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עמוד בית
Sat, 25.05.24

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January 2022
Yael Feferman MD, Melinda Katz MD, Natalia Egorova PhD MPH, Umut Sarpel MD MSc, and Nina A. Bickell MD MPH

Background: Potentially preventable readmissions of surgical oncology patients offer opportunities to improve quality of care. Identifying and subsequently addressing remediable causes of readmissions may improve patient-centered care.

Objectives: To identify factors associated with potentially preventable readmissions after index cancer operation.

Methods: The New York State hospital discharge database was used to identify patients undergoing common cancer operations via principal diagnosis and procedure codes between the years 2010 and 2014. The 30-day readmissions were identified and risk factors for potentially preventable readmissions were analyzed using competing risk analysis.

Results: A total of 53,740 cancer surgeries performed for the following tumor types were analyzed: colorectal (CRC) (42%), kidney (22%), liver (2%), lung (25%), ovary (4%), pancreas (4%), and uterine (1%). The 30-day readmission rate was 11.97%, 47% of which were identified as potentially preventable. The most common cause of potentially preventable readmissions was sepsis (48%). Pancreatic cancer had the highest overall readmission rate (22%) and CRC had the highest percentage of potentially preventable readmissions (51%, hazard ratio [HR] 1.42, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.28–1.61). Risk factors associated with preventable readmissions included discharge disposition to a skilled nursing facility (HR 2.22, 95%CI 1.99–2.48) and the need for home healthcare (HR 1.61, 95%CI 1.48–1.75).

Conclusions: Almost half of the 30-day readmissions were potentially preventable and attributed to high rates of sepsis, surgical site infections, dehydration, and electrolyte disorders. These results can be further validated for identifying broad targets for improvement

December 2021
Galit Hirsh-Yechezkel PhD, Angela Chetrit MHA, Sivan Ben Avraham MSc, Abed Agbarya MD, Alexander Yakobson MD, Noam Asna MD, Gil Bar-Sela MD, Irit Ben-Aharon MD PhD, Noa Efrat Ben-Baruch MD, Raanan Berger MD PhD, Ronen Brenner MD, Maya Gottfried MD, Shani Paluch-Shimon MBBS MSc, Raphael Pfeffer MD, Aron Popovtzer MD, Larisa Ryvo MD, Valeriya Semenisty MD, Ayelet Shai MD PhD, Katerina Shulman MD, Jamal Zidan MD, and Ido Wolf MD

Background: The increased susceptibility of cancer patients to coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infections and complications calls for special precautions while treating cancer patients during COVID-19 pandemics. Thus, oncology departments have had to implement a wide array of prevention measures.

Objectives: To address issues associated with cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic and to assess the implementation of measures aimed at containment of COVID-19 diffusion while allowing continuation of quality cancer care.

Methods: A national survey among oncology departments in Israel was conducted between 12 April 2020 and 14 April 2020. Eighteen heads of hospital-based oncology departments completed a self-report questionnaire regarding their institute's preparedness for treatment of cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: In this national survey, prevention measures against COVID-19 spread were taken prior to patients' arrival and at arrival or while staying in the departments. Most participants (78–89%) reported using a quick triage of patients and caregivers prior to their entrance to the oncology units, limiting the entrance of caregivers, and reducing unnecessary visits to the clinic. Switching to oral therapies rather than intravenous ones when possible was considered by 82% and shortage in personal protective equipment was reported by five (28%) heads of oncology departments. Some differences between large and small/medium sized medical centers were observed regarding issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and changes in treatment.

Conclusions: Oncology departments in Israel were able to prepare and adapt their services to guidelines and requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic with little harm to their treatment capacity

Yuval Avda MD, Jonathan Modai MD, Igal Shpunt MD, Michael Dinerman MD, Yaniv Shilo MD, Roy Croock MD, Morad Jaber MD, Uri Lindner MD, and Dan Leibovici MD

Background: Patients with high-risk prostate cancer are at higher risk of treatment failure, development of metastatic disease, and mortality. There is no consensus on the treatment of choice for these patients, and either radical prostatectomy (RP) or external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) is recommended. Surgery is less common as the initial treatment for high-risk patients, possibly reflecting the concerns regarding morbidity as well as oncological and functional outcomes. Another high-risk group includes patients with failure of previous EBRT or focal treatment. For these patients, salvage radical prostatectomy (SRP) can be offered.

