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issues in oncology

One in Five Cancers Diagnosed in the United States Is a Rare Cancer

About one in five cancer diagnoses in the United States is a rare cancer, according to new research from the American Cancer Society. The report, published by DeSantis et al in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, found rare cancers account for more than two in three cancers occurring in children...

issues in oncology
pain management

New Canadian Guideline Provides Advice to Physicians to Avoid Overprescribing of Opioids

Opioid overdoses are claiming the lives of thousands of Canadians. The impact of the opioid crisis continues to be devastating to individuals, families, and communities. Inappropriate prescribing of opioids has led to long-term dependence on this class of drugs. To help address problematic...

issues in oncology

ONS 2017: Hospital-Wide Initiative to Standardize the Administration of Vinca Alkaloids Using a Mini-Bag, Side-Arm Technique

Many patients with cancer who receive vinca alkaloids such as vincristine have a treatment regimen including other chemotherapy drugs that are administered intrathecally. If vincristine is mistakenly administered into the spinal fluid, it is uniformly fatal, causing ascending paralysis, neurologic...

issues in oncology

ASCO-NCI Collaboration Finds Widespread Benefits of Centralizing Coverage Analyses for Multisite Clinical Trials

ASCO has released findings from a collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that explored centralizing the development of coverage analyses for multisite cancer clinical trials. In an ASCO special article published by Szczepanek et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice,...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

ESTRO 2017: ESTRO Announces GIRO, a Project to Save 1 Million Lives in Under 20 Years

Although radiation therapy is an essential part of modern cancer treatment, and is indicated for about half of all new cancer patients, facilities for its provision are sadly lacking in many countries worldwide. Indeed, 29 out of 52 African nations have no radiotherapy facilities whatsoever. At the ...

issues in oncology

WHO to Begin Pilot Prequalification of Biosimilars for Cancer Treatment

This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) will launch a pilot project for prequalifying biosimilar medicines, a step toward making some of the most expensive treatments for cancer more widely available in low- and middle-income countries. The decision comes after a 2-day meeting in Geneva...

issues in oncology

New Spanish-Language Videos and Brochures From ASTRO Provide an Overview of Radiation Therapy

Spanish-speaking patients with cancer have new tools to help them understand treatment options for their disease. The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has released a series of Spanish-language patient videos on radiation therapy for cancer, including breast, prostate, lung, brain,...

issues in oncology

Children Conceived After Fertility Treatments May Be at Increased Risk for Pediatric Cancers

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have found that babies born to mothers who underwent fertility treatments may be at increased risk of developing types of pediatric malignancies and neoplasms. The study, published by Wainstock et al in the American Journal of Obstetrics &...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Higher Costs for Complex Cancer Surgery May Be an Indicator of Lower-Quality Care

Higher costs for complex cancer surgery may be an indicator of worse—rather than better—quality of care, according to new research by experts at Rice University and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Their findings are published by Ho et al in Surgery, and provide...

issues in oncology

Second Cancers May Be Deadlier in Pediatric, Adolescent, and Young Adult Patients

Second cancers in children as well as adolescents and young adults (AYAs) are far deadlier than they are in older adults and may partially account for the relatively poor outcomes of cancer patients aged 15 to 39 years overall, according to a new study by University of California (UC), Davis...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

ELCC 2017: Patients With Lung Cancer Treated With PD-1/PD-L1 Checkpoint Inhibitors May Experience Adverse Events After Influenza Vaccination

Patients with lung cancer treated with programmed cell death protein 1/programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) checkpoint inhibitors may be at increased risk of adverse events after receiving the seasonal influenza vaccination, according to the first study measuring this effect. The results, to ...

issues in oncology

FDA Takes Action Against 14 Companies for Selling Illegal Cancer Treatments

On April 25, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted warning letters addressed to 14 U.S.-based companies illegally selling more than 65 products that fraudulently claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure cancer. The products are marketed and sold without FDA approval, most commonly on ...

issues in oncology

Predictors of Adherence to Oral Chemotherapy

In a single-center study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Jacobs et al found that improved satisfaction with clinician communication and treatment was the strongest predictor of treatment adherence in patients receiving oral anticancer medication. Study Details The prospective study...

issues in oncology

Medical Groups Unite in Support of March for Science

Twenty-five of the nation’s leading medical groups issued this statement on April 17: As the world's leading organizations representing clinicians, laboratory researchers, and physician-scientists committed to improving patient care, we support the March for Science and its nonpartisan call...

issues in oncology

ASCO Research Statement: Tapping the Potential of Observational Research

In a research statement reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Visvanathan et al, ASCO has outlined steps for incorporating high-quality observational research into the evidence base for clinical decision-making. As stated by the authors: “ASCO believes that high-quality...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Link Between Telomere Length and Neighborhood Circumstances

Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have begun to establish a biological basis for the long-held but not well-tested theory that neighborhood exposures can impact health outcomes. Shannon Lynch, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase, led a team...

