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Loewen S.K.,Cancercare Manitoba | Halperin R.,BC Cancer Agency | Lefresne S.,BC Cancer Agency | Trotter T.,Tom Baker Cancer Center | Stuckless T.,Dr iss Murphy Cancer Center
International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics | Year: 2015

Purpose To determine the employment status and location of recent Canadian radiation oncology (RO) graduates and to identify current workforce entry trends. Methods and Materials A fill-in-the-blank spreadsheet was distributed to all RO program directors in December 2013 and June 2014, requesting the employment status and location of their graduates over the last 3 years. Visa trainee graduates were excluded. Results Response rate from program directors was 100% for both survey administrations. Of 101 graduates identified, 99 (98%) had known employment status and location. In the December survey, 5 2013 graduates (16%), 17 2012 graduates (59%), and 18 2011 graduates (75%) had permanent staff employment. Six months later, 5 2014 graduates (29%), 15 2013 graduates (48%), 24 2012 graduates (83%), and 21 2011 graduates (88%) had secured staff positions. Fellowships and temporary locums were common for those without staff employment. The proportion of graduates with staff positions abroad increased from 22% to 26% 6 months later. Conclusions Workforce entry for most RO graduates was delayed but showed steady improvement with longer time after graduation. High emigration rates for jobs abroad signify domestic employment challenges for newly certified, Canadian-trained radiation oncologists. Coordination on a national level is required to address and regulate radiation oncologist supply and demand disequilibrium in Canada. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Belyea R.,Dr iss Murphy Cancer Center
Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences | Year: 2011

Recent advances in the field of genetics have resulted in the ability to perform genetic tests on individuals to estimate their risk of developing certain diseases. This predictive testing can be used to determine the presence or absence of a specific genetic factor for types of breast, ovarian, colorectal, stomach, and ocular cancers. This article will discuss genetic testing for the cancers listed, including issues surrounding positive results; common issues that arise surrounding genetic testing; what to do when given the results; and what are the available preventative measures. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Inc.

Mackey J.R.,Cross Cancer Institute | Martin M.,Complutense University of Madrid | Pienkowski T.,European Health Center | Rolski J.,Podkarpackie Centrum Onkologii | And 26 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2013

Background: We compared standard adjuvant anthracycline chemotherapy with anthracycline-taxane combination chemotherapy in women with operable node-positive breast cancer. Here we report the final, 10-year follow-up analysis of disease-free survival, overall survival, and long-term safety. Methods: BCIRG 001 was an open label, phase 3, multicentre trial in which 1491 patients aged 18-70 years with node-positive, early breast cancer and a Karnofsky score of 80% or more were randomly assigned to adjuvant treatment with docetaxel, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide (TAC) or fluorouracil, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide (FAC) every 3 weeks for six cycles. Randomisation was stratified according to institution and number of involved axillary lymph nodes per patient (one to three vs four or more). Disease-free survival was the primary endpoint and was defined as the interval between randomisation and breast cancer relapse, second primary cancer, or death, whichever occurred first. Efficacy analyses were based on the intention-to-treat principle. BCIRG 001 is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00688740. Findings: Enrolement took place between June 11, 1997 and June 3, 1999; 745 patients were assigned to receive TAC and 746 patients were assigned to receive FAC. After a median follow-up of 124 months (IQR 90-126), disease-free survival was 62% (95% CI 58-65) for patients in the TAC group and 55% (51-59) for patients in the FAC group (hazard ratio [HR] 0·80, 95% CI 0·68-0·93; log-rank p=0·0043). 10-year overall survival was 76% (95% CI 72-79) for patients in the TAC group and 69% (65-72) for patients in the FAC group (HR 0·74, 0·61-0·90; log-rank p=0·0020). TAC improved disease-free survival relative to FAC irrespective of nodal, hormone receptor, and HER2 status, although not all differences were significant in these subgroup analyses. Grade 3-4 heart failure occurred in 26 (3%) patients in the TAC group and 17 (2%) patients in the FAC group, and caused death in two patients in the TAC group and four patients in the FAC group. A substantial decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction (defined as a relative decrease from baseline of 20% or more) was seen in 58 (17%) patients who received TAC and 41 (15%) patients who received FAC. Six patients who received TAC developed leukaemia or myelodysplasia, as did three patients who received FAC. Interpretation: Our results provide evidence that the initial therapeutic outcomes seen at the 5-year follow-up with a docetaxel-containing adjuvant regimen are maintained at 10 years. However, a substantial percentage of patients had a decrease in left ventricular ejection fraction, probably caused by anthracycline therapy, which warrants further investigation. Funding: Sanofi. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Dranitsaris G.,Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University | Truter I.,Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University | Lubbe M.S.,North West University South Africa | Cottrell W.,Princess Margaret Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice | Year: 2012

