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breast cancer
colorectal cancer
health-care policy
issues in oncology

Medicaid Expansion and Colorectal Cancer Screening

A new study examining Medicaid expansion and cancer screening found that the five states and District of Columbia that first adopted Medicaid expansion saw larger increases in colorectal cancer screening than states that did not expand Medicaid. The study—published by Fedewa et al in...

issues in oncology

2019 ASCO: Discrimination, Gender Bias in Oncology Training and Professional Meetings

Two studies that explored types of discrimination and gender bias in health-care organizations were presented at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting. Discrimination Experienced by Fellows An abstract that reviewed discrimination and inclusion among hematology and oncology trainees was presented by...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

2019 ASCO: Study Finds Proton Therapy Reduces Adverse Events, Results in Similar Survival vs Photon Therapy

In a trial presented by Baumann et al at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting (Abstract 6521), patients with locally advanced cancer treated with proton chemoradiotherapy instead of traditional photon chemoradiotherapy were at a lower risk of experiencing side effects. However, cure rates were almost...

issues in oncology

Richard Pazdur, MD, on the Launch of Project Facilitate

Richard Pazdur, MD, Director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Oncology Center of Excellence and Acting Director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, discusses the launch of Project Facilitate, a new pilot program to...

issues in oncology

2019 ASCO: Survey Finds 'Knowledge Gap' in Molecular Profiling Among Oncologists

A questionnaire aimed at assessing how well community oncologists understand “molecular profiling” results from tumor specimens found that 69% of participants either said they didn't know the answers or they responded incorrectly. In six different clinical scenarios, the oncologists...

issues in oncology
lung cancer

Richard L. Schilsky, MD, and R. Donald Harvey, PharmD, BCOP, on Advanced Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer: Expanding the Criteria for Clinical Trial Eligibility

Richard L. Schilsky, MD, of ASCO, and R. Donald Harvey, PharmD, BCOP, of Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, discuss their study findings that expanding the clinical trial eligibility criteria for patients with advanced NSCLC would enable nearly twice as many people to be considered for...

issues in oncology

FDA Announces Project Facilitate

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Oncology Center of Excellence announced a new pilot program to assist oncology health-care professionals in requesting access to unapproved therapies for patients with cancer. A new call center designated Project Facilitate will be a single point...

issues in oncology

2019 ASCO: Sexual Harassment and Gender Disparities: Survey of Gynecologic Oncologists

A recent survey of U.S.-based physician members of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology found that 64% of respondents experienced sexual harassment in training or practice; among women, the rate was 71% and among men, it was 51%. Only 10% reported the incident(s) to officials. In addition, women...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

2019 ASCO: Expansion of Clinical Trial Inclusion Criteria in Patients With Advanced NSCLC

A study that examined 10,500 health records of patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer from ASCO’s CancerLinQ database found that the use of expanded clinical trial inclusion criteria—as proposed by ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research in 2017—would nearly double...

multiple myeloma
issues in oncology

Kamal Chamoun, MD, on Multiple Myeloma: Insurance Status and Survival

Kamal Chamoun, MD, of University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, discusses how better insurance coverage determines not only the ability of patients with multiple myeloma to afford high-priced oral medications, but their survival of the disease (Abstract LBA107).

health-care policy
issues in oncology

2019 ASCO: Medicaid Expansion and Time to Treatment in African American Patients Compared to White Patients With Cancer

Previous racial disparities in timely cancer treatment between African American and white patients were reduced in states where Medicaid access was expanded under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new analysis of electronic health records from for 30,000 patients. The study, based on...

multiple myeloma
issues in oncology

2019 ASCO: Does Insurance Status Impact Survival in Patients With Multiple Myeloma?

A new study analyzing demographic statistics from the National Cancer Database presented by Chamoun et al at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting (Abstract LBA107) identified multiple socioeconomic factors—including private insurance, living in a regionally higher-income area, and receiving treatment ...

