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issues in oncology

Statement From FDA Commissioner on Support for Exempting Coffee From California’s Cancer Warning Law

Scott Gottlieb, MD, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, recently issued the following statement: “Ensuring that food is safe and truthfully labeled is one of our fundamental responsibilities at the FDA. Consumers deserve accurate information about the food they eat and how ...

issues in oncology

Sex-Based Approaches to Oncology in the Era of Precision Oncology: Upcoming ESMO Workshop

Sex-based approaches to studying and treating disease have remained largely unexplored in medical oncology, despite the field’s growing interest in precision medicine and accumulating evidence that sex is a major factor in disease risk and response to treatment. At an upcoming European...

issues in oncology

Cancer May Be Linked to Poor Prognosis in Patients With Broken Heart Syndrome

Cancer may be linked to an increased risk of death and prehospitalization in patients with broken heart syndrome, according to research presented by Santoro et al at the 2018 European Society of Cardiology Congress. Study author Francesco Santoro, MD, of the University of Foggia, Italy, said, ...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Medical Groups Release Letter on Proposed Changes to Medicare Physician Payment Rule

The American Medical Association and about 150 medical groups sent the following letter to Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), regarding the administration’s proposals included in the 2019 Medicare physician payment rule. The full text of...

gynecologic cancers
head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

HPV Vaccine Completion Up 5% From 2016 to 2017

The number of adolescents who are up to date on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination—meaning they started and completed the HPV vaccine series—increased 5 percentage points from 2016 to 2017, according to results from a national survey published by Walker et al in Morbidity and...

issues in oncology

New Software Aims to Predict Patients’ Resistance to Cancer Treatment

New computer software may be used to predict how cancers may respond to a new drug—before it has ever been given to patients. Researchers hope that this new tool could transform the discovery of cancer drugs by predicting how tumors become resistant to treatment before it first becomes...

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Memory Issues in Children With Medulloblastoma Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Children with certain types of brain tumors who undergo radiation treatment are less likely to recall the specifics of events they experienced after radiation than to remember pretreatment happenings, according to a Baylor University study comparing them to children with healthy brains. These...

issues in oncology

First Large-Scale Survey of Advanced Practice Providers in Oncology Shows Growing Role for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

Advanced practice providers (APPs) have increasingly become integral members of the oncology care delivery team, according to the first large-scale study of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) in oncology published by Bruinooge et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice....

issues in oncology

New ESMO Tumor DNA Scale Helps Match Patients to Optimal Targeted Treatments

A new scale for tumor DNA mutations called ESCAT (European Society for Medical Oncology [ESMO] Scale for Clinical Actionability of Molecular Targets) is aiming to simplify and standardize choices for targeted cancer treatment. Information about the development and use of the scale in practice was...

issues in oncology

Outcomes for Rural Patients With Cancer Enrolled in Clinical Trials

The disparity in survival rates between rural and urban patients is reduced when patients in both settings are enrolled in clinical trials, SWOG study results show. The study results were published in JAMA Network Open by a team led by Joseph Unger, PhD, a SWOG biostatistician...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Impact of Doctor-Patient Communication on Outcomes in Cancer Survivors

A new study from the American Cancer Society has found that patients with cancer who reported greater satisfaction in the way their provider communicated with them received more efficient care, with fewer office visits and better health outcomes. These findings were published by Rai et al in...

breast cancer
gynecologic cancers
issues in oncology

BRCA Testing in Medically Underserved Women in Southeastern United States

Medically underserved women in the Southeast region of the United States diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer may have not received genetic testing that could have helped them and their relatives make important decisions about their health, according to new research from Vanderbilt-Ingram ...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Small Study Looks at Physician-Patient Discussions About Lung Cancer Screening

National guidelines advise doctors to discuss the benefits and harms of lung cancer screening with high-risk patients. A small study (n = 14) by researchers from the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center reported there is a gap between what guidelines...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Cardiac Monitoring in Patients With Breast Cancer

Although heart failure is an uncommon complication of breast cancer treatment, the risk may be higher in patients treated with certain types of chemotherapy and lower in younger patients, according to a study published by Henry et al in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. Researchers studied 16,456...

issues in oncology

Assay Uses Big Data to Predict Responses to Immunotherapy

In the age of big data, cancer researchers are discovering new ways to monitor the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatments. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy developed a new way to use bioinformatics as a gathering tool to determine how ...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

ASCO Statement: Step Therapy Creates Barriers to Care for Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries With Cancer

Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, ASCO President, released the following statement today: “ASCO strongly opposes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to allow Medicare Advantage plans to employ step therapy across physician-administered and self-administered...

issues in oncology

ASCO and Friends Submit Recommendations to FDA Aimed at Reducing Barriers to Clinical Trial Participation

ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) have submitted recommended language to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for five guidance documents on ways to broaden eligibility criteria for cancer clinical trials. The recommendations are part of an ASCO...

leukemia
issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Guidelines for Pediatric CAR T-Cell Therapy Developed

Almost 1 year after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines May Be Inadequate for High-Risk Minorities

Data from a lung cancer screening program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) provides evidence that national lung cancer screening guidelines, which were developed based on the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) in 2011 and recommend screening based on age and smoking history, may be...

skin cancer
issues in oncology

Research Finds Failings in Some Apps Used for the Diagnosis of Skin Cancer

In the scramble to bring successful apps for the diagnosis of skin cancer to market, there is a concern that a lack of testing is risking public safety, according to research led by the University of Birmingham. The research, outlined at the British Association of Dermatologists Annual...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Screening for Financial Issues in Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer

Adult survivors of childhood cancer should be screened for financial problems that might cause them to delay or skip medical care or to suffer psychological distress. The recommendation from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital researchers followed an analysis that found 65% of...

issues in oncology

Complementary Therapy for Cancer and Refusal of Conventional Treatment

People who received complementary therapy for curable cancers were more likely to refuse at least one component of their conventional cancer treatment, and were more likely to die as a result, according to researchers from Yale Cancer Center and the Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy and Effectiveness...

issues in oncology

R. Gregory Bociek, MD, on Ethical Considerations of Cancer Treatment

R. Gregory Bociek, MD, of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, discusses the controversial topic of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.  

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Pediatric CT Scans and Subsequent Malignancy Risk

A new study by Meulepas et al in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that computed tomography (CT) scans may increase the risk of brain tumors. The use of CT scans has increased dramatically over the past 2 decades. CT scans greatly improve diagnostic capabilities,...

issues in oncology

American Cancer Society Outlines Blueprint for Cancer Control in the 21st Century

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that began publishing in early July in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The series of articles forms the basis of a national cancer control plan, with a blueprint...

issues in oncology

NCI and VA Launch NAVIGATE to Boost Veterans’ Access to Cancer Clinical Trials

Veterans with cancer who receive treatment from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will now have easier access to clinical trials of novel cancer treatments, thanks to an agreement between the VA and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NCI...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care Preferences in Male Patients With Cancer

Men with advanced cancer are 30% less likely than women to consider palliative care, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) study. Researchers believe the findings reflect social norms about gender roles, as well as widespread messages in the media and society about...

issues in oncology
pain management

Statement by FDA Commissioner on Opioid Access for Patients With Chronic and End-of-Life Pain

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, recently issued the following statement. The opioid epidemic continues to take an emotional, physical, and financial toll on Americans. The FDA is committed to taking every possible step to address the many facets of this...

gynecologic cancers
issues in oncology

ESHRE 2018: Large Population Study Does Not Find Causal Link Between Assisted Reproduction and Ovarian Cancer Risk

Following concerns over many years that hormonal stimulation of the ovaries necessary for in vitro fertilization (IVF) may increase the risk of ovarian cancer, a nationwide cohort study from Denmark has now concluded that any perceived increase in risk is actually a statistical bias resulting from...

issues in oncology

ESHRE 2018: Early-Stage Research Shows Potential of Artificial Ovary for Fertility Preservation Without the Risk of Reintroducing Malignancy

Important steps in the development of an artificial ovary have been successfully completed. Researchers from the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, reported that they have—for the first time—isolated and grown human follicles to a point of biofunctionality on a bioengineered ovarian ...

issues in oncology
palliative care
immunotherapy

A. Oliver Sartor, MD, on Issues in Immunotherapy

A. Oliver Sartor, MD, of Tulane University, speaks anecdotally about immunotherapy for prostate cancer and shares his experiences in speaking to patients with late-stage disease about the knowns, unknowns, risks, and toxicities of using a therapy outside the context of a clinical trial setting. The ...

issues in oncology
palliative care
immunotherapy

Owen A. O’Connor, MD, PhD, on Issues in Immunotherapy

Owen A. O'Connor, MD, PhD, of Columbia University Medical Center, shares his perspective on immunotherapy for patients with late-stage cancer in the context of a clinical trial setting and recent Right-to-Try legislation. The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of...

issues in oncology

Andrew D. Seidman, MD, on Embracing Computer-Assisted Decision-Making

Andrew D. Seidman, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the benefits of decision support tools, especially for the oncologist who treats a variety of cancers in his or her practice. The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. ...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Allen S. Lichter, MD, and Mark J. Ratain, MD, on Better Dosing, Lower Cost: Improving Cancer Care and Value

Allen S. Lichter, MD, Board Chair of the Value in Cancer Care Consortium, and Mark J. Ratain, MD, of the University of Chicago, discuss the benefits—and challenges—of lowering dosages in the face of market forces. The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical...

