• Quantitation and predictors of short-term mortality following extrapleural pneumonectomy, pleurectomy/decortication, and nonoperative management for malignant pleural mesothelioma

      Wright, C.; Verma, V.; Barsky, A.R.; Haque, W.; Polamraju, P.V.; Ludmir, E.B.; Zaorsky, N.G.; Lehrer, E.J.; Trifiletti, D.M.; Grover, S.; et al. (AME Publishing Company, 2020)
      Background: For malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), the benefit of resection, as well as the optimal surgical technique, remain controversial. In efforts to better refine patient selection, this retrospective observational cohort study queried the National Cancer Database in an effort to quantify and evaluate predictors of 30- and 90-day mortality between extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and pleurectomy/ decortication (P/D), as well as nonoperative management. Methods: After applying selection criteria, cumulative incidences of mortality by treatment paradigm were graphed for the unadjusted and propensity-matched populations, as well as for six a priori age-based intervals (≤60, 61-65, 66-70, 71-75, 76-80, and ≥81 years). The interaction between age and hazard ratio (HR) for mortality between treatment paradigms was also graphed. Cox multivariable analysis ascertained factors independently associated with 30- and 90-day mortality. Results: Of 10,723 patients, 2,125 (19.8%) received resection (n=438 EPP, n=1,687 P/D) and 8,598 (80.2%) underwent nonoperative management. The unadjusted 30/90-day mortality for EPP, P/D, and all operated cases was 3.0%/8.0%, 5.4%/14.1%, and 4.9%/12.8%, respectively. There were no short-term mortality differences between EPP and P/D following propensity-matching, within each age interval, or between age subgroups on interaction testing (P>0.05 for all). Nonoperative patients had a crude 30- and 90-day mortality of 9.9% and 24.6%, respectively. Several variables were identified as predictors of short-term mortality, notably patient age (HR 1.022, P<0.001), Charlson-Deyo comorbidity index (HR 1.882, P<0.001), receipt of treatment at high-volume centers (HR 0.834, P=0.032) and induction chemotherapy (HR 1.735, P=0.025), among others. The patient (yearly) incremental increase in age conferred 2.0% (30 day) and 2.2% (90 day) increased risk of mortality (P<0.001). Conclusions: Quantitative estimates of age-associated 30- and 90-day mortality of EPP and P/D should be considered when potentially operable patients are counseled regarding the risks and benefits of resection. Copyright Journal of Thoracic Disease. All rights reserved.
    • A systematic review of the cost and cost-effectiveness studies of immune checkpoint inhibitors

      Verma, V.; Sprave, T.; Haque, W. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018)
      Background: Escalating healthcare costs are necessitating the practice of value-based oncology. It is crucial to critically evaluate the economic impact of influential but expensive therapies such as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). To date, no systematic assessment of the cost-effectiveness (CE) of ICIs has been performed. Methods: PRISMA-guided systematic searches of the PubMed database were conducted. Studies of head/neck (n = 3), lung (n = 5), genitourinary (n = 4), and melanoma (n = 8) malignancies treated with ICIs were evaluated. The reference willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold was $100,000/QALY. Results: Nivolumab was not cost-effective over chemotherapy for recurrent/metastatic head/neck cancers (HNCs). For non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), nivolumab was not cost-effective for a general cohort, but increased PD-L1 cutoffs resulted in CE. Pembrolizumab was cost-effective for both previously treated and newly-diagnosed metastatic NSCLC. For genitourinary cancers (GUCs, renal cell and bladder cancers), nivolumab and pembrolizumab were not cost-effective options. Regarding metastatic/unresected melanoma, ipilimumab monotherapy is less cost-effective than nivolumab, nivolumab/ipilimumab, and pembrolizumab. The addition of ipilimumab to nivolumab monotherapy was not adequately cost-effective. Pembrolizumab or nivolumab monotherapy offered comparable CE profiles. Conclusions: With limited data and from the reference WTP, nivolumab was not cost-effective for HNCs. Pembrolizumab was cost-effective for NSCLC; although not the case for nivolumab, applying PD-L1 cutoffs resulted in adequate CE. Most data for nivolumab and pembrolizumab in GUCs did not point towards adequate CE. Contrary to ipilimumab, either nivolumab or pembrolizumab is cost-effective for melanoma. Despite these conclusions, it cannot be overstated that careful patient selection is critical for CE. Future publication of CE investigations and clinical trials (along with longer follow-up of existing data) could substantially alter conclusions from this analysis. Copyright 2018 The Author(s).