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BACKGROUND - Survival from Wilms tumor (WT) in sub-Saharan Africa remains dismal as a result of on-therapy mortality and treatment abandonment. Review of patients diagnosed from 2008 to 2011 in our Kenyan Wilms Tumor Registry showed a loss to follow up (LTFU) rate approaching 50%. The purpose of this study was to trace those LTFU, estimate the survival rate, and identify risk factors for treatment abandonment.
PROCEDURE - We administered a comprehensive survey to parents of patients with WT at the two largest referral hospitals in Kenya to identify barriers to care. We also telephoned families who had abandoned care to determine vital status and identify risk factors for treatment abandonment.
RESULTS - Of 136 registered patients, 77 were confirmed dead (56.7%), 38 remained alive (27.9%), and the vital status of 21 patients remains unknown (15.4%). After contacting 33 of the patients who either abandoned curative treatment (n = 34) or did not attend off-therapy visits (n = 20), the best estimate of 2-year overall survival of patients with WT in Kenya approaches 36%. Sixty-three percent of parents misunderstood treatment plans and 55% encountered financial barriers. When asked how to increase comfort with the child's treatment, 27% of parents volunteered improving inefficient services and 26% volunteered reducing drug-unavailability.
CONCLUSIONS - Treatment abandonment remains a significant problem contributing to increased mortality from WT in developing countries. This multi-center survey identified the barriers to treatment completion from the parental perspective to be lack of education about WT and treatment, financial constraints, need for quality improvement, and drug-unavailability. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2015;62:252-256. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
OBJECTIVE We previously reported that 2 years of costimulation modulation with abatacept slowed decline of β-cell function in recent-onset type 1 diabetes (T1D). Subsequently, abatacept was discontinued and subjects were followed to determine whether there was persistence of effect. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Of 112 subjects (ages 6-36 years) with T1D, 77 received abatacept and 35 received placebo infusions intravenously for 27 infusions over 2 years. The primary outcome-baseline-adjusted geometric mean 2-h area under the curve (AUC) serum C-peptide during a mixed-meal tolerance test (MMTT) at 2 years-showed higher C-peptide with abatacept versus placebo. Subjects were followed an additional year, off treatment, with MMTTs performed at 30 and 36 months. RESULTS C-peptide AUC means, adjusted for age and baseline C-peptide, at 36 months were 0.217 nmol/L (95% CI 0.168-0.268) and 0.141 nmol/L (95% CI 0.071-0.215) for abatacept and placebo groups, respectively (P = 0.046). The C-peptide decline from baseline remained parallel with an estimated 9.5 months' delay with abatacept. Moreover, HbA1c levels remained lower in the abatacept group than in the placebo group. The slightly lower (nonsignificant) mean total insulin dose among the abatacept group reported at 2 years was the same as the placebo group by 3 years. CONCLUSIONS Costimulation modulation with abatacept slowed decline of β-cell function and improved HbA1c in recent-onset T1D. The beneficial effect was sustained for at least 1 year after cessation of abatacept infusions or 3 years from T1D diagnosis.
BACKGROUND - Midodrine and fludrocortisone are considered the first-line pharmacologic treatments for orthostatic hypotension (OH). Although OH is thought to require long-term therapy, it is unknown how long patients remain on treatment ("persistence").
METHODS - We assembled a retrospective cohort of patients with OH aged ≥ 50 years enrolled in Tennessee Medicaid (1996-2008), and identified new episodes of midodrine and fludrocortisone use. Follow-up continued from the first medication fill through treatment discontinuation (90 days without medication), change in treatment, death, hospitalization, and loss of enrollment or study end. We compared persistence on treatment using Cox regression models and fludrocortisone as reference. Covariates included demographics, healthcare utilization measurements and co-morbidities.
