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Jianning Shao, Jaes Jones, Patrick Ellsworth, Ghaith Habboub, Gino Cioffi, Nirav Patil, Quinn T. Ostrom, Carol Kruchko, Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan, Varun R. Kshettry, and Pablo F. Recinos

OBJECTIVE

Spinal cord astrocytoma (SCA) is a rare tumor whose epidemiology has not been well defined. The authors utilized the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS) to provide comprehensive up-to-date epidemiological data for this disease.

METHODS

The CBTRUS was queried for SCAs on ICD-O-3 (International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, 3rd edition) histological and topographical codes. The age-adjusted incidence (AAI) per 100,000 persons was calculated and stratified by race, sex, age, and ethnicity. Joinpoint was used to calculate the annual percentage change (APC) in incidence.

RESULTS

Two thousand nine hundred sixty-nine SCAs were diagnosed in the US between 1995 and 2016, resulting in an average of approximately 136 SCAs annually. The overall AAI was 0.047 (95% CI 0.045–0.049), and there was a statistically significant increase from 0.051 in 1995 to 0.043 in 2016. The peak incidence of 0.064 (95% CI 0.060–0.067) was found in the 0- to 19-year age group. The incidence in males was 0.053 (95% CI 0.050–0.055), which was significantly greater than the incidence in females (0.041, 95% CI 0.039–0.044). SCA incidence was significantly lower both in patients of Asian/Pacific Islander race (AAI = 0.034, 95% CI 0.028–0.042, p = 0.00015) and in patients of Hispanic ethnicity (AAI = 0.035, 95% CI 0.031–0.039, p < 0.001). The incidence of WHO grade I SCAs was significantly higher than those of WHO grade II, III, or IV SCAs (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The overall AAI of SCA from 1995 to 2016 was 0.047 per 100,000. The incidence peaked early in life for both sexes, reached a nadir between 20 and 34 years of age for males and between 35 and 44 years of age for females, and then slowly increased throughout adulthood, with a greater incidence in males. Pilocytic astrocytomas were the most common SCA in the study cohort. This study presents the most comprehensive epidemiological study of SCA incidence in the US to date.

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Christina Huang Wright, James Wright, Gino Cioffi, Alia Hdeib, Manish K. Kasliwal, Carol Kruchko, Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan, and Andrew E. Sloan

OBJECTIVE

Chordomas of the spine and sacrum are a rare but debilitating cancer and require complex multidisciplinary care. Studies of other such rare cancers have demonstrated an association of high-volume and/or multidisciplinary centers with improved outcomes and survival. Such an association has been proposed for chordomas, but evidence to support this claim is lacking. The authors performed a study to investigate if treatment facility type is associated with patterns of care and survival for patients with spinal and sacral chordomas by assessing records from a US-based cancer database.

METHODS

In this observational retrospective cohort study, the authors identified 1266 patients from the National Cancer Database with vertebral column or sacral chordomas diagnosed between 2004 and 2015. The primary study outcome was overall survival, and secondary outcomes included odds of receiving treatment and time to treatment, defined as radiation therapy, surgery, and/or any treatment, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or participation in clinical trials. The results were adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, level of education, income, and Charlson/Deyo score.

RESULTS

Of the 1266 patients identified, the mean age at diagnosis was 59.70 years (SD 16.2 years), and the patients were predominantly male (n = 791 [62.50%]). Patients treated at community cancer programs demonstrated an increased risk of death (HR 1.98, 95% CI 1.13–3.47, p = 0.018) when compared to patients treated at academic/research programs (ARPs). The median survival was longest for those treated at ARPs (131.45 months) compared to community cancer programs (79.34 months, 95% CI 48.99–123.17) and comprehensive community cancer programs (CCCPs) (109.34 months, 95% CI 84.76–131.45); 5-year survival rates were 76.08%, 52.71%, and 61.57%, respectively. Patients treated at community cancer programs and CCCPs were less likely to receive any treatment compared to those treated at ARPs (OR 6.05, 95% CI 2.62–13.95, p < 0.0001; OR 3.74, 95% CI 2.23–6.28, p < 0.0001, respectively). Patients treated at CCCPs and community cancer programs were less likely to receive surgery than those treated at ARPs (OR 2.69, 95% CI 1.82–3.97, p = 0.010; OR = 2.64, 95% CI 1.22–5.71, p = 0.014, respectively). Patients were more likely to receive any treatment (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.40–0.87, p = 0.007) and surgery (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.38–0.88, p < 0.0001) within 30 days at a CCCP compared to an ARP. There were no differences in odds of receiving radiation therapy or time to radiation by facility type.

CONCLUSIONS

Clinical care at an ARP is associated with increased odds of receiving treatment that is associated with improved overall survival for patients with spinal and sacral chordomas, suggesting that ARPs provide the most comprehensive specialized care for patients with this rare and devastating oncological disease.