issues in oncology
health-care policy

Amy J. Davidoff, PhD, on Racial Disparities in Time to Cancer Treatment: The Effect of Medicaid Expansion

Amy J. Davidoff, PhD, of Yale University School of Public Health, discusses study findings on how expanding access to Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reduced racial disparities among patients with advanced cancer. Before the ACA was implemented in 2014, black patients with cancer...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP: 2019 Update on the ACCC Immuno-Oncology Institute: Using Immunotherapy in the Community Setting

Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, of the West Cancer Center, reports on this past year’s progress of the ACCC initiative to speed adoption of immunotherapeutics in community practices.

palliative care
issues in oncology

2019 ASCO: Differences in End-of-Life Quality Measures Across U.S. Cancer Centers

In a study presented by Wasp et al at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting (Abstract 6507) studying variation in end-of-life care across cancer centers in the United States, researchers found quality of care was lower at centers that served a greater concentration of minorities. However, end-of-life care...

issues in oncology

Median Lag Time for First-in-Human to First-in-Child Oncology Trials

Cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a median of 6.5 years to advance from the first clinical trial in adults to the first trial in children, according to a study published by Neel et al in the European Journal of Cancer. “Despite knowing that these...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Sexual Minority Cancer Survivors and Need for Improved Access to Care

Results from a study published early by Boehmer et al in Cancer point to the need for improved access to medical care for sexual minority cancer survivors—in particular, sexual minority women. In women who are sexual minority cancer survivors, poor access to care is more strongly related to...

breast cancer
lung cancer
issues in oncology

ACCURE Trial: Improving Racial Disparities in Treatment for Patients With Early-Stage Lung and Breast Cancers

Results from a study published by Cykert et al in The Journal of the National Medical Association show that a pragmatic system-based intervention within cancer treatment centers can nearly eliminate existing disparities in treatment and outcomes for black patients with early-stage...

issues in oncology

American Cancer Society Sets 2035 Cancer Mortality Reduction Goal

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has set a challenge goal to reduce overall cancer mortality 40% between 2015 and 2035—a goal set by applying favorable cancer mortality trends among college graduates to the population as a whole. A report on the goal was published by Ma et al in CA: A...

issues in oncology

IMPACT Study, Aimed at Increasing Diversity Among Clinical Trial Participants, Launches

The University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center has launched a study to determine how financial assistance for costs associated with clinical trial participation might increase enrollment, particularly among low-income patients and racial and ethnic minorities....

issues in oncology

WINTHER Trial: Genomic and Transcriptomic Profiling May Translate to New Therapeutic Options for Patients With Advanced Cancer

Published by Rodon et al in Nature Medicine, results of the WINTHER study showed that RNA profiling together with DNA testing matches more patients with advanced cancer to personalized therapies than DNA profiling for tumor mutations alone. The WINTHER trial aimed to...

breast cancer
issues in oncology
global cancer care

ESMO Breast Cancer 2019: ONCOLLEGE-001: Global Survey of HER2 Testing

A global survey of HER2 testing has raised questions about how resources should be spent on potentially lifesaving HER2-targeted therapies for breast cancer, especially in lower-income countries. These results will be presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Breast Cancer...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Colonoscopy Polyp Detection Rates and Endoscopist Characteristics

Previous research has suggested that specific factors about the doctor performing colonoscopy—for example, a gastroenterologist vs a surgeon, female vs male—were associated with different rates of detection of precancerous polyps. However, a Cleveland Clinic–led research team...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Study Finds Medicaid Reimbursement for Radiation Therapy Varies Widely State-to-State

A new study found wide state-to-state variations in Medicaid reimbursements to physicians who treat patients with cancer with radiation therapies. These differences could compound existing disparities in access to health care in rural communities, which tend to have higher Medicaid...

issues in oncology
integrative oncology

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Patients With Cancer

In a recent study focusing on patients with cancer and cancer survivors, one-third of patient participants reported use of complementary and alternative medicines such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and supplements. These findings were published by Sanford et al in JAMA...

