Birmingham, AL, United States
Birmingham, AL, United States

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Rocque G.B.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Dionne-Odom J.N.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Sylvia Huang C.-H.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Niranjan S.J.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | And 57 more authors.
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management | Year: 2017

Context Advance care planning (ACP) improves alignment between patient preferences for life-sustaining treatment and care received at end of life (EOL). Objectives To evaluate implementation of lay navigator-led ACP. Methods A convergent, parallel mixed-methods design was used to evaluate implementation of navigator-led ACP across 12 cancer centers. Data collection included 1) electronic navigation records, 2) navigator surveys (n = 45), 3) claims-based patient outcomes (n = 820), and 4) semistructured navigator interviews (n = 26). Outcomes of interest included 1) the number of ACP conversations completed, 2) navigator self-efficacy, 3) patient resource utilization, hospice use, and chemotherapy at EOL, and 4) navigator-perceived barriers and facilitators to ACP. Results From June 1, 2014 to December 31, 2015, 50 navigators completed Respecting Choices® First Steps ACP Facilitator training. Navigators approached 18% of patients (1319/8704); 481 completed; 472 in process; 366 declined. Navigators were more likely to approach African American patients than Caucasian patients (20% vs. 14%, P < 0.001). Significant increases in ACP self-efficacy were observed after training. The mean score for feeling prepared to conduct ACP conversations increased from 5.6/10 to 7.5/10 (P < 0.001). In comparison with patients declining ACP participation (n = 171), decedents in their final 30 days of life who engaged in ACP (n = 437) had fewer hospitalizations (46% vs. 56%, P = 0.02). Key facilitators of successful implementation included physician buy-in, patient readiness, and prior ACP experience; barriers included space limitations, identifying the “right” time to start conversations, and personal discomfort discussing EOL. Conclusion A navigator-led ACP program was feasible and may be associated with lower rates of resource utilization near EOL. © 2017 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine


Cannon D.M.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Mehta M.P.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | Adkison J.B.,Southeast Alabama Medical Center | Khuntia D.,Varian Medical Systems | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2013

Purpose Local failure rates after radiation therapy (RT) for locally advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remain high. Consequently, RT dose intensification strategies continue to be explored, including hypofractionation, which allows for RT acceleration that could potentially improve outcomes. The maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) with dose-escalated hypofractionation has not been adequately defined. Patients and Methods Seventy-nine patients with NSCLC were enrolled on a prospective single-institution phase I trial of dose-escalated hypofractionated RT without concurrent chemotherapy. Escalation of dose per fraction was performed according to patients' stratified risk for radiation pneumonitis with total RT doses ranging from 57 to 85.5 Gy in 25 daily fractions over 5 weeks using intensity-modulated radiotherapy. The MTD was defined as the maximum dose with ≤ 20% risk of severe toxicity. Results No grade 3 pneumonitis was observed and an MTD for acute toxicity was not identified during patient accrual. However, with a longer follow-up period, grade 4 to 5 toxicity occurred in six patients and was correlated with total dose (P = .004). An MTD was identified at 63.25 Gy in 25 fractions. Late grade 4 to 5 toxicities were attributable to damage to central and perihilar structures and correlated with dose to the proximal bronchial tree. Conclusion Although this dose-escalation model limited the rates of clinically significant pneumonitis, dose-limiting toxicity occurred and was dominated by late radiation toxicity involving central and perihilar structures. The identified dose-response for damage to the proximal bronchial tree warrants caution in future dose-intensification protocols, especially when using hypofractionation. © 2013 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.


Cannon D.M.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | McHaffie D.R.,Levine Cancer Institute | Patel R.R.,Targeted Radiation Institute at VMOC | Adkison J.B.,Southeast Alabama Medical Center | And 5 more authors.
Annals of Surgical Oncology | Year: 2013

