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health-care policy
issues in oncology

ASCO Releases Principles for Patient-Centered Health-Care Reform

ASCO has released the “ASCO Principles for Patient-Centered Health-care Reform,” seven recommendations designed to ensure access to high-quality cancer care amid the changing U.S. health-care delivery landscape. The principles aim to assist the new Congress and Administration, so, as...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Has the Affordable Care Act Reduced Socioeconomic Disparities in Cancer Screening?

Out-of-pocket expenditures are thought to be a significant barrier to receiving cancer preventive services, especially for individuals of lower socioeconomic status. A new study published by Cooper et al in Cancer looked at how the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which eliminated such out-of-pocket...

issues in oncology
cost of care

ACCC 2016 Survey Finds Cancer Drug Costs Remain the Most Critical Challenge to Care

As more cost pressures are placed on the health-care system, and the transition to value-based care gains momentum, the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ (ACCC) 7th annual Trends in Cancer Programs survey revealed critical challenges and emerging trends in U.S. cancer programs. The...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Genome-Based Model for Adjusting Radiotherapy Dose Shows Promise

In a retrospective cohort–based study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Scott et al found that individual patient genomic-adjusted radiation dose was associated with outcomes across different cancer types. Study Details In the study, gene-expression–based radiation-sensitivity index...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

ESMO Asia 2016: Almost 20% of Swedish Breast Cancer Patients Fail to Complete Prescribed Endocrine Therapy

Around 20% of patients with breast cancer in Sweden do not complete endocrine therapy, according to research that will be reported at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress (Abstract 62O_PR), to be held December 16–19 in Singapore.The study in over 5,500 women found that younger patients and those who...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Jennifer K. Litton, MD, and Ann H. Partridge, MD, on Breast Cancer in Young Women

Jennifer K. Litton, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Ann H. Partridge, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discuss a range of issues for young women with breast cancer, including epidemiologic and biologic differences in younger patients, fertility issues, and pregnancy-associated breast cancer (Poster Discussion 6).

hematologic malignancies
issues in oncology

Marie Bleakley, MD, PhD, on GVHD: Reducing Rates and Increasing Survival

Marie Bleakley, MD, PhD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses data on using naive T-cell depletion of peripheral blood stem cells, which led to very low rates of chronic graft-vs-host-disease and high survival (Abstract 668).

hematologic malignancies
leukemia
issues in oncology

ASH 2016: Study Shows Patients Traditionally Ineligible for Studies May Benefit From Trial Participation

Patients who potentially could benefit most from participation in clinical trials due to poor prognoses often are not included based on eligibility criteria, such as existing medical illnesses. A novel study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center revealed some patients with acute...

breast cancer
issues in oncology
survivorship

Psychotropic and Opioid Medication Use in Older Patients With Breast Cancer Across the Care Trajectory

A new McGill University study published by Syrowatka et al in JNCCN – Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network found that most patients with breast cancer aged 65 and older use psychotropic and opioid medications during active treatment, often in the first year of...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Having a Child With Cancer May Adversely Affect Parents’ Income and Employment

Having a child with cancer led to income reductions for parents and job discontinuation among mothers in a recent study, even after adjusting for prediagnosis sociodemographic factors. Published by Norberg et al in Cancer, the findings indicate that childhood cancer affects parents' income and...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Multiple Genetic Mutational Signatures Associated With Smoking

Scientists have measured the genetic damage caused by smoking in different organs of the body and identified several different mechanisms by which tobacco smoking causes mutations in DNA. Researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and their collaborators ...

issues in oncology
supportive care

Distress Screening in Oncology Leads to Better Doctor-Patient Relationships and Improved Outcomes

As many as 60% of patients with cancer report distress following a cancer diagnosis, and this stress can have a significant impact on patients’ well-being, resulting in psychosocial problems, physical side effects, and dissatisfaction with their health care. To examine the impact of distress ...

palliative care
issues in oncology
symptom management

Prolonged Length of Stays, Readmissions, and Discharge to Care Facilities Among Postoperative Patients With Advanced Cancer

Patients with disseminated advanced cancer who undergo surgery are far more likely to endure long hospital stays and readmissions, referrals to extended care facilities, and death, University of California (UC) Davis researchers have found. Their study, published by Bateni et al in PLOS One,...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Affordable Care Act Increased Access to Cancer Care and Clinical Trial Participation Among Hispanics

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in California may have led to a significant increase in the number of Hispanic breast cancer patients at a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center and an increase in the number of Hispanic women who consented to participate in a...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

COA Releases 2016 Community Oncology Practice Impact Report

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) released the 2016 Community Oncology Practice Impact Report today, which tracks the changing landscape of cancer care in the United States. It documents a 121% increase in community cancer clinic closings and a 172% increase in consolidation into hospitals...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Study Reports No Association Between Vasectomy and Prostate Cancer Incidence or Mortality

In an analysis of the Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II) study cohort reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Jacobs et al found no significant association between vasectomy and overall prostate cancer incidence or mortality. A recent prospective study had shown an association of vasectomy...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