issues in oncology

Treatment of Patients With Imminently Fatal de Novo Metastatic Cancer

Some patients who died within 1 month of being newly diagnosed with metastatic cancer in the United States received ineffective surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and hormonal therapy, according to a new study published by Sineshaw et al in JNCI Cancer Spectrum. The study authors said the...

hepatobiliary cancer
issues in oncology

Trends in Liver Cancer Death Rates by Educational Attainment

A new study has found that rising rates of liver cancer deaths in the United States have largely been confined to individuals who have received less education—especially among men. Published by Ma et al in Cancer, the findings emphasize the need for enhanced efforts to address the growing...

issues in oncology

Collaborative Telerehabilitation in Patients With Advanced Cancer

Recent research suggests that remotely delivering rehabilitation services to patients with advanced cancer may improve their physical function, pain, and quality of life, while allowing them to spend less time in hospitals and nursing homes. These findings were published by Cheville et al in JAMA...

issues in oncology

ASTRO Radiation Oncologist Workforce Study Shows Demographic Shifts

The newest study of America’s radiation oncologist workforce finds that gender and racial gaps have narrowed slightly, although persistent and growing geographic disparities point to a need for more equity in access to radiation therapy care. The survey found that fewer radiation oncologists...

issues in oncology

American Cancer Society Report Finds Application of Cancer-Reducing Strategies in the United States Is Suboptimal

The latest edition of the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) review on recent cancer prevention and early detection efforts has found that although many strategies have been proven to reduce cancer risk, their application has been suboptimal in the United States, especially in socioeconomically...

issues in oncology

ASCO Announces New Task Force to Address Rural Cancer Care Gap

Yesterday at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, ASCO announced a new task force aimed at reducing disparities and improving outcomes for patients and survivors of cancer who live in rural communities. The new Rural Cancer Care Task Force will identify opportunities to close the care gap and ...

lung cancer
issues in oncology
immunotherapy

ELCC 2019: Immunotherapy in Elderly Patients With Advanced NSCLC

Two studies reported at the European Lung Cancer Congress (ELCC) 2019 provided new insights on the efficacy and safety of immunotherapy in elderly patients with advanced non–­small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although around half of all people newly diagnosed with NSCLC are elderly (Pallis ...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Preventive Medication Use in the Last Year of Life in Older Patients With Cancer

A new study reveals that preventive medications—such as those to lower blood pressure or cholesterol, or to protect bone health, among others—are commonly prescribed during the last year of life of older adults with cancer, even though they are unlikely to provide meaningful benefits....

issues in oncology
symptom management

Differences in Medical Cannabis Use in Patients With and Without Cancer

People with and without cancer are more likely, over time, to use a more potent form of medical marijuana with increasingly higher amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a new study published by Kim et al in the Journal of Palliative Medicine has shown. “Although there is growing...

issues in oncology

Infertility in Women and Low Absolute Risk of Cancer

A study of over 64,000 women of childbearing age in the United States has found that infertility is associated with a higher risk of developing cancer compared to a group of over 3 million women without fertility problems—although the absolute risk is very low, at just 2%. These findings ...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Number of Pregnancies May Influence Breast Cancer Risk in Women With BRCA Mutations

Researchers have found the lower risk of breast cancer associated with multiple pregnancies and breastfeeding in the general population extends to those at the highest risk of breast cancer. These results were published by Terry et al in the JNCI Cancer Spectrum. Methods and Findings The...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Kyle F. Concannon, MD, on Lung Cancer in Homeless Patients: Outcomes and Quality Measures

Kyle F. Concannon, MD, of the University of Washington/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, discusses study results on the delays in biopsy after radiographic findings among homeless vs housed patients with lung cancer, and the higher rates of missed appointments following diagnosis (Abstract 125).

