METHODS: The study was divided into two phases: (I) Marker discovery by miRNA microarray using paired cancer tissues (n = 30) and blood samples (CRC, n = 42; control, n = 18). (II) Marker validation by stem-loop reverse transcription real time PCR using an independent set of paired cancer tissues (n = 30) and blood samples (CRC, n = 70; control, n = 32). Correlation analysis was determined by Pearson's test. Logistic regression and receiver operating characteristics curve analyses were applied to obtain diagnostic utility of the miRNAs.
RESULTS: Seven miRNAs (miR-150, miR-193a-3p, miR-23a, miR-23b, miR-338-5p, miR-342-3p and miR-483-3p) have been found to be differentially expressed in both tissue and blood samples. Significant positive correlations were observed in the tissue and blood levels of miR-193a-3p, miR-23a and miR-338-5p. Moreover, increased expressions of these miRNAs were detected in the more advanced stages. MiR-193a-3p, miR-23a and miR-338-5p were demonstrated as a classifier for CRC detection, yielding a receiver operating characteristic curve area of 0.887 (80.0% sensitivity, 84.4% specificity and 83.3% accuracy).
CONCLUSION: Dysregulations in circulating blood miRNAs are reflective of those in colorectal tissues. The triple miRNA classifier of miR-193a-3p, miR-23a and miR-338-5p appears to be a potential blood biomarker for early detection of CRC.
METHODS/DESIGN: This is a cross sectional multi centre study. Three hospitals were included, the University of Malaya Medical Centre, the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre and Hospital Tuanku Jaafar Seremban. Malaysian citizens and permanent residence were studied and demographic and clinical information obtained from hospital records. The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of life Core 30, colorectal cancer CR29, and the colorectal cancer liver metastasis LMC 21 were used and an observer assessment of performance obtained with the Karnofsky Performance Scale. Questionnaires were translated into three most commonly spoken languages in Malaysia (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil), then administered, scored and analyzed following the developers' guidelines. Ethical approval was obtained from the participating centres. Tests of reliability and validity were performed to examine the validity of these instruments.
CONCLUSION: The result of pilot testing shows that the use of the Malaysian versions of EORTC QLQ C30, CR29 instruments is feasible in our sample of colorectal cancer patients. Instructions for completion as well as questions were well understood except the questions on the overall quality of life, overall health status and sexual activity. Thus we anticipate obtaining good psychometric properties for the instruments at the end of the study.
METHODS: A collaborative partnership comprising researchers from Malaysia and the UK as well as policy makers, public health experts and non-government organisations from Malaysia was formed to design, deliver and evaluate the Be Cancer Alert Campaign. Each awareness-raising campaign will run for five weeks (Colorectal Cancer in April 2018, followed by Breast Cancer in October 2018). Evaluation of the campaigns will take place in Gombak district (Colorectal Cancer) and Petaling district (Breast Cancer) respectively, in the form of a pre-post randomly selected household survey and collection of service utilisation data. Occupants who are aged 40-years and above and are able to answer questions independently will be selected from each household. A sample of 730 with 80% power will detect a change of 6.09% in knowledge that unexplained lump or swelling is a symptom of breast cancer or changes in bowel habits is a symptom of colorectal cancer.
DISCUSSION: Malaysia and most South-East Asian countries have a low middle-income economy, with limited resources for cancer control. Late-staged cancers impose a significant economic burden on patients, households, communities, employers, health systems and governments. Our proposed strategy for the implementation of the culturally sensitive mass media cancer awareness-raising campaign will serve as a blueprint for cancer prevention and control policy in South-East Asian countries where the burden of cancer is increasing and there are high cancer death rates.
METHODS: Participants aged ≥40 years (n = 730) from randomly selected households in Selangor State Malaysia, completed interview-based assessments. Campaign reach was assessed in terms of responses to an adapted questionnaire that was used in evaluations in other countries. The impact of the campaign was assessed in terms of awareness, confidence to detect symptoms and self-efficacy to discuss symptoms with a doctor as captured by the Cancer Awareness Measure (CAM). CAM was administered before-and-after campaign implementation and responses by BCAC recognisers (i.e. participants who recognised one or more of the BCAC television, radio or print advertisements when prompted) and non-recognisers (i.e. participants who did not recognise any of the BCAC advertisements) were compared analytically. Logistic regression analysed comparative differences in cancer awareness by socio-demographic characteristics and recognition of the BCAC materials.
RESULTS: Over 65% of participants (n = 484) recognised the BCAC-CRC. Campaign-recognisers were significantly more likely to be aware of each CRC symptom at follow-up and were more confident about noticing symptoms (46.9% vs 34.9%, p = 0.018) compared to non-recognisers. There was no difference between groups in terms of self-efficacy to see a doctor about symptoms. Improved symptoms awareness at follow-up was lower for Indians compared to Malays (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.53, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.34, 0.83, p = 0.005). Health service use data did not indicate an increase in screening activity during or immediately after the campaign months.
CONCLUSION: Overall, the findings of the evaluation indicated that the culturally adapted, evidence-based mass media intervention improved CRC symptom awareness among the Malaysian population; and that impact is more likely when a campaign operates a differentiated approach that matches modes of communication to the ethnic and social diversity in a population.
METHODS: This is a multicenter observational study of first-line afatinib in Malaysian patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutant advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients' demographic, clinical and treatment data, as well as resistance mechanisms to afatinib were retrospectively captured. The statistical methods included Chi-squared test and independent t-test for variables, Kaplan-Meier curve and log-rank test for survival, and Cox regression model for multivariate analysis.
RESULTS: Eighty-five patients on first-line afatinib from 1st October 2014 to 30th April 2018 were eligible for the study. EGFR mutations detected in tumors included exon 19 deletion in 80.0%, exon 21 L858R point mutation in 12.9%, and rare or complex EGFR mutations in 7.1% of patients. Among these patients, 18.8% had Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 2-4, 29.4% had symptomatic brain metastases and 17.6% had abnormal organ function. Afatinib 40 mg or 30 mg once daily were the most common starting and maintenance doses. Only one-tenth of patients experienced severe side-effects with none having grade 4 toxicities. The objective response rate was 76.5% while the disease control rate was 95.3%. At the time of analysis, 56 (65.9%) patients had progression of disease (PD) with a median progression-free survival (mPFS) of 14.2 months (95% CI, 11.85-16.55 months). Only 12.5% of the progressed patients developed new symptomatic brain metastases. The overall survival (OS) data was not mature. Thirty-three (38.8%) patients had died with a median OS of 28.9 months (95% CI, 19.82-37.99 months). The median follow-up period for the survivors was 20.0 months (95% CI, 17.49-22.51 months). Of patients with PD while on afatinib, 55.3% were investigated for resistance mechanisms with exon 20 T790 M mutation detected in 42.0% of them.
CONCLUSIONS: Afatinib is an effective first-line treatment for patients with EGFR-mutant advanced NSCLC with a good response rate and long survival, even in patients with unfavorable clinical characteristics. The side-effects of afatinib were manageable and T790 M mutation was the most common resistance mechanism causing treatment failure.