issues in oncology

Annual Report to the Nation: Cancer Death Rates Continue to Decline

Overall cancer death rates continue to decrease in men, women, and children for all major racial and ethnic groups, according to the latest Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975–2014, published by Jemal et al in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The report...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Studies Find Disparity in Life Expectancy Widening Between Wealthy and Poor Americans

To better understand the conditions and mechanisms driving health disparities in the United States, The Lancet partnered with physicians and public health researchers from the City University of New York, Harvard Medical School, Cornell University, Yale School of Medicine, and the New York...

issues in oncology

AACR 2017: Telomere Length May Predict Cancer Risk, According to Large Epidemiologic Study

The length of the telomeres that protect the tips of chromosomes may predict cancer risk and be a potential target for future therapeutics, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) scientists reported at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in...

issues in oncology

Effect of Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation on Cancer Incidence in Postmenopausal Women

In a population-based trial reported in JAMA, Lappe et al found that dietary supplementation with vitamin D3 and calcium did not significantly reduce the incidence of all cancers over 4 years among postmenopausal women aged ≥ 55 years. Study Details In the double-blind trial, 2,303 healthy...

issues in oncology

New NCCN Radiation Therapy Compendium Aids in Decision-Making for Patients With Cancer

Radiation therapy, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy or surgery, is one of the most common treatment options for people with cancer. Nearly two-thirds of patients with cancer in the United States receive radiation therapy during their illness. To support clinical decision-making...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care Consultations for Patients With Advanced Cancers May Reduce Hospitalization and Improve Quality of Care

Patients admitted to the hospital with advanced cancers who were referred early to palliative care had decreased health-care utilization and increased use of support services following discharge, according to a new study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Published...

issues in oncology

New Study Finds Most Cancer Mutations Due to Random DNA-Copying Errors

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists report data from a new study providing evidence that random, unpredictable DNA copying “mistakes” account for nearly two-thirds of the mutations that cause cancer. Their research is grounded on a novel mathematic model based on DNA...

issues in oncology

Paul M. Cinciripini, PhD, on Smoking Cessation in Patients With Cancer

Paul M. Cinciripini, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the oncologist’s role in addressing and documenting cancer patients’ smoking and cessation attempts as well as treatment advances.

issues in oncology

Factors Associated With Early Death in Childhood Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Green et al found that risk factors for death within 1 month of diagnosis of childhood cancer included age up to 1 year, specific diagnoses, and minority race/ethnicity. The study involved analysis of data from SEER (Surveillance,...

issues in oncology

ASCO Quality Care 2017: Reducing Overuse of Colony-Stimulating Factors in Febrile Neutropenia Without Compromising Patient Safety

In a retrospective cohort study, Adeboyeje et al found that a utilization management tool that makes real-time care recommendations can help reduce overuse of substances that assist the bone marrow in producing blood cells, called colony-stimulating factors, in attempts to prevent fevers in...

issues in oncology

ASCO Quality Care 2017: Reduction in Chemotherapy Errors Through Improvement Science

The majority of children with cancer are treated with complicated chemotherapy regimens that include multiple drugs, demanding monitoring schedules and complex dosing based on body surface area that often require changes in dose. Given this high risk for error in treating children with these highly ...

issues in oncology

Barriers to Clinical Trial Accrual Include Trial Sponsorship and Time to Enrolling First Patient, Study Finds

A study by researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center investigating factors associated with slow participant accrual into phase I to III cancer clinical trials at their institution has found trials initiated through national cooperative groups and the time taken from trial...

issues in oncology

Brian Weiss, MD, on Reducing Treatment Errors With Improvement Science

Brian Weiss, MD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, discusses a program designed to eliminate errors in chemotherapy use among pediatric patients whose regimens incorporate multiple drugs and rigorous monitoring schedules (Abstract 37).

issues in oncology
lung cancer

Thomas J. Smith, MD, on Oral Abstract Session B (2017 Quality Care Symposium)

Thomas J. Smith, MD, of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, summarizes two papers for which he was a discussant: reducing overuse of colony-stimulating factors without compromising the safety of patients with lung cancer receiving chemotherapy, and a cost-and-survival analysis before and after implementing Dana-Farber Clinical Pathways for patients with stage IV non–small cell lung cancer (Abstracts 3, 52).

issues in oncology

Gabrielle Rocque, MD, on The Oncology Care Model: Transforming Practices

Gabrielle Rocque, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, discusses the challenges of implementing Oncology Care Model requirements, such as providing treatment plans, and the opportunities to transform practices with improved workflow and patient outcomes.

issues in oncology

Gwendolyn P. Quinn, PhD, on Underserved Cancer Patients and Survivors: Are We Listening to Them?

