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  1. Ganesh S, Lye MS, Lau FN
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2016;17(4):1677-84.
    PMID: 27221837
    BACKGROUND: Among the factors reported to determine the quality of life of breast cancer patients are socio- demographic background, clinical stage, type of treatment received, and the duration since diagnosis.

    OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the quality of life (QOL) scores among breast cancer patients at a Malaysian public hospital.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study of breast cancer patients was conducted between March to June 2013. QOL scores were determined using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and its breast cancer supplementary measure (QLQ-BR23). Both the QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BR23 assess items from functional and symptom scales. The QLQ-C30 in addition also measures the Global Health Status (GHS). Systematic random sampling was used to recruit patients.

    RESULTS: 223 breast cancer patients were recruited with a response rate of 92.1%. The mean age of the patients was 52.4 years (95% CI = 51.0, 53.7, SD=10.3). Majority of respondents are Malays (60.5%), followed by Chinese (19.3%), Indians (18.4%), and others (1.8%). More than 50% of respondents are at stage III and stage IV of malignancy. The mean Global Health Status was 65.7 (SD = 21.4). From the QLQ-C30, the mean score in the functioning scale was highest for 'cognitive functioning' (84.1, SD=18.0), while the mean score in the symptom scale was highest for 'financial difficulties' (40.1, SD=31.6). From the QLQ-BR23, the mean score for functioning scale was highest for 'body image' (80.0, SD=24.6) while the mean score in the symptom scale was highest for 'upset by hair loss' (36.2, SD=29.4). Two significant predictors for Global Health Status were age and employment. The predictors explained 10.6% of the variation of global health status (R2=0.106).

    CONCLUSIONS: Age and employment were found to be significant predictors for Global Health Status (GHS). The Quality of Life among breast cancer patients reflected by the GHS improves as age and employment increases.

  2. Lee WC, Yusof MM, Lau FN, Phua VC
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2013;14(6):3941-4.
    PMID: 23886211
    BACKGROUND: The use of preoperative chemoirradiation is the commonest treatment strategy employed in Malaysia for locally advanced rectal cancer. We need to determine the local control and survival rates for comparison with established rates in the literature.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: This retrospective study analyzed all newly diagnosed patients with rectal adenocarcinoma who underwent long course preoperative radiotherapy (RT) at the Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) between 1st January 2004 and 31st December 2010. The aim of the study was to determine the radiological response post radiotherapy, pathological response including circumferential resection margin (CRM) status, 3 years local control, 3 years overall survival (OS) and 3 years disease free survival (DFS). Statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS software. Kaplan-Meier and log rank analysis were used to determine survival outcomes.

    RESULTS: A total of 507 patients with rectal cancer underwent RT at HKL. Sixty seven who underwent long course preoperative RT were eligible for this study. The median age at diagnosis was 60 years old with a range of 26-78 years. The median tumour location was 6 cm from the anal verge. Most patients had suspicion of mesorectum involvement (95.5%) while 28.4% of patients had enlarged pelvic nodes on staging CT scan. All patients underwent preoperative chemo-irradiation except for five who had preoperative RT alone. Only 38 patients underwent definitive surgery (56.7%). Five patients were deemed to be inoperable radiologically and 3 patients were found to have unresectable disease intraoperatively. The remaining 21 patients defaulted surgery (31.3%). The median time from completion of RT to surgery was 8 weeks (range 5.6 to 29.4 weeks). Fifteen patients (39.5%) had surgery more than 8 weeks after completion of RT. Complete pathological response was noted in 4 patients (10.5%). The pathological CRM positive rate after RT was 18.4%. With a median follow-up of 38.8 months, the 3 year local control rate was 67%. The 3 years rate for CRM positive (<2 mm), CRM clear (>2 mm) and pCR groups were 0%, 88.1% and 100% respectively (p-value of 0.007). The 3 year OS and DFS were 57.3% and 44.8% respectively.

    CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the approach of long course preoperative chemoirradiation for rectal cancer needs to be re-examined in our local setting. The high rate of local recurrence is worrying and is mainly due to patient defaulting post-preoperative chemoirradiation or delayed definitive surgery.
  3. Cheah SK, Lau FN, Yusof MM, Phua VC
    Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev., 2014 Jan;14(11):6513-8.
    PMID: 24377559
    BACKGROUND: To evaluate the treatment outcome and major late complications of all patients with recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) treated with intracavitary brachytherapy (ICBT) in Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

    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.

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