MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study was conducted at the Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. All patients with histologically confirmed recurrent NPC in the absence of distant metastasis treated in the period 1997-2010 were included in this study. These patients were treated with ICBT alone or in combination with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). Treatment outcomes measured were local recurrence free survival (LRFS), disease free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS: Thirty three patients were eligible for this study. The median age at recurrence was 56 years with a median time to initial local recurrence of 27 months. Majority of patients were staged as rT1-2 (94%) or rN0 (82%). The proportion of patients categorised as stage III-IV at first local recurrence was only 9%. Twenty one patients received a combination of ICBT and external beam radiotherapy while 12 patients were treated with ICBT alone. Median interval of recurrence post re-irradiation was 32 months (range: 4-110 months). The median LRFS, DFS and OS were 30 months, 29 months and 36 months respectively. The 5 year LRFS, DFS and OS were 44.7%, 38.8% and 28.1% respectively. The N stage at recurrence was found to be a significant prognostic factor for LRFS and DFS after multivariate analysis. Major late complications occurred in 34.9% of our patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows ICBT was associated with a reasonable long term outcome in salvaging recurrent NPC although major complications remained a significant problem. The N stage at recurrence was a significant prognostic factor for both LRFS and DFS.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: All newly diagnosed patients with NPC referred for treatment to the Oncology unit at UMMC from 2004-2008 were retrospectively analyzed. Treatment outcomes were 5 years overall survival (OS), disease free survival (DFS), cause-specific survival (CSS), loco- regional control (LRC) and radiotherapy-related late effects. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis and differences in survival according to AJCC stage was compared using the log-rank test.
RESULTS: A total of 176 patients with newly diagnosed NPC were treated in UMMC during this period. Late presentation was common, with 33.5% presenting with T3-4 disease, 84.7% with N1-3 disease and 75.6% with AJCC stage 3-4 disease. Radical RT was given to 162 patients with 22.7% having RT alone and 69.3% having CCRT. The stipulated OTT was 7 weeks and 72.2% managed to complete their RT within this time period. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy was given to 14.8% while adjuvant chemotherapy was administered to 16.5%. The 5 years OS was 51.6% with a median follow up of 58 months. The 5 years OS according to stage were 81.8% for stage I, 77.9% for stage II, 47.4% for stage III and 25.9% for stage IV. The 5 years overall CSS, DFS and LRC were 54.4%, 48.4% and 70.6%, respectively. RT related late effects were documented in 80.2%. The commonest was xerostomia (66.7%). Other documented late effects were hearing deficit (17.3%), visual deficit (3.1%), neck stiffness (3.1%) , dysphagia (3.4%), cranial nerve palsy (2.5%), pneumonitis (0.6%) and hypothyroidism (1.2%).
CONCLUSIONS: The 5 years OS and LRC in this study are low compared to the latest studies especially those utilizing IMRT. Implementation of IMRT for NPC treatment should be strongly encouraged.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: All newly diagnosed patients with squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (HNSCC) referred for treatment to the Oncology Unit at UMMC from 2003-2010 were retrospectively analyzed. Treatment outcomes were 5-year overall survival (OS), cause specific survival (CSS), loco-regional control (LRC) and radiotherapy (RT) related side effects. Kaplan-Meier and log rank analyses were used to determine survival outcomes, stratified according to American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage.
RESULTS: A total of 130 cases were analysed. Most cases (81.5%) were at late stage (AJCC III-IVB) at presentation. The 5-year OS for the whole study population was 34.4% with a median follow up of 24 months. The 5-year OS according to AJCC stage was 100%, 48.2%, 41.4% and 22.0% for stage I, II, III and IVA-B, respectively. The 5-year overall CSS and LCR were 45.4% and 55.4%, respectively. Late effects of RT were documented in 41.4% of patients. The most common late effect was xerostomia.
CONCLUSIONS: The treatment outcome of HNSCC at our centre is lagging behind those of developed nations. Efforts to increase the number of patients presenting in earlier stages, increase in the use of combined modality treatment, especially concurrent chemoradiotherapy and implementation of intensity modulated radiotherapy, may lead to better outcomes for our HNC patients.
METHODS: This retrospective study of Stage III breast cancer patients was conducted over a 5 year period from 1998 to 2002. The survival data were obtained from the National Registry of Births and Deaths with the end-point of the study in April 2006. The Kaplan Meier method was applied for survival analysis. Cox regression analysis by stepwise selection was performed to identify important prognostic factors.
RESULTS: Out of a 155 evaluable patients, 74 (47.7%) had primary surgery, 62 (40%) had neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 10 patients (6.5%) were given Tamoxifen as the primary treatment, while 9 patients (5.8%) defaulted any form of treatment. After neoadjuvant chemotherapy, 9 patients defaulted further treatment, leaving 53 evaluable patients. Out of these 53 evaluable patients, 5 patients (9.4%) had complete pathological response, 5 (9.4%) a complete clinical response, and 26 (49.1%) had partial response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The 5-year survival in the primary surgery group was 56.7 % compared to 44.7% in the neoadjuvant chemotherapy group (p<0.01). The important prognostic factors were race, size of tumour, nodal status, estrogen receptor status and response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
CONCLUSION: Patients who had primary surgery had better survival than those who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy, which may be due to bias in the selection of patients for neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Out of a total of 155 patients, 25.1% defaulted part of the treatment, or did not receive optimal treatment, emphasizing the importance of psychosocial support and counselling for this group of patients.