Rationale, aims and objectives Value-based pricing has recently been discussed by international bodies as a means to estimate a drug price that is linked to the benefits it offers patients and society. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended using three times a country's per capita gross domestic product (GDP) as the threshold for economic value. Using the WHO criteria, pharmacoeconomic modelling was used to illustrate the application of value-based price towards bevacizumab, a relatively new drug that provides a 1.4-month survival benefit to patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Methods A decision model was developed to simulate outcomes in mCRC patients receiving chemotherapy ± bevacizumab. Clinical data were obtained from randomized trials and costs from Canadian cancer centres. Utility estimates were determined by interviewing 24 oncology nurses and pharmacists. A price per dose of bevacizumab was then estimated using a target threshold of $CAD117 000 per quality adjusted life year gained, which is three times the Canadian per capita GDP. Results For a 1.4-month survival benefit, a price of $CAD830 per dose would be considered cost-effective from the Canadian public health care perspective. If the drug were able to improve patient quality of life or survival from 1.4 to 3 months, the drug price could increase to $CAD1560 and $CAD2180 and still be considered cost-effective. Discussion The use of the WHO criteria for estimating a value-based price is feasible, but a balance between what patients/governments can afford to pay and the commercial viability of the product in the reference country would be required. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Ratnam S.,Public Health Laboratory | Ratnam S.,Memorial University of Newfoundland | Coutlee F.,University of Montreal | Fontaine D.,Memorial University of Newfoundland | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2011

Detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) E6/E7 oncogene expression may be more predictive of cervical cancer risk than testing for HPV DNA. The Aptima HPV test (Gen-Probe) detects E6/E7 mRNA of 14 oncogenic types. Its clinical performance was compared with that of the Hybrid Capture 2 DNA test (HC2; Qiagen) in women referred for colposcopy and those routinely screened. Aptima was also compared with the PreTect HPV-Proofer E6/E7 mRNA assay (Proofer; Norchip) in the referral population. Cervical specimens collected in PreservCyt (Hologic Inc.) were processed for HPV detection and genotyping with the Linear Array (LA) method (Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Laval, Quebec, Canada). Histology-confirmed high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN 2) or worse (CIN 2+) served as the disease endpoint. On the basis of 1,418 referral cases (CIN 2+, n = 401), the sensitivity of Aptima was 96.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 94.4, 98.2), whereas it was 94.3% (95% CI, 92.0, 96.6) for HC2. The specificities were 43.2% (95% CI, 40.2, 46.2) and 38.7% (95% CI, 35.7, 41.7), respectively (P < 0.05). In 1,373 women undergoing routine screening (CIN 2+, n = 7), both Aptima and HC2 showed 100% sensitivity, and the specificities were 88.3% (95% CI, 86.6, 90.0) and 85.3% (95% CI, 83.5, 87.3), respectively (P < 0.05); for women ≥30 years of age (n = 845), the specificities were 93.9% (95% CI, 92.3, 95.5) and 92.1% (95% CI, 90.3, 93.9), respectively (P < 0.05). On the basis of 818 referral cases (CIN 2+, n = 235), the sensitivity of Aptima was 94.9% (95% CI, 92.1, 97.7) and that of Proofer was 79.1% (95% CI, 73.9, 84.3), and the specificities were 45.8% (95% CI, 41.8, 49.8) and 75.1% (95% CI, 71.6, 78.6), respectively (P < 0.05). Both Aptima and Proofer showed a higher degree of agreement with LA genotyping than HC2. In conclusion, the Aptima test is as sensitive as HC2 but more specific for detecting CIN 2+ and can serve as a reliable test for both primary cervical cancer screening and the triage of borderline cytological abnormalities. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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