 (68%) of whom began chemotherapy. Of those, 52% completed all cycles, 66% did not have any dose reductions, and 31% completed all cycles at the recommended dose. The risk of death for patients who did not complete all cycles of chemotherapy was 2.72 (95% CI: 1.52-4.87) and for those who completed all cycles but with a reduced dose was 1.02 (95% CI: 0.57-1.82) relative to those who completed chemotherapy at full dose after adjusting for several demographic/clinical factors. Our results suggest that a significant proportion of elderly patients are able to tolerate chemotherapy and receive a survival benefit from it while those who experience toxicity may receive a survival benefit from a reduction in chemotherapy dose as opposed to stopping treatment. © 2012 Stacey Fisher et al.


Hajiloo M.,University of Alberta | Sapkota Y.,University of Alberta | MacKey J.R.,University of Alberta | Robson P.,Cancer Care | And 3 more authors.
BMC Bioinformatics | Year: 2013

Background: Population stratification is a systematic difference in allele frequencies between subpopulations. This can lead to spurious association findings in the case-control genome wide association studies (GWASs) used to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with disease-linked phenotypes. Methods such as self-declared ancestry, ancestry informative markers, genomic control, structured association, and principal component analysis are used to assess and correct population stratification but each has limitations. We provide an alternative technique to address population stratification. Results: We propose a novel machine learning method, ETHNOPRED, which uses the genotype and ethnicity data from the HapMap project to learn ensembles of disjoint decision trees, capable of accurately predicting an individual's continental and sub-continental ancestry. To predict an individual's continental ancestry, ETHNOPRED produced an ensemble of 3 decision trees involving a total of 10 SNPs, with 10-fold cross validation accuracy of 100% using HapMap II dataset. We extended this model to involve 29 disjoint decision trees over 149 SNPs, and showed that this ensemble has an accuracy of ≥ 99.9%, even if some of those 149 SNP values were missing. On an independent dataset, predominantly of Caucasian origin, our continental classifier showed 96.8% accuracy and improved genomic control's λ from 1.22 to 1.11. We next used the HapMap III dataset to learn classifiers to distinguish European subpopulations (North-Western vs. Southern), East Asian subpopulations (Chinese vs. Japanese), African subpopulations (Eastern vs. Western), North American subpopulations (European vs. Chinese vs. African vs. Mexican vs. Indian), and Kenyan subpopulations (Luhya vs. Maasai). In these cases, ETHNOPRED produced ensembles of 3, 39, 21, 11, and 25 disjoint decision trees, respectively involving 31, 502, 526, 242 and 271 SNPs, with 10-fold cross validation accuracy of 86.5% ± 2.4%, 95.6% ± 3.9%, 95.6% ± 2.1%, 98.3% ± 2.0%, and 95.9% ± 1.5%. However, ETHNOPRED was unable to produce a classifier that can accurately distinguish Chinese in Beijing vs. Chinese in Denver. Conclusions: ETHNOPRED is a novel technique for producing classifiers that can identify an individual's continental and sub-continental heritage, based on a small number of SNPs. We show that its learned classifiers are simple, cost-efficient, accurate, transparent, flexible, fast, applicable to large scale GWASs, and robust to missing values. © 2013 Hajiloo et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Winget M.,Cancer Care | Winget M.,University of Alberta | Fleming J.,Cancer Care | Li X.,Cancer Care | And 2 more authors.
Lung Cancer | Year: 2011

Adjuvant chemotherapy for early stage non-small cell lung cancer was approved for provincial insurance coverage in Alberta, Canada in 2004. The purpose of this study was to measure factors related to uptake of chemotherapy in eligible patients and compare toxicity and survival outcomes in the Alberta population with those found in clinical trials. All Alberta residents diagnosed with stage IB-IIB NSCLC from 2004 to 2006 who had surgery and a consultation with an oncologist to discuss initial treatment were included in the study. Diagnostic, demographic, and vital statistics data were obtained from the Alberta Cancer Registry; chart reviews were conducted to identify details related to treatments discussed, refused, co-morbidities, and toxicity. Analyses were conducted to identify factors associated with discussion and receipt of chemotherapy and toxicity. Toxicity and survival were calculated and compared to clinical trial results. 226 patients were included in the study. Adjuvant chemotherapy was not recommended to 57 patients (25%) and 30 patients (13%) refused chemotherapy. Primary reasons for not recommending chemotherapy were co-morbidities and/or frailty (24 patients). Of the 139 patients who began chemotherapy, 47 (34%) stopped treatment early. Stage II patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy had over a 2-fold decrease in risk of death compared to those who did not receive chemotherapy after adjusting for age and co-morbidities. Efforts to improve uptake of adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with stage II NSCLC should be made as the survival advantage appears to be comparable to that found in clinical trials. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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