The management, analysis, and integration of Big Data have received increasing attention in healthcare research as well as in medical bioinformatics. The J-ASPECT study is the first nationwide survey in Japan on the real-world setting of stroke care using data obtained from the diagnosis procedure combination-based payment system. The J-ASPECT study demonstrated a significant association between comprehensive stroke care (CSC) capacity and the hospital volume of stroke interventions in Japan; further, it showed that CSC capabilities were associated with reduced in-hospital mortality rates. Our study aims to create new evidence and insight from ‘real world’ neurosurgical practice and stroke care in Japan using Big Data. The final aim of this study is to develop effective methods to bridge the evidence-practice gap in acute stroke healthcare. In this study, the authors describe the status and future perspectives of the development of a new method of stroke registry as a powerful tool for acute stroke care research.
We conducted this study to clarify the current trends and healthcare resource usage in the treatment of inpatients with primary malignant brain tumors. The Diagnostic Procedure Combination (DPC) data of all inpatients treated between 2013 and 2014 in the 370 core and branch hospitals enrolled in the Japanese Neurosurgical Society training program were collected. DPC is a discharge abstract and administrative claims database of inpatients. We assessed 6,142 primary, malignant brain tumor patients. Patient information, diagnostic information, treatment procedure, and healthcare resource usage were analyzed. Chemotherapy was the most frequent treatment (27% of cases), followed by surgery (13%) and surgery + chemo-radiotherapy (11%). Temozolomide (TMZ), the most frequently used chemotherapeutic drug, was administered to 1,236 patients. Concomitant TMZ and radiotherapy was administered to 816 patients, and was performed according to the Stupp regimen in many cases. The mean length of hospital stay (LOS) was 16 days, and the mean medical cost was 1,077,690 yen. The average medical cost of TMZ-only treatment was 1,138,620 yen whilst it was 4,424,300 yen in concomitant TMZ patients. The LOS was significantly shorter in high-volume than in low-volume hospitals, and the medical cost was higher in hospitals treating 21–50 patients compared to those treating 1–10 patients. However, the direct medical cost of TMZ treatment was the same across different volume hospitals. This is the first report of current trends and healthcare resource usage in the treatment of primary malignant brain tumor inpatients in the TMZ era in Japan.
Concomitant use of temozolomide (TMZ) and radiotherapy, which is the standard therapy for patients with high-grade glioma, involves a unique regimen with multiple-day, long-term administration. In a previous study, we showed not only higher incidence rates of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) during the overall study period, but also substantially higher incidence rates of moderate/severe nausea and particularly severe appetite suppression during the late phase of the treatment. Here, we prospectively evaluated the efficacy of a combination of palonosetron, aprepitant, and dexamethasone for CINV in patients treated with concomitant TMZ and radiotherapy. Twenty-one consecutive patients with newly diagnosed high-grade glioma were enrolled. CINV was recorded using a daily diary and included nausea assessment, emetic episodes, degree of appetite suppression, and use of antiemetic medication. The percentage of patients with a complete response in the overall period was 76.2%. The percentages of patients with no moderate/severe nausea were 90.5, 100, and 90.5% in the early phase, late phase, and overall period, respectively. Severe appetite suppression throughout the overall period completely disappeared. The combination of palonosetron, aprepitant, and dexamethasone was highly effective and well tolerated in patients treated with concomitant TMZ and radiotherapy. This combination of antiemetic therapy focused on delayed as well as acute CINV and may have the potential to overcome CINV associated with a multiple-day, long-term chemotherapy regimen.
Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) face a critical shortage of basic surgical services. Adequate neurosurgical services can have a far-reaching positive impact on society’s health care and, consequently, the economic development in LMICs. Yet surgery, and specifically neurosurgery has been a long neglected sector of global health. This article reviews the current efforts to enhance neurosurgery education in LMICs and outlines ongoing approaches for improvement. In addition, we introduce the concept of a sustainable and cost-effective model to enhance neurosurgical resources in LMICs and describe the process and methods of online curriculum development.