ASTRO 2016: Intervention Closes Racial Gap and Improves Treatment Rates for Early-Stage Lung Cancer

Enhanced, culturally competent communication with early-stage lung cancer patients can narrow racial gaps in curative treatment completion and increase treatment rates for all races, according to research presented by Manning et al at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

ASTRO 2016: Unmet Need for Radiation Therapy Found Among Nearly Half of Eligible Cancer Patients in Nine Developing Countries

Although approximately 50% of cancer patients in developing countries need radiation therapy to treat their disease, up to half of these patients do not have access to it, according to research presented by Rosenblatt et al at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology...

issues in oncology

Louis Harrison, MD, on Radiation Oncology and the Future of Health Care

Louis B. Harrison, MD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses radiation oncology in the context of personalized medicine, multidisciplinary care, new technology and applications, and the mandate to contain costs.

issues in oncology

Lia M. Halasz, MD, on Disparities in Radiotherapy Delivery

Lia M. Halasz, MD, of the University of Washington Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, summarizes a session on the uneven delivery of radiotherapy in the United States and around the world. (Scientific Session 10)

issues in oncology

Howard M. Sandler, MD, on RTOG’s Past and NRG’s Future

Howard M. Sandler, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, discusses prospective clinical trials as the gold standard of clinical decision-making and examines the infrastructure needed for future cancer research. (Abstract PS 3)

leukemia
issues in oncology

Adolescent Girls With Leukemia May Not Be Screened for Pregnancy Before Beginning Chemotherapy

A new study indicates that adolescent females with acute leukemia have low rates of pregnancy screening prior to receiving chemotherapy that can cause birth defects. These findings were published by Rao et al in Cancer. Although many chemotherapy drugs can cause birth defects, there are no...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Vice President Biden Announces New Steps to Improve Clinical Trials Essential to Advancing the Cancer Moonshot

Today, Vice President Joe Biden announced a series of new steps focused on increasing access to information about clinical trials and improving the efficiency of our clinical research system. These steps include making it easier for participants to find clinical trial opportunities as quickly as...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

CDC Finds Cancer Death Rates Among Children and Adolescents Declined by 20%, With Brain Cancer Topping Leukemia as Leading Cause of Death

New findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the cancer death rate for children and adolescents aged 1 to 19 has been steadily declining since the mid-1970s and dropped by 20% from 1999 to 2014, the result of advances in therapy, especially for leukemia. During...

issues in oncology
survivorship

New American Cancer Society Report Reveals Gaps in Pediatric Cancer Research

A first-of-its-kind joint report from the American Cancer Society and Alliance for Childhood Cancer has compiled the latest information related to pediatric cancer, including statistics and trends; a current list of drugs used to treat pediatric cancers; ongoing pediatric cancer clinical trials;...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care 2016: Usage of Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act

In 1997, Oregon enacted a voter initiative allowing terminally ill residents to self-administer physician-prescribed medication to end their lives called the Oregon Death With Dignity Act (ORDWDA). Statute requires prescriptions written for lethal medications be reported; the state also collects...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care 2016: Perception of Curability in Patients With Advanced Cancer Receiving Palliative Care

There are limited data on the illness understanding and perception of curability among patients with advanced cancer receiving palliative care around the world. In a study led by Sriram Yennu, MD, MS, Associate Professor in the Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine at The...

palliative care
supportive care
issues in oncology

Randy L. Wei, MD, PhD, on Radiation Oncologists and Palliative Care

Randy L. Wei, MD, PhD, of the University of California, Irvine, discusses findings from a survey that focused on ASTRO members who assessed their ability to deliver palliative and supportive care, and their access to continuing medical education on the topic (Abstract 105).

palliative care
issues in oncology

Sriram Yennu, MD, on Patient Perception of Curability

Sriram Yennu, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses findings from a study of an international cohort of patients with advanced cancer who received palliative care. Nearly half the patients incorrectly believed their cancer was curable (Abstract 5).

palliative care
issues in oncology

Jennifer S. Temel, MD, on The Changing Conversation Around Prognostication

Jennifer S. Temel, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses increasing prognostic uncertainty in light of targeted treatments and immunotherapies, and the difficulty predicting who will benefit.

global cancer care
issues in oncology
palliative care

Emily Haozous, PhD, RN, on Cultural Differences in End-of-Life Care

Emily Haozous, PhD, RN, of the University of New Mexico, discusses health disparities and cultural differences in palliative and end-of-life care, with case study examples drawn from American Indian communities.

palliative care
issues in oncology

J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, PhD, on Supporting Family Caregivers: The ENABLE Model

J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, discusses the “hidden” health-care workforce of family caregivers and what clinicians can do to help ease the burden on families.

palliative care
issues in oncology

Charles D. Blanke, MD, on Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act

Charles D. Blanke, MD, of the Oregon Health & Science University and Southwest Oncology Group, discusses the nearly 20 years’ experience with Oregon’s Death With Dignity (DWD) Act, a voter initiative that led to the first such law enacted in the United States (Abstract 44).