Objectives: To describe our experience with surgery of high-risk patients and SRP.

Methods: This cohort included all high-risk patients undergoing RP or SRP at our institution between January 2012 and December 2019. We reviewed the electronic medical charts and collected pathological, functional, and oncological outcomes.

Results: Our cohort included 39 patients; average age was 67.8 years, and average follow-up duration was 40.9 months. The most common postoperative morbidity was transfusion of packed cells. There were no life-threatening events or postoperative mortality. Continence was preserved (zero to one pad) in 76% of the patients. Twenty-three patients (59%) had undetectable prostate specific antigen levels following the surgery, 11 (30%) were treated with either adjuvant or salvage EBRT, and 12 patients (31%) were found with no evidence of disease and no additional treatment was needed.

Conclusions: Radical prostatectomy and SRP are safe options for patients presenting with high-risk prostate cancer, with good functional and oncological outcomes.

Myroslav Lutsyk MD, Konstantin Gourevich MD, and Zohar Keidar MD

Background: For locally advanced rectal cancer patients a watch-and-wait strategy is an acceptable treatment option in cases of complete tumor response. Clinicians need robust methods of patient selection after neoadjuvant chemoradiation.

Objectives: To predict pathologic complete response (pCR) using computer vision. To analyze radiomic wavelet transform to predict pCR.

Methods: Neoadjuvant chemoradiation for patients with locally advanced rectal adenocarcinoma who passed computed tomography (CT)-based simulation procedures were examined. Gross tumor volume was examind on the set of CT simulation images. The volume has been analyzed using radiomics software package with wavelets feature extraction module. Statistical analysis using descriptive statistics and logistic regression was performed was used. For prediction evaluation a multilayer perceptron algorithm and Random Forest model were used.

Results: In the study 140 patients with II–III stage cancer were included. After a long course of chemoradiation and further surgery the pathology examination showed pCR in 38 (27.1%) of the patients. CT-simulation images of tumor volume were extracted with 850 parameters (119,000 total features). Logistic regression showed high value of wavelet contribution to model. A multilayer perceptron model showed high predictive importance of wavelet. We applied random forest analysis for classifying the texture and predominant features of wavelet parameters. Importance was assigned to wavelets.

Conclusions: We evaluated the feasibility of using non-diagnostic CT images as a data source for texture analysis combined with wavelets feature analysis for predicting pCR in locally advanced rectal cancer patients. The model performance showed the importance of including wavelets features in radiomics analysis.

November 2021
Hayim Gilshtein MD, Mariya Neymark MD, Asaf Harbi MD, Myroslav Lutsyk MD, and Daniel Duek MD

Background: The learning curve for transition from open to laparoscopic proctectomies is difficult. Most surgeons have considerable laparoscopic experience prior to performing robotic-assisted procedures. There are data regarding the transition from open to robotic proctectomies. Minimally invasive anterior resection for rectal cancer has gained widespread popularity in recent years, especially when using a robotic platform.

Objectives: To analyze the experience to the transition from open to robotic anterior resection for rectal cancer.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of a computerized database. All patients who had a robotic-assisted proctectomy between December 2016 and March 2019 were included and were compared to patients who underwent an open anterior resection in the same time period. A single experienced colorectal surgeon with no prior experience in colorectal laparoscopic surgery performed the procedures.

Results: During the study period, 55 patients underwent robotic-assisted proctectomy and 55 had an open proctectomy. Patients had similar pre-operative demographic and clinical characteristics with the majority of patients receiving neoadjuvant chemoradiation. The surgical time was significantly lower in the open surgery group (168 minutes vs. 310 minutes, P = 0.005). Both the surgical and pathological outcomes did not differ significantly between the two groups, with good short-term oncologic outcomes and low complication rates.