issues in oncology

Statement From FDA Commissioner on Agency Efforts to Advance the Patient Voice in Medical Product Development and Regulatory Decision-Making

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, recently issued the following statement: Over the past decade, advances in our understanding of the basic biology of serious and life-threatening diseases has led to the development and FDA approval of targeted treatments for ...

issues in oncology

Parents See Cancer Prevention Potential as Best Reason for HPV Vaccination

Parents of adolescents believed that the potential to prevent certain types of cancer is the best reason for their children to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, whereas other reasons health-care providers often give were far less persuasive. Findings from this study were published by...

palliative care
issues in oncology

AMA Rejects Recommendation to Reaffirm Opposition to Medical Aid in Dying

On June 11, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates voted 56% to 44% to reject a report by its Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) that recommended the AMA maintain its Code of Medical Ethics’ opposition to medical aid in dying. Instead, the House of Delegates...

issues in oncology

AMA Releases New Physician Guide on Caring for the Caregiver

Every day in their treatment rooms, physicians encounter individuals who are making profound sacrifices to help a loved one who is seriously ill, often at the expense of their own well-being. To help physicians understand the day-to-day challenges and risk of burnout faced by informal caregivers,...

breast cancer
issues in oncology
survivorship

Study Finds Breast Cancer Survivors Are Not Getting Recommended Number of Mammograms Postsurgery

Breast cancer survivors are not getting the recommended level of screening postsurgery, according to a study by Ruddy et al in JNCCN–Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The study was led by Kathryn Ruddy, MD, MPH, Director of Cancer Survivorship for the Department of...

issues in oncology

Cancer Prevention Report Shows Consensus Among Global Experts on 10 Steps to Reduce Risk

An internationally released comprehensive analysis of research on lifestyle factors and cancer prevention confirms the critical links between cancer diagnoses and diet, physical activity, and weight. Independent experts from across the globe reviewed decades of scientific evidence to develop the...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, on Using Immunotherapy in the Community Setting: 2018 Update on an ACCC Program

Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, of West Cancer Center, reports on the progress of the ACCC Immuno-Oncology Institute to speed adoption of immunotherapeutics in community practices.

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Danh Pham, MD: Lung Cancer Screening Rates Still Too Low

Danh Pham, MD, of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, discusses his findings using a registry on the low rates of screening with low-dose computed tomography, despite its potential to prevent thousands of lung cancer deaths each year (Abstract 6504).

issues in oncology
legislation

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD, on Right to Try: Expert Perspective

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD, of the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, discusses implications of the federal “Right to Try” law, recently enacted.

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

2018 ASCO: Black Men With Advanced Prostate Cancer Treated With Chemotherapy May Have Equal or Better Survival Than White Men

An analysis of pooled data from 9 randomized phase III trials of more than 8,000 men with advanced prostate cancer who received chemotherapy shows chances of survival are as good for black men as white men. The median survival was the same in black men and white men overall (21 months), but black...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

2018 ASCO: Gender Disparities in Head and Neck Cancer Treatment and Outcomes

An analysis of cancer registry data from a California hospital system showed that women with head and neck cancer were less likely to receive intensive chemotherapy (35% vs 46%) and radiation (60% vs 70%) compared to men. Controlling for factors such as age and serious medical conditions, a...

issues in oncology

2018 ASCO: Geriatric Assessment Improves Communication Between Oncologists and Older Patients

A federally funded randomized study demonstrated that the use of geriatric assessment in routine care of older adults with advanced cancer significantly improved doctor-patient communication about age-related concerns as well as patient satisfaction with the communication. The study was featured in ...

issues in oncology
cost of care

2018 ASCO: Treatment for Colorectal Cancer in Washington State Costs Twice as Much as in Neighboring Area of Canada, Despite No Difference in Survival

An analysis of health claims data from two demographically similar regions on either side of the U.S./Canada border shows that a common treatment for advanced colorectal cancer costs twice as much in Western Washington State than in British Columbia—$12,345 vs $6,195 monthly per patient....

issues in oncology
symptom management

National Survey Examines Oncologists' Practices, Beliefs on Medical Marijuana Use

Data from a new survey show that as many as 80% of oncologists have discussed medical marijuana use with their patients. According to the authors, this is the first nationally representative survey to examine oncologists’ practices and beliefs on the subject since the implementation of state...

issues in oncology

Parenting Concerns Affect Emotional Well-Being in Mothers With Advanced Cancer

Parenting concerns contributed significantly to the psychological distress of mothers with late-stage cancer, according to a study by University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers published by Park et al in the journal Cancer. Cancer is the leading cause of...

issues in oncology

Barbara McAneny, MD, on The Business of Cancer

Barbara McAneny, MD, Co-Founder and CEO, New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants; President-Elect, American Medical Association, speaks during Panel 2: The Business of Cancer at The Policy, Politics and Law of Cancer, presented by The Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School,...

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