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Researchers Question Process for Reviewing Coverage of 'Off-Label' Cancer Drug Use

A group of University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers is calling for an overhaul of the process that determines which cancer drugs used off-label—or beyond their approved use—are reimbursed by federally funded health insurance in the United...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Influence of Patients’ Side-Effect Expectations on Outcome of Endocrine Treatment for Breast Cancer

A study of women receiving hormone therapies such as tamoxifen as part of their treatment for breast cancer found that the number and seriousness of side effects they experienced were influenced by their expectations. The study, published by Nestoriuc et al in Annals of Oncology, found that women...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Study Finds Computers Surpass Pathologists in Predicting Lung Cancer Type, Severity

Computers can be trained to be more accurate than pathologists in assessing slides of lung cancer tissues, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The researchers found that a machine-learning approach to identifying critical disease-related features...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Obesity on the Rise in Adults With a History of Cancer

A study at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health showed that obesity was more prevalent in patients with a history of cancer than in the general population, and survivors of colorectal and breast cancers were particularly affected. The study is among the first to compare rates of...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

New American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Report Shows States Are Making Progress Implementing Policies to Reduce Toll of Cancer

Although a majority of states are still missing important opportunities to pass and implement legislative solutions proven to prevent and fight cancer, there is progress being made to move the nation closer to ending cancer as we know it, according to a report recently released by the American...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Insurance Status Impacts Survival, According to Two New Studies

Men with testicular cancer who were uninsured or on Medicaid had a higher risk of death from what is normally a curable disease than insured patients, a new study found. The findings, published by Markt et al in Cancer, add to growing evidence that differences in health insurance status can affect...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Potential Link Between Obesity and Cardiotoxicity From Anthracyclines Alone or With Trastuzumab for Breast Cancer

Obesity and being overweight were associated with an increased risk of cardiotoxicity in women receiving treatment with anthracyclines and sequential anthracyclines/trastuzumab (Herceptin) for breast cancer, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis reported in the Journal of Clinical...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Increased Obesity Rates Reported in Adults With a History of Cancer

In a population-based study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Greenlee et al found that rates of obesity have increased more in patients with a history of cancer than in the general population. These rates were particularly high among survivors of colorectal and breast cancers and black ...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

New Study Finds Increase in Imaging After Thyroid Cancer Treatment Identifies Recurrence but May Not Improve Survival

More imaging after thyroid cancer treatment identifies recurrence, but it does not always improve survival, a new study published by Banerjee et al in The BMJ suggests. Researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center looked at 28,220 patients diagnosed with...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Hematologic Oncologists Surveyed on Quality Measures of End-of-Life Care and Barriers to Such Care

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Odejide et al surveyed hematologic oncologists to identify acceptable end-of-life-care quality measures and asked the clinician to identify barriers to such care. Respondents considered unrealistic patient expectations the top barrier to...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese People May Lower Levels of Certain Proteins Linked to Cancer

A new study investigating the effects of dietary weight loss and exercise on circulating levels of certain angiogenesis-related proteins, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), in postmenopausal...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Adherence to Cancer Prevention Guidelines on Diet and Physical Activity May Reduce Cancer Risk and Mortality

According to the American Cancer Society’s 2016 Cancer Facts & Figures, behaviors such as poor diet choices, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and unhealthy body weight account for about 20% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States and likely could be prevented with...

lymphoma
issues in oncology

Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation Offers Safe, Effective Option for Patients With HIV-Associated Lymphoma

A phase II, multicenter trial published by Alvarnas et al in Blood challenges the generally held belief that individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and aggressive lymphoma are not candidates for standard treatment. According to the researchers, people with HIV-associated lymphoma who...

lymphoma
issues in oncology

European Study Suggests No Benefit of GnRH in Preserving Ovarian Function and Fertility in Young Women With Lymphoma

In long-term follow-up of a European trial reported by Demeestere et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist treatment during chemotherapy in young women with lymphoma was not associated with reduced premature ovarian failure or an improved pregnancy...

lymphoma
issues in oncology

ASCO 2016: Cancer Diagnosed More Often in Patients With Primary Immunodeficiency Disease

Primary immunodeficiency disorders are a group of more than 300 single gene defects that affect the role of the immune system and prevent it from functioning properly. When Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) researchers evaluated the overall and site-specific incidence of cancer among patients...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Global Economic Crisis May Be Linked to Increased Cancer Mortality

The global economic crisis has been associated with increased unemployment and reduced public-sector expenditure on health care. In a study reported in The Lancet, Maruthappu et al found that the global economic crisis beginning in 2008 was also associated with a large excess in cancer mortality...

hematologic malignancies
issues in oncology

Four-Biomarker Panel Identified for Chronic Graft-vs-Host Disease

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Yu et al identified a four-biomarker panel that was predictive of chronic graft-vs-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Discovery Cohort In the study, a quantitative proteomics approach was used to compare...


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