Background: Understanding risk factors for locoregional recurrence (LRR) after accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) can help to guide patient selection for treatment with APBI. Published findings to date have not been consistent. More data are needed as these risk factors continue to be defined. Methods: A total of 277 women with early-stage invasive breast cancer underwent lumpectomy and were treated adjuvantly at our institution with APBI using high-dose rate brachytherapy. APBI was delivered using multicatheter interstitial brachytherapy (91 %) or single-entry catheter brachytherapy (9 %) to a dose of 32-34 Gy in 8-10 twice daily fractions. Failure patterns and risk factors for recurrence were analyzed. Results: With a median follow-up of 61 months, the 5-year locoregional control rate was 94.4 %. Negative estrogen receptor (ER) status was strongly associated with LRR on multivariate analysis (p < 0.005). Lobular histology, the presence of an extensive intraductal component, and lymphovascular invasion also were significant but to a lesser degree than ER-negative status. Patients with multiple risk factors were at highest risk for LRR. Age was not significantly associated with increased risk for LRR. Conclusions: The presence of specific pathological features, particularly ER negative status, was associated with increased risk of LRR in this cohort of women treated with APBI. Further investigation is warranted to determine whether patients with adverse pathological risk factors are at higher risk of LRR after APBI than after conventional whole breast irradiation (WBI), as these same features also may place women at risk for LRR after WBI. © 2013 Society of Surgical Oncology.


Valsa J.,Government Medical College | Skandhan K.P.,Government Medical College | Skandhan K.P.,Sree Narayana Institute of Medical science | Gusani P.,Government Medical College | And 3 more authors.
Revista Internacional de Andrologia | Year: 2013

Objective: Different aspects of semen study improved the knowledge of male reproductive system. Aim of the present study is to find out the effect of daily ejaculation for 10 days on semen quality and the level of calcium and magnesium in semen. Materials and methods: Twenty-one young healthy sexually active men participated in this study. Their consent was collected prior to it. Effect of daily ejaculation for 10 days on semen parameters and calcium and magnesium it were studied. After an abstinence of 3-5 days 11th sample was collected. On a daily basis samples were evaluated and calcium and magnesium were estimated in spermatozoa as well as seminal plasma. Results: The study showed quality of semen improved by daily ejaculation. Statistically no differences in the level of calcium and magnesium in seminal plasma and spermatozoa were observed. Conclusion: The study proved daily ejaculation was useful in improving its quality. © 2012 Asociación Española de Andrología, Medicina Sexual y Reproductiva.


Valsa J.,Government Medical College | Skandhan K.P.,Government Medical College | Skandhan K.P.,Sree Narayana Institute of Medical science | Gusani P.,Government Medical College | And 2 more authors.
Andrologia | Year: 2013

A four-hourly ejaculation study was conducted in which eleven normal healthy subjects participated. Five of them discontinued after submitting three samples. One alone was present for submission at the end of 16 h (fifth ejaculate), which was his last submission. Physical exhaustion was the sole reason for all participants for their discontinuation from the study. The result showed a decrease in semen volume and sperm count from first to last ejaculate. The increase in motility was probably due to reduction in exposure time to sperm motility inhibitory factors. In general, total motile spermatozoa as well as actively motile spermatozoa progressively increased from first to last ejaculate at the cost of sluggish spermatozoa. A significant increase in seminal plasma calcium and magnesium was seen as well as a significant increase in magnesium inside the cell from the first to the fourth ejaculate. Considering the quality of semen, which was good in sperm count and excellent in motility, calcium and magnesium may be helpful in cleaning motility inhibitory factors of spermatozoa. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Maddox B.L.,Southeast Alabama Medical Center | Waller-Wise R.,Southeast Alabama Medical Center | Waller-Wise R.,Troy University | Weed L.D.,Troy University
Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing | Year: 2014

Competency assessment should be a changing and continuing process. In addition, it should be appropriate for the organization and the nursing staff. Nursing educators are challenged to provide a competency assessment process that is relevant and meaningful. This qualitative research study describes perinatal nurses’ perceptions of a change from a traditional testing competency assessment to a hands-on competency assessment. The setting was a medical center in southeastern Alabama. Thirteen nurses participated in the study. Focus groups were used to explore the new assessment method. Three themes were identified: I am learning, multidimensional learning together, and increasing professional confidence. As the medical center perinatal nursing competency assessment program continues to improve, the expectation is for other departments to assess and revise their competency assessment program. © SLACK Incorporated.