RESULTS - We identified 1704 OH patients, who initiated 1767 episodes of fludrocortisone (1103) or midodrine (664) use. The median age was 69 years, 53% were female and 80% were white. During 738 person years of follow-up, episodes of use ended because of treatment discontinuation in 467 (27% fludrocortisone, 25% midodrine); treatment change in 72 (3% fludrocortisone, 6% midodrine) and death in 53 (3% fludrocortisone, 2% midodrine). Overall median persistence on fludrocortisone and midodrine was 254 (IQR: 119-783) and 259 (IQR: 119-807) days, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) for overall non-persistence on midodrine compared to fludrocortisone was 1.07 (95% CI: 0.90-1.28).
CONCLUSIONS - Overall duration of OH treatment with first-line medications was short, and similar for fludrocortisone and midodrine. Further research is warranted to determine the causes of this low persistence. (Words#234).
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES - Patterns of end-of-life care among patients with ESRD differ by race. Whether the magnitude of racial differences in end-of-life care varies across regions is not known.
DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS - This observational cohort study used data from the US Renal Data System and regional health care spending patterns from the Dartmouth Atlas of Healthcare. The cohort included 101,331 black and white patients 18 years and older who initiated chronic dialysis or received a kidney transplant between June 1, 2005, and September 31, 2008, and died before October 1, 2009. Black-white differences in the odds of in-hospital death, dialysis discontinuation, and hospice referral by quintile of end-of-life expenditure index (EOL-EI) were examined.
RESULTS - In adjusted analyses, the odds ratios for dialysis discontinuation for black versus white patients ranged from 0.47 (95% confidence interval=0.43 to 0.51) in the highest quintile of EOL-EI to 0.63 (95% confidence interval=0.54 to 0.74) in the lowest quintile (P for interaction<0.001). Hospice referral ranged from 0.55 (95% confidence interval=0.50 to 0.60) in the highest quintile of EOL-EI to 0.82 (95% confidence interval=0.69 to 0.96) in the lowest quintile (P for interaction<0.001). The association of race with in-hospital death also differed in magnitude across quintiles of EOL-EI, ranging from 1.21 (95% confidence interval=1.08 to 1.35) in the highest quintile of EOL-EI to 1.47 (95% confidence interval=1.27 to 1.71) in the second quintile (P for interaction<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS - There are pronounced black-white differences in patterns of hospice referral and dialysis discontinuation among patients with ESRD that vary substantially across regions of the United States.
BACKGROUND - Antiretroviral regimens with simplified dosing and better safety are needed to maximize the efficiency of antiretroviral delivery in resource-limited settings. We investigated the efficacy and safety of antiretroviral regimens with once-daily compared to twice-daily dosing in diverse areas of the world.
METHODS AND FINDINGS - 1,571 HIV-1-infected persons (47% women) from nine countries in four continents were assigned with equal probability to open-label antiretroviral therapy with efavirenz plus lamivudine-zidovudine (EFV+3TC-ZDV), atazanavir plus didanosine-EC plus emtricitabine (ATV+DDI+FTC), or efavirenz plus emtricitabine-tenofovir-disoproxil fumarate (DF) (EFV+FTC-TDF). ATV+DDI+FTC and EFV+FTC-TDF were hypothesized to be non-inferior to EFV+3TC-ZDV if the upper one-sided 95% confidence bound for the hazard ratio (HR) was ≤1.35 when 30% of participants had treatment failure. An independent monitoring board recommended stopping study follow-up prior to accumulation of 472 treatment failures. Comparing EFV+FTC-TDF to EFV+3TC-ZDV, during a median 184 wk of follow-up there were 95 treatment failures (18%) among 526 participants versus 98 failures among 519 participants (19%; HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.72-1.27; p = 0.74). Safety endpoints occurred in 243 (46%) participants assigned to EFV+FTC-TDF versus 313 (60%) assigned to EFV+3TC-ZDV (HR 0.64, CI 0.54-0.76; p<0.001) and there was a significant interaction between sex and regimen safety (HR 0.50, CI 0.39-0.64 for women; HR 0.79, CI 0.62-1.00 for men; p = 0.01). Comparing ATV+DDI+FTC to EFV+3TC-ZDV, during a median follow-up of 81 wk there were 108 failures (21%) among 526 participants assigned to ATV+DDI+FTC and 76 (15%) among 519 participants assigned to EFV+3TC-ZDV (HR 1.51, CI 1.12-2.04; p = 0.007).
