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Gori S.,Oncologia Medica | Di Maio M.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Pinto C.,S. Orsola Malpighi University Hospital | Alabiso O.,University of Piemonte Orientale | And 21 more authors.
Tumori | Year: 2013

Aims and background. In recent years, the number of oral anticancer drugs used in clinical practice has rapidly increased. The Italian Society of Medical Oncology (AIOM) conducted a survey to describe the impact of the use of oral anticancer drugs on the daily activity of Italian oncology practices. Methods and study design. A survey questionnaire was distributed to the coordinators of the regional sections of AIOM. A 6-month period was considered, from January 1, 2010 to June 30, 2010. The survey addressed (1) quantitative aspects of the use of oral anticancer drugs; (2) practical aspects in the management of patients treated with these drugs; (3) issues related to treatment costs and reimbursement procedures. Results. Thirty-six questionnaires were received from institutions distributed throughout the Italian territory. Oral anticancer drugs (both chemotherapy and molecularly targeted agents) accounted for a significant proportion (17%) of prescribed treatments. Among the responding institutions, there were different dispensation procedures of oral drugs to patients: drugs were dispensed by the pharmacist (57%) or directly by the medical oncologist (23%) or nurse (20%). The medical oncologist played a major role in the communication with patients (73% alone and a further 24% in cooperation with other professional figures) and was the point of reference in the event of side effects in 97% of cases. In most cases, the reimbursement of drug costs was separated ("File F" procedure) from the flat fare received by the hospital for outpatient visits or day-hospital access. Conclusions. Optimal organization of oral anticancer treatment warrants the cooperation and integration of multiple professional figures. At least three figures are involved in patient management in the hospital: the medical oncologist, the nurse, and the hospital pharmacist. Oral anticancer treatments are associated with specific reimbursement issues: in the majority of cases, the cost of the drug is reimbursed separately from the cost of patient access. Source

Aurilio G.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Gori S.,Sacro Cuore Don Calabria Hospital | Noie F.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Pruned G.,University of Milan | And 20 more authors.
Tumori | Year: 2016

Aim: To assess patient perception toward oral chemotherapy for solid tumors, the Italian Association of Medical Oncology performed a large multi-institutional national survey. Methods: A 17-item anonymous questionnaire including 7 general and 10 investigational questions with free-text, single-choice, or multiple-choice answers was administered. Analysis of response distribution according to predefined factors was described by summary measures and conducted by χ2 test and other nonparametric tests. Results: From January to June 2010, 581 patients completed the questionnaire; data of 404 patients constituted the final study sample. Three groups could be distinguished according to treatment: IV chemotherapy (IV group, n = 313), oral chemotherapy (oral group, n = 48), or combined therapy (combined group, n = 43). Thirty-one (72%) patients in the combined group and 187 (60%) in the IV group expressed preference for oral therapy (p = 0.028). Limitations in family and work commitment were more frequently perceived by patients on IV than oral chemotherapy (147 (47%) vs 14 (29%) patients, p<0.05, and 134 (43%) vs 11 (23%) patients, p<0.05). A total of 134 (43%) patients on IV chemotherapy versus 15 (31%) patients in the oral group did not point out any limitation for number of tablets per day (p = 0.004). Conclusions: We observed a propensity from the patient perspective in favor of oral chemotherapy that was considered to have a lower impact on family and work commitments than IV chemotherapy. The treatment that patients were taking when the questionnaire was administered likely influenced their perception and related results. © 2015 INTM, Italy. Source

Pedrazzoli P.,Medical Oncology | Martinelli G.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Gianni A.M.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Da Prada G.A.,Medical Oncology | And 16 more authors.
Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation | Year: 2014

