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issues in oncology
palliative care

Robert Olson, MD, on Quality-of-Life Outcomes After Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy vs Standard-of-Care Palliative Treatments

Robert Olson, MD, of the BC Cancer Centre for the North, discusses a secondary analysis of the SABR-COMET trial, which showed there was a small magnitude decline in quality of life in both arms of the study but no associated detriment with stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (Abstract 148).

issues in oncology
solid tumors

Daniel M. Trifiletti, MD, on Optimizing Whole-Brain Radiotherapy Dose and Fractionation for Patients With Brain Metastases

Daniel M. Trifiletti, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, discusses study findings showing that, between two different radiation doses (30 Gy/10 fractions vs 37.5 Gy/15 fractions), there was no difference in the time to cognitive failure, tumor control, or overall survival for patients with brain metastases...

issues in oncology
health-care policy

Justin Barnes, MS, on the Affordable Care Act and Risk of Suicide in Patients With Cancer

Justin Barnes, MS, of the St. Louis University School of Medicine, discusses his findings on the risk of suicide, which is higher in patients with cancer than in other adults but can be reduced by health policy interventions, including components of the Affordable Care Act (Abstract LBA9).

issues in oncology
global cancer care

Michael Kenneth Keng, MD, on an ASCO Quality Training Program: 5-Year Review

Michael Kenneth Keng, MD, of the University of Virginia, gives a status update on this international program, and discusses future initiatives which include coaching mentorship and publishing articles on quality care (Abstract 7).

issues in oncology

Cary P. Gross, MD, on Creating and Implementing Clinical Pathways: Where is the Patient’s Voice?

Cary P. Gross, MD, of Yale School of Medicine, discusses the challenges of implementing pathways and guiding patient decision-making on treatment.

issues in oncology

Joseph O. Jacobson, MD, on Suffering, Systems, and Safety: The Joseph V. Simone Award Lecture

Joseph O. Jacobson, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and this year’s recipient of the award for excellence in quality cancer care, discusses the need for quality improvement (QI) to encompass systems of care, the role of QI in preventing suffering, how poor quality affects patient safety, and...

issues in oncology

Nadine Housri, MD, on Online Tumor Boards: A New Resource for Practicing Oncologists

Nadine Housri, MD, of the Yale School of Medicine, talks about a new paradigm in sharing knowledge from tumor board discussions at NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, with community oncologists on themednet.org. Currently, thoracic, breast, and GI cancers are included, with plans to expand ...

issues in oncology

Matthew B. Schabath, PhD, on Addressing Cultural Barriers to