CONCLUSION - EFV+FTC-TDF had similar high efficacy compared to EFV+3TC-ZDV in this trial population, recruited in diverse multinational settings. Superior safety, especially in HIV-1-infected women, and once-daily dosing of EFV+FTC-TDF are advantageous for use of this regimen for initial treatment of HIV-1 infection in resource-limited countries. ATV+DDI+FTC had inferior efficacy and is not recommended as an initial antiretroviral regimen.
TRIAL REGISTRATION - www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00084136. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.
OBJECTIVES - Little is known regarding the assessment and treatment of symptoms during end-of-life (EOL) care for children. This study was conducted to describe the circumstances surrounding the deaths of hospitalized terminally ill children, especially pain and symptom management by the multidisciplinary pediatric care team.
DESIGN - Patients in the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric critical care unit, or general pediatric units of Vanderbilt Children's Hospital who were hospitalized at the time of death, between July 1, 2000, and June 30, 2001, were identified. Children eligible for the survey had received inpatient EOL care at the hospital for at least 24 hours before death. A retrospective medical record review was completed to describe documentation of care for these children and their families during the last 72 hours of life.
RESULTS - Records of children who had received inpatient EOL care were identified (n = 105). A majority (87%) of children were in an intensive care setting at the time of death. Most deaths occurred in the pediatric critical care unit (56%), followed by the neonatal intensive care unit (31%). Pain medication was received by 90% of the children in the last 72 hours of life, and 55% received additional comfort care measures. The presence of symptoms other than pain was infrequently documented.
CONCLUSIONS - The duration of hospitalization for most children dying in this inpatient setting was sufficient for provision of interdisciplinary pediatric palliative care. Management of pain and other symptoms was accomplished for many children. The documentation of pain and symptom assessment and management can be improved but requires new tools.
BACKGROUND - Slow adaptation of new information by providers may result in suboptimal care.
OBJECTIVE - To evaluate changes in prescriptions for combination hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after a multicomponent intervention to deliver new information to patients and providers.
DESIGN - Quasi-experimental study with multiple baselines.
SETTING - Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (VA-TVHS).
PATIENTS - Female veterans age 50 to 79 years who had a prescription filled at the VA-TVHS for combination HRT between 1 January 2002 and 1 July 2002.
MEASUREMENTS - Discontinuation of HRT.
INTERVENTION - A 3-part intervention consisted of 1) notifying patients who were using combination HRT of the results of the Women's Health Initiative study (patient education component), 2) sending all providers an e-mail with the Women's Health Initiative study results (provider education component), and 3) placing an electronic alert in each eligible patient's chart (provider care component). The alert asked providers to reevaluate the need for combination HRT. The intervention was implemented at different VA-TVHS sites in a stepwise fashion to differentiate intervention effect from media effect. Study follow-up continued through 31 December 2002.
RESULTS - The total rate of discontinuation of combination HRT was 70.3% in 2002. The proportion of discontinuation from time of media release until intervention was 23.3%. After initiation of the intervention, an additional 43% of the original cohort discontinued use of HRT; this percentage represents a 59% relative decrease in HRT use among patients. After adjustment for time, the discontinuation rate per day was 4.9 times higher after the multifacted intervention than after the media release (95% CI, 1.8 to 13.1).
LIMITATIONS - A true control group is lacking.
CONCLUSION - A multifaceted approach in an integrated health care system with standardized methods of communication is an effective way to implement patient-centered, effective, and timely care with changing medical knowledge.