The efficacy of high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and autologous hemopoietic progenitor cell transplantation (AHPCT) for breast cancer (BC) patients has been an area of intense controversy among the medical oncology community. The aim of this study was to assess toxicity and efficacy of this procedure in a large cohort of high-risk primary BC patients who underwent AHPCT in Italy. A total of 1183 patients receiving HDC for high-risk BC (HRBC) (>3 positive nodes) were identified in the Italian registry. The median age was 46years, 62% of patients were premenopausal at treatment, 60.1% had endocrine-responsive tumors, and 20.7% had a human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive tumor. The median number of positive lymph nodes (LN) at surgery was 15, with 71.5% of patients having≥10 positive nodes. Seventy-three percent received an alkylating agent-based HDC as a single procedure, whereas 27% received epirubicin or mitoxantrone-containing HDC, usually within a multitransplantation program. The source of stem cells was peripheral blood in the vast majority of patients. Transplantation-related mortality was .8%, whereas late cardiac and secondary tumor-related mortality were around 1%, overall. With a median follow-up of 79months, median disease-free and overall survival (OS) in the entire population were 101 and 134months, respectively. Subgroup analysis demonstrated that OS was significantly better in patients with endocrine-responsive tumors and in patients receiving multiple transplantation procedures. HER2 status did not affect survival probability. The size of the primary tumor and number of involved LN negatively affected OS. Adjuvant HDC with AHPCT has a low mortality rate and provides impressive long-term survival rates in patients with high-risk primary BC. Our results suggest that this treatment modality should be proposed in selected HRBC patients and further investigated in clinical trials. © 2014 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Source

Gori S.,Oncologia Medica | Di Maio M.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Pinto C.,Medical Oncology Unit | Alabiso O.,University of Piemonte Orientale | And 20 more authors.
Tumori | Year: 2011

Aims and background. In 2009, the Italian Society of Medical Oncology (AIOM) conducted a survey to describe the impact of regional pharmaceutical formularies on the disparity of access to eight new drugs among cancer patients treated in Italian regions. The survey documented some regional restrictions for some anti-cancer drugs. In the study, we analyzed the "time to patient access" to new anti-cancer drugs in Italian regions. Methods. In March 2010, we analyzed the availability of 17 new anti-cancer drugs at a regional level, specifically the coherence of regional authorizations compared with national authorizations approved by the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA). In the regions with pharmaceutical formularies, we analyzed the characteristics of technicalscientific committees for the evaluation of inclusion of hospital drugs in these formularies. We also analyzed the time from EMA (CMPH) authorization to AIFA marketing authorization, the time from AIFA marketing authorization to patient availability, and the total time from EMA (CMPH) authorization to patient availability of the drugs in all Italian regions, for 11 of these drugs. Results. Some drugs were included in all the regional pharmaceutical formularies, without restrictions, whereas other drugs were not included in one and others werenot included in more than one formulary. Median time from EMA to AIFA was 11.2 months (range, 2.9-17.1). Median time from AIFA to patient availability was 1.4 months (range, 0.0-50.5) in regions with drug formularies versus 0.0 months in regions without drugs formularies. Median total time from EMA to patient availability was longer in regions with formularies (13.3months; range, 2.9-65.3) than in regions without formularies (11.2months; range, 2.9-24.0), where drugs are immediately available after AIFA marketing authorization. Moreover, the interval was very long (range, 2.9-65.3) for some drugs in regions with formularies. Conclusions. The analysis confirmed that the presence of multiple hierarchical levels of drug evaluation can create disparity in drug availability for Italian citizens. Source

Fedele P.,Medical Oncology and Breast Unit | Marino A.,Medical Oncology and Breast Unit | Orlando L.,Medical Oncology and Breast Unit | Schiavone P.,Medical Oncology and Breast Unit | And 8 more authors.
European Journal of Cancer | Year: 2012

Aim: Registered dose capecitabine monotherapy is active against metastatic breast cancer (MBC), but retrospective analyses indicate that lower doses may be as effective and better tolerated. This study was conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of metronomic capecitabine in heavily pretreated patients with MBC. Patients and methods: In this phase II study 60 MBC patients received continuous metronomic capecitabine monotherapy (1500 mg once a day). Primary endpoint was clinical benefit rate, secondary end points were clinical benefit rates (CBRs), tumour response rates (RRs), overall survival (OS), time to progression (TTP), duration of response (DOR) and toxicity. Results: Fifty eight assessable patients received two or more 28-day cycles of metronomic capecitabine. The CBR was 62%. Median DOR was 7 months. Median TTP and OS were 7 and 17 months, respectively. Two partial responses and 7 cases of stable disease were recorded in 13 patients who had previously received capecitabine intermittently (2000 mg/m 2/day on days 1-14 every 21 days) as first- or subsequent-line treatment for MBC. Grade 3-4 adverse events were uncommon; haematologic toxicity was infrequent (5%) and consistently mild. Conclusion: This regimen of metronomic capecitabine displayed good activity and excellent tolerability in MBC patients, including those who had previously received the drug at standard doses. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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