Gwendolyn P. Quinn, PhD, of Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses the challenges that minority, LGBTQ, low-literacy, and underserved populations face in getting their voices heard and what it will take to change that.

issues in oncology

Julie Bryar Porter, MS, on Improving Care: One Center’s Experience

Julie Bryar Porter, MS, of Stanford Health Care, discusses an approach to improving patient care with physician-led quality measures from diagnosis through end of life implemented at her academic cancer center (Abstract 49).

issues in oncology

Blase N. Polite, MD, MPP: The Oncology Care Model in Academia

Blase N. Polite, MD, MPP, of the University of Chicago, discusses implementing the Oncology Care Model in an academic health center and the challenges of getting buy-in from faculty members.

issues in oncology

Robert S. Miller, MD, on CancerLinQ: Big Data and Clinical Effectiveness

Robert S. Miller, MD, of ASCO, updates the progress of CancerLinQ and its data set, now being used by oncologists to track quality measurement and reporting.

issues in oncology

Greg D. Judy, MD, on Safety Incidents in Radiotherapy

Greg D. Judy, MD, of UNC Health Care, discusses the contributing factors, and possible fixes, for near-miss and actual safety incidents in patients being treated with radiotherapy.

breast cancer
prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Diana D. Jeffery, PhD, on Mental Health Comorbidities: Predictors of Cost and Utilization

Diana D. Jeffery, PhD, of the Defense Health Agency, discusses the need to screen for mental health comorbidities, including depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, substance use disorders, and persistent mental illnesses, as shown in a study of breast and prostate cancer patients (Abstract 18).

issues in oncology

John V. Cox, DO, MBA, on 2017 Quality Care Symposium Highlights: Expert Perspective

John V. Cox, DO, MBA, of the Parkland Health System/UTSW, discusses some of the key presentations at the 2017 Quality Care Symposium (Abstracts 3, 37, 52).

issues in oncology
cost of care

Patients With Cancer History More Likely to Change Prescriptions to Save Money

A new study led by American Cancer Society investigators found that cancer survivors are more likely to change their prescription drug use for financial reasons than those without a cancer history. These findings were published by Zheng et al in Cancer. The rising cost of cancer drugs imposes a...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

ASCO Quality Care 2017: Study Examines Cancer Center Websites’ Information on Breast Cancer Treatment, Outcomes

As an increasing number of patients look to the internet for cancer information, researchers from the University of Alabama found that the websites of many National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers lack sufficient information to help patients with breast cancer understand all their...

issues in oncology

ASCO Quality Care 2017: In-House Specialty Pharmacy at Cancer Center Improves Quality of Care, Reduces Medical Errors

An influx of new oral cancer drugs provides patients with a more convenient and less invasive way to take medication, but such treatments are often associated with adherence challenges and medical errors. New research shows that the addition of an in-house specialty pharmacy at a cancer center in...

issues in oncology

Lawrence Fong, MD, on Novel T-Cell Checkpoint Combinations

Lawrence Fong, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, discusses combination immunotherapy, now approved in melanoma, and the trials underway to explore other indications.

issues in oncology

Elizabeth Ann Mittendorf, MD, PhD, on ASCO-SITC Meeting Highlights: Expert Perspective

Elizabeth Ann Mittendorf, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses some of the top papers presented at the ASCO-SITC Symposium and how these presentations will affect clinical practice.

issues in oncology

Researchers Use Cardiomyocytes to Create Index of Cardiotoxicity of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine used heart muscle cells made from stem cells to rank commonly used chemotherapy drugs based on their likelihood of causing lasting heart damage in patients. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors can be an effective treatment for many types of cancers, ...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Payers Weigh the Implications of Multigene Testing Coverage

Innovation in precision medicine has introduced an amalgam of testing options, of which hereditary cancer panels—multigene tests—are a major component. Additionally, the importance of inherited cancer genomics was further bolstered by former President Barack Obama’s Precision...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Cancer Mortality in Hispanics Varies Among Ethnic Groups

Although cancer is a leading cause of death among Hispanics, the burden of cancer mortality within Hispanic groups has not been well quantified. Now, a study by Pinheiro et al comparing the differences among Hispanic populations and cancer incidence has found that cancer mortality varies...

issues in oncology

Brian C. Allen, MD, on Assessing Tumor Response: Standard-of-Care vs Computer-Assisted Evaluation

Brian C. Allen, MD, of Duke University Medical Center, discusses the benefits of using a computerized process that provides step-wise guidance, decreases interpretation time, and reduces errors when measuring tumor response to treatment. (Abstract 432)

leukemia
issues in oncology

Children, Parents Overreport Leukemia Treatment Adherence

New research suggests that young patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and their parents are likely to report to their physician that they took more of their anticancer medication than they actually did. The study, published by Landier et al in Blood, found that 84% of patients with ALL...

issues in oncology

ASH/AACR/AACI/ASTRO/ASPHO/Lungevity Foundation Statement on Administration's Executive Order

Today, the American Society of Hematology, the American Association for Cancer Research, the Association of American Cancer Institutes, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and the LUNGevity Foundation issued a statement on the...

issues in oncology

Immunotherapy 2.0 Named Advance of the Year in ASCO's Report

A growing number of patients with cancer are benefiting from research advances in immunotherapy, leading ASCO to name immunotherapy as the Society's Advance of the Year for a second year in a row. Released today, Clinical Cancer Advances 2017: ASCO's Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer...

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