Conclusions: The transition from open to robotic-assisted proctectomy is feasible and safe and provides a good alternative for undertaking a minimally invasive surgery for the experienced open colorectal surgeon

September 2021
Ariel Kerpel MD, Edith Michelle Marom MD, Michael Green PhD, Michal Eifer MD, Eli Konen MD, Arnaldo Mayer PhD, and Sonia L. Betancourt Cuellar MD

Background: Medical imaging and the resultant ionizing radiation exposure is a public concern due to the possible risk of cancer induction.

Objectives: To assess the accuracy of ultra-low-dose (ULD) chest computed tomography (CT) with denoising versus normal dose (ND) chest CT using the Lung CT Screening Reporting and Data System (Lung-RADS).

Methods: This prospective single-arm study comprised 52 patients who underwent both ND and ULD scans. Subsequently AI-based denoising methods were applied to produce a denoised ULD scan. Two chest radiologists independently and blindly assessed all scans. Each scan was assigned a Lung-RADS score and grouped as 1 + 2 and 3 + 4.

Results: The study included 30 men (58%) and 22 women (42%); mean age 69.9 ± 9 years (range 54–88). ULD scan radiation exposure was comparable on average to 3.6–4.8% of the radiation depending on patient BMI. Denoising increased signal-to-noise ratio by 27.7%. We found substantial inter-observer agreement in all scans for Lung-RADS grouping. Denoised scans performed better than ULD scans when negative likelihood ratio (LR-) was calculated (0.04–-0.08 vs. 0.08–0.12). Other than radiation changes, diameter measurement differences and part-solid nodules misclassification as a ground-glass nodule caused most Lung-RADS miscategorization.

Conclusions: When assessing asymptomatic patients for pulmonary nodules, finding a negative screen using ULD CT with denoising makes it highly unlikely for a patient to have a pulmonary nodule that requires aggressive investigation. Future studies of this technique should include larger cohorts and be considered for lung cancer screening as radiation exposure is radically reduced.

July 2021
Sharon Tamir MA, Daniel Kurnik MD, Myriam Weyl Ben-Arush MD, and Sergey Postovsky MD

Background: Decisions on medication treatment in children dying from cancer are often complex and may result in polypharmacy and increased medication burden. There is no information on medication burden in pediatric cancer patients at the end of life (EOL).

Objectives: To characterize medication burden during the last hospitalization in children dying from cancer

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study based on medical records of 90 children who died from cancer in hospital between 01 January 2010 and 30 December 2018. Demographic and clinical information were collected for the last hospitalization. We compared medication burden (number of medication orders) at hospitalization and at time of death and examined whether changes in medication burden were associated with clinical and demographic parameters.

Results: Median medication burden was higher in leukemia/lymphoma patients (6 orders) compared to solid (4 orders) or CNS tumor patients (4 orders, P = 0.006). Overall, the median number of prescriptions per patient did not change until death (P = 0.42), while there was a significant reduction for some medication subgroups (chemotherapy [P = 0.035], steroids [P = 0.010]).Patients dying in the ICU (n=15) had a higher medication burden at death (6 orders) than patients dying on wards (3 orders, P = 0.001). There was a trend for a reduction in medication burden in patients with “Do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders (P = 0.055).

Conclusions: Polypharmacy is ubiquitous among pediatric oncology patients at EOL. Disease type and DNR status may affect medication burden and deprescribing during the last hospitalization.

June 2021
David Hovel MD, Bernardo Melamud MD, and Eran Israeli MD
February 2021
Dorit E. Zilberman MD, Yasmin Abu-Ghanem MD, Gil Raviv MD, Barak Rosenzweig MD, Eddie Fridman MD, Orith Portnoy MD, and Zohar A Dotan MD PhD

Background: Little is known about oncologic outcomes following robot-assisted-radical-prostatectomy (RALP) for clinical T3 (cT3) prostate cancer.

Objectives: To investigate oncologic outcomes of patients with cT3 prostate cancer treated by RALP.

Methods: Medical records of patients who underwent RALP from 2010 to 2018 were retrieved. cT3 cases were reviewed. Demographic and pre/postoperative pathology data were analyzed. Patients were followed in 3–6 month intervals with repeat PSA analyses. Adjuvant/salvage treatments were monitored. Biochemical recurrence (BCR) meant PSA levels of ≥ 0.2 ng/ml.