AIMS: This study aimed to translate, adapt and validate the internationally recognised Breast Cancer Awareness Measure (B-CAM) into the Malay language.
METHODS: The original B-CAM (Cancer Research UK) was forward and backward translated and content validation was ascertained. Face validity (n=30), test-retest reliability (n=50) and the internal consistency of the B-CAM-M (M for Malay language) were assessed in a community sample of adults (n=251) in 2018.
RESULTS: The translated B-CAM-M was validated by an expert panel. The Item-Content Validity Index ranged from .83 to 1.00. The results from the survey (n=251) indicated that the B-CAM-M was well received by Malay-speaking women across the main ethnic groups (85 Malay, 84 Chinese and 82 Indian adults). Cronbach alpha scores for the knowledge about breast cancer symptoms (0.83) and the barriers to healthcare seeking items (0.75) were high. Test-retest reliability (separated by 2-week-interval) with 50 randomly selected participants from the community survey produced intra-class correlations ranging from 0.39 to 0.69.
CONCLUSION: The Malay-version, the B-CAM-M, is a culturally acceptable, valid and reliable assessment tool with which to measure breast cancer awareness among Malay-speaking women.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 81 cases of oral cancers were matched with 162 controls in this hospital-based study. Information on sociodemographic characteristics and details of risk habits (duration, frequency and type of tobacco consumption and betel quid chewing) were collected. Association between smoking and betel quid chewing with oral cancer were analysed using conditional logistic regression.
RESULTS: Slightly more than half of the cases (55.6%) were smokers where 88.9% of them smoked kretek. After adjusting for confounders, smokers have two fold increased risk, while the risk for kretek consumers and those smoking for more than 10 years was increased to almost three-fold. Prevalence of betel quid chewing among cases and controls was low (7.4% and 1.9% respectively). Chewing of at least one quid per day, and quid combination of betel leaf, areca nut, lime and tobacco conferred a 5-6 fold increased risk.
CONCLUSIONS: Smoking is positively associated with oral cancer risk. A similar direct association was also seen among betel quid chewers.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 197 participants were randomly assigned to either the 8-week Kuala Lumpur Qigong Trial or control groups in 2010-2011. Measurement taken at baseline and post- intervention included QoL, distress and fatigue. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and Kruskal Wallis were used to examine for differences between groups in the measurements.
RESULTS: There were 95 consenting participants in this 8week trial. The adherence rates were 63% for Qigong and 65% for the placebo group. The Qigong group showed significant marginal improvement in Quality of life scores compared to placebo (mean difference=7.3 unit; p=0.036), compared to usual care (mean difference=6.7 unit; p=0.048) on Functional Assessment Cancer Therapy-Breast measure. There were no significant changes between the placebo and usual care groups in fatigue or distress at post intervention (8-week).
CONCLUSIONS: Cancer survivors who participated in the Qigong intervention showed slightly better QOL. Follow up studies are greatly needed to evaluate which subgroups may best benefit from Qigong. With a steep rise of cancer survivors, there is an urgent need to explore and engage more cultural means of physical activity to fight side effects of treatment and for cancer control in developing countries.
METHODS: A quasi experimental interventional study involving 166 non-smokers adolescents, aged 13 to 14 years old were carried out in two schools located in two different suburbs. Both schools had equal number of participants. One school was given the smoking prevention module for intervention while the control school only received the module after the study had been completed. The knowledge on smoking and its harmful effects and smoking refusal skill score were assessed using a set of validated Malay questionnaires at baseline, two weeks and eight weeks after the intervention. Repeated measure ANCOVA was used to analyse the mean score difference of both groups at baseline and after intervention.
RESULT: Baseline analysis shows no significant difference in knowledge score between the study groups (p = 0.713) while post intervention, it shows significant inclination of knowledge score in intervention group and the difference was significant after controlling the gender [F(df) = 15.96(1.5), p <0.001]. The mean baseline for refusal skills score in the control and intervention groups were 30.89(6.164) and 28.02(6.241) respectively (p= 0.003). Post intervention, there is a significant difference in the crude mean and the estimated marginal means for smoking refusal skills score between the two groups after controlling for sex [F(df) = 5.66(1.8), p = 0.005].
CONCLUSION: This smoking prevention module increased the level of knowledge on smoking and its harmful effects and smoking refusal skill among the secondary school students. Thus, it is advocated to be used as one of the standard modules to improve the current method of teaching in delivering knowledge related to harmful effects of smoking and smoking refusal skill to the adolescents in Malaysia.