Gloi A.M.,St Vincent Hospital | Buchanan R.,Southeast Alabama Medical Center
Journal of Medical Physics | Year: 2012

The aim of this study was to compare lumpectomy cavity depth measurements obtained through ultrasound (U/S) and retrospective computed tomography (CT). Twenty-five patients with stage T1-2 invasive breast cancer formed the cohort of this study. Their U/S and CT measurements were converted into electron energy and compared. The mean U/S depth was 3.6±1.3 cm, while the mean CT depth was 4.9±1.9 cm; the listed error ranges are one standard deviation. Electron energies for treatment ranged from 6 MeV to 12 MeV based on the U/S determination. There was no significant correlation between cavity depths measured by U/S and CT (R 2 = 0.459, P < 0.002). Furthermore, only 20% of CT-based electron energy determinations matched the corresponding U/S determinations. This ratio increased to 40% when taking into account an upper limit based on the depth of organs at risk below the cavity. The study shows that there is a significant discrepancy between cavity depths determined by U/S and CT. It also supports the concept that post-lumpectomy radiotherapy boosts should be tailored according to the needs and comfort of individual practices and institutions.


Gloi A.M.,St Vincent Hospital | Buchanan R.,Southeast Alabama Medical Center
Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics | Year: 2013

The aims of this study were twofold: first, to determine the impact of variance in dose-volume histograms (DVH) on patient-specific toxicity after 2 high-dose fractions in a sample of 22 men with prostate cancer; and second, to compare the effectiveness of traditional DVH analysis and principal component analysis (PCA) in predicting rectum and urethra toxicity. A series of 22 patients diagnosed with prostate adenocarcinoma was treated with 45 Gy external beam and 20 Gy dose rate brachytherapy. Principal component analysis was applied to model the shapes of the rectum and urethra dose-volume histograms. We used logistic regression to measure the correlations between the principal components and the incidence of rectal bleeding and urethra stricture. We also calculated the equivalent uniform dose (EUD) and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) for the urethra and rectum, and tumor control probability (TCP) for the prostate using BioSuite software. We evaluated their correlations with rectal and urethra toxicity. The rectum DVHs are well described by one principal component (PC1), which accounts for 93.5% of the variance in their shapes. The urethra DVHs are described by two principal components, PC1 and PC2, which account for 94.98% and 3.15% of the variance, respectively. Multivariate exact logistic regression suggests that urethra PC2 is a good predictor of stricture, with Nagelkerke's R2 estimated at 0.798 and a Wald criterion of 5.421 (p < 0.021). The average NTCPs were 0.06% ± 0.04% and 1.25% ± 0.22% for the rectum and urethra, respectively. The average TCP was 85.29% ± 2.28%. This study suggests that principal component analysis can be used to identify the shape variation in dose-volume histograms, and that the principal components can be correlated with the toxicity of a treatment plan based on multivariate analysis. The principal components are also correlated with traditional dosimetric parameters.


Gloi A.M.,St Vincent Hospital | Buchanan R.,Southeast Alabama Medical Center | Nuskind J.,St Vincent Hospital | Zuge C.,St Vincent Hospital | Goettler A.,St Vincent Hospital
Medical Dosimetry | Year: 2012

To assess dosimetric parameters in a case study where bilateral accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) is delivered using a strut-adjusted volume implant (SAVI) device. A 59-year-old female received APBI in both breasts over 5 days, with fractions of 3.4 Gy twice daily. A Vac-lok system was used for immobilization, and a C-arm was used for daily imaging. We generated dose-volume histograms (DVHs) for the brachytherapy plans to derive several important biologic factors. We calculated the normal tissue complication probability (NTCP), equivalent uniform dose (EUD), and tumor control probability (TCP) using the Lyman-Kutcher-Burman model parameters α = 0.3 Gy -1, α/β = 4 Gy, n = 0.1, and m = 0.3. In addition, we assessed the dose homogeneity index (DHI), overdose index, and dose nonuniformity ratio. D95 was >95% and V150 was <50 mL for both breasts. The DHIs were 0.469 and 0.512 for the left and right breasts, respectively. The EUDs (normalized to 3.4 Gy b.i.d.) were 33.53 and 29.10 Gy. The TCPs were estimated at 99.2% and 99.9%, whereas the NTCP values were 4.2% and 2.57%. In this clinical case, we were able to quantify the dosimetric parameters of an APBI treatment performed with a SAVI device. © 2012 American Association of Medical Dosimetrists.

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