Results: Seventy-nine patients met inclusion criteria. Median age at surgery was 64 years. Preoperative PSA level was 7.14 ng/dl, median prostate weight was 54 grams, and 23 cases (29.1%) were down-staged to pathological stage T2. Positive surgical margin rate was 42%. Five patients were lost to follow-up. Median follow-up time for the remaining 74 patients was 24 months. Postoperative relapse in PSA levels occurred in 31 patients (42%), and BCR in 28 (38%). Median time to BCR was 9 months. The overall 5-year BCR-free survival rate was 61%. Predicting factors for BCR were age (hazard-ratio [HR] 0.85, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.74–0.97, P = 0.017) and prostate weight (HR 1.04, 95%CI 1.01–1.08, P = 0.021). Twenty-six patients (35%) received adjuvant/salvage treatments. Three patients died from metastatic prostate cancer 31, 52, and 78 months post-surgery. Another patient died 6 months post-surgery of unknown reasons. The 5-year cancer-specific survival rate was 92%.

Conclusions: RALP is an oncologic effective procedure for cT3 prostate cancer. Adjuvant/salvage treatment is needed to achieve optimal disease-control

January 2021
Eden Moore, Barbara G. Silverman MD MPH, Yehudit Fishler, Etty Ben-Adiva MPH, Olga Davidov MBA, Rita Dichtiar MPH, Hila Edri, Miriam Zatlawi MPH, and Lital Keinan-Boker MD PhD MPH

Background: The Israel National Cancer Registry (INCR) was established in 1960. Reporting has been mandatory since 1982. All neoplasms of uncertain/unknown behavior, in situ and invasive malignancies (excluding basal and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin), and benign neoplasms of the brain and central nervous system (CNS) are reportable.

Objectives: To assess completeness and timeliness of the INCR for cases diagnosed or treated in 2005.

Methods: Abstractors identified cases of in situ and invasive malignancies and tumors of benign and uncertain behavior of the brain and CNS diagnosed or treated in 2005 in the files of medical records departments, pathology and cytology laboratories, and oncology and hematology institutes in 39 Israeli medical facilities. Cases were linked to the INCR database by national identity number. Duplicate cases, and those found to be non-reportable were excluded from analysis. Completeness was calculated as the percent of reportable cases identified by the survey that were present in the registry. Timeliness was calculated as the percent of reportable cases diagnosed in 2005, which were incorporated into the registry prior to 31 December 2007.

Results: The INCR’s completeness is estimated at 93.7% for all reportable diseases, 96.8% for invasive solid tumors, and 88.0% for hematopoietic tumors. Incident cases for the calendar year 2005 were less likely to be present in the registry database than those diagnosed prior to 2005.

Conclusions: Completeness and timeliness of the INCR are high and meet international guidelines. Fully automated reporting will likely improve the quality and timeliness of INCR data.

December 2020
Amir Bar-Shai MD, Rafael Y. Brzezinski BMedSc, Ahsen Al Qaied MD, Philip Tsenter MD, Svetlana Kolontaevsky MD, and Anna Breslavsky MD

Background: Lung percutaneous needle biopsy (PNB) is routinely used to diagnose lung cancer. The most prevalent complications of PNB are pneumothorax and bleeding. Differences in characteristics of medical procedures between rural and urban hospitals are well known.

Objectives: To compare characteristics of patients and lesions between two hospitals and to evaluate whether lung PNB complications differ in rural vs. urban settings.

Methods: The authors examined case records of 561 patients who underwent lung biopsy at two different medical centers in Israel: Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (urban) and Barzilai Medical Center (rural). To evaluate the complication rates, the authors analyzed findings from chest X-ray performed 2 hours after biopsy and computed tomography (CT) images at the site of biopsy.