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Shraddha M. Dalwadi, MD, MBA, on Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer: What Contributes to Disparities in Treating Stage I Disease

Shraddha M. Dalwadi, MD, MBA, of Baylor College of Medicine, discusses the nearly 12% of potentially curable patients with stage I NSCLC who do not receive treatment, the various socioeconomic reasons why, and how some patients may benefit from minimally invasive therapies (Abstract 127).

gynecologic cancers
issues in oncology

SGO 2019: Brachytherapy Boost Added to EBRT and Chemotherapy in Advanced Cervical Cancer

A recent National Cancer Database study has shown the current standard of care for advanced cervical cancer—external-beam radiation and chemotherapy in combination with brachytherapy—provides significantly higher overall survival over chemoradiation alone. However, the addition of...

gynecologic cancers
issues in oncology

SGO 2019: HPV Vaccine Uptake in the Deep South

A study by Pierce et al presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s (SGO) 50th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer showed that human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates in Alabama are highest in counties with high incidence rates of HPV-related cancer (Abstract 13).  ...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Implementing Personalized Pathways for Cancer Follow-up Care in the United States

A new approach to cancer follow-up care is required to meet the needs of the growing population of cancer survivors in the United States, while also addressing provider shortages and rising costs, according to a new multiagency report. The report—published by Alfano et al in CA: A Cancer ...

issues in oncology
kidney cancer

Sumanta K. Pal, MD: Let's Get More Patients With Rare Tumors Into Clinical Trials

Sumanta K. Pal, MD, of City of Hope, talks about the need for investigators across the country to enroll their patients with rare tumors in clinical trials. He describes a trial he is leading for papillary kidney cancer and how others can join his efforts.

issues in oncology
cost of care

Karim Fizazi, MD, PhD: We Need to Find a Way to Make Cancer Drugs Affordable

Karim Fizazi, MD, PhD, of Gustave Roussy, urges governments, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies to work together in order to find a way to make anticancer drugs affordable and accessible for all patients.  

breast cancer
leukemia
multiple myeloma
issues in oncology

FDA Pipeline: Assay Approval, Breakthrough Designations for AI Technology and CLL, and More

In the past week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a companion diagnostic assay, granted Breakthrough Device and Breakthrough Therapy designations, and extended the review period of a proposed treatment. The agency also published four draft guidances and one final guidance...

issues in oncology
legislation

Statement on White House’s FY2020 Budget Proposal by ASCO President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO

ASCO President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, issued the following statement earlier this week: We strongly oppose the White House budget proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2020, which would stall our nation's progress against cancer and impede access to needed care for the millions of...

issues in oncology

Lack of Genetic Diversity in Common Cancer Cell Lines

Researchers have found that some commercial cancer cell lines used for laboratory studies have mislabeled ancestry when it comes to minorities. These findings were published by Hooker et al in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. “A lack of diversity is prevalent in every level...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

Global Incidence of Undiagnosed Pediatric Cancers

Nearly half of all childhood cancers are not being diagnosed globally, according to a new modeling study published by Ward et al in The Lancet Oncology. “Our model suggests that nearly one in two children with cancer are never diagnosed and may die untreated,” said lead...

issues in oncology

Position Paper Addresses Shortages of Chemotherapy and Supportive Care Agents for Pediatric Oncology Patients

Shortages of essential chemotherapy drugs for children undergoing cancer treatment have been an increasingly frequent obstacle for patients and hospitals in the United States. These shortages can result in increased medication errors, delayed administration of life-saving therapy, inferior...

breast cancer
issues in oncology
cost of care

Patients With Breast Cancer Provide Recommendations to Ease Financial Toxicity

A qualitative study yielded nine patient-driven recommendations across circumstances that include changes to insurance, supportive services, and financial assistance to reduce long-term, breast cancer–related economic burden. The study was published by Dean et al in Cancer. Unique...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Effect of Adjuvant Treatment for Early Testicular Cancer on Reproductive Potential

Men with early-stage testicular cancer can safely receive one course of adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy without it having a long-term effect on their reproductive potential, according to a study published by Weibring et al in Annals of Oncology. Although it is known already that several...

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