Results: The study comprised 180 patients who underwent lung biopsy at Barzilai and 454 at Sourasky. The rate of pneumothorax did not differ between centers (12% at Barzilai and 19% at Sourasky, P = 0.08). Distance from pleura was positively correlated to pneumothorax occurrence in both centers; however, neither lesion size nor lesion locus was found to be a risk factor for pneumothorax. Mild bleeding at the biopsy site occurred equally at Barzilai and Sourasky (32% vs. 36%, P = 0.3, respectively). Furthermore, immediate CT post-biopsy at Barzilai showed 95% negative predictive value, showing that a CT scan performed immediately after lung biopsy cannot replace the routine follow-up chest X-ray in predicting iatrogenic pneumothorax.

Conclusions: CT-guided percutaneous lung biopsies are comparable between rural and urban hospitals regarding procedure characteristics and complication rates.

Michael Peled MD, Jair Bar MD, Liat Avni MD, Sumit Chatterji MD, Dafna Somech MD, Addie Dvir MD, Lior Soussan-Gutman MD, and Amir Onn MD

Background: Guidelines recommend testing for multiple biomarkers in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tumors. Blood-based liquid biopsy analyzing cell-free DNA (cfDNA) could be used in addition to tumor biopsy genotyping, especially if tissue/time are limiting.

Objectives: To investigate the clinical utility of early cfDNA analysis (Guardant360® CDx) in treatment-naïve NSCLC patients.

Methods: A prospective cohort of treatment-naïve patients with metastatic NSCLC who underwent tumor and cfDNA analysis between 12/2018 and 2/2019 were included.

Results: Ten patients were included: 6 males, median age 70.5 years (range 48–87), 8 prior smokers. Liquid biopsy was sent when cancer cells were detected in the biopsy specimen. Median time from diagnosis to receiving the report on the last biomarker from the tumor biopsy was 20 days (range 9–34); median time from blood draw to receiving the cfDNA findings was 9 days (range 7–12). The median difference between the cfDNA and the tumor analysis reports was 20 days (range 9–28). Actionable biomarkers were identified in four patients by both the biopsy analysis and the cfDNA analysis (2cases with EGFR mutations, one with ROS1 fusion, and one with EML4-ALK fusion for whom the biopsy analysis also identified an EGFR mutation not detected in the cfDNA analysis). Overall, eight patients received treatment (2 died before treatment initiation). Three patients received biomarker-based treatment (1 osimertinib, 1 alectinib, and 1 crizotinib).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that cfDNA analysis should be ordered by the pulmonologists early in the evaluation of patients with NSCLC, which might complement the tumor biopsy.

Jair Bar MD PhD, Marina Perelman MD, Damien Urban MD, Maya Gottfried MD, Mor Moskovitz MD, Hovav Nechushtan MD PhD, Julia Dudnik MD, Alona Zer MD, Elizabeth Dudnik MD, Ofer Merimsky MD, Amir Onn MD, Barbara Silverman MD

Background: Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death.

Objectives: To identify changing patterns of lung cancer and its histologic subtypes among different population groups in Israel over a 25 year period.

Methods: Primary lung cancers, all types and all stages, diagnosed during 1990–2014 were recorded in the Israel National Cancer Registry database. Demographic information was retrieved from the National Population Register. Age-standardized rates for the different subgroups were calculated for each year. Joinpoint software was used to analyze trends in incidence.

Results: We identified 42,672 lung cancer cases. The most common histology was adenocarcinoma (34%), followed by squamous cell carcinoma (19%), large cell/not-otherwise-specified (19%), other histologies (15%), and small cell lung cancer (11%). The adenocarcinoma incidence rose from 25.7% to 48.2% during the examined period. Large cell/not-otherwise-specified incidence peaked around 2005–2006 and declined after. Lung cancer incidence increased significantly for the population overall and specifically in Arab females, followed by Jewish females and by Arab males. Adenocarcinoma and small cell lung cancer increased in Jewish females and in Arab males. A younger age of diagnosis was seen in Arab compared to Jewish patients.

Conclusions: Jewish females and Arab males and females living in Israel demonstrated a constant increase in lung cancer incidence, mostly in adenocarcinoma and small cell lung cancer incidence. In addition, a younger age of diagnosis in Arabs was noted. Smoking reduction interventions and screening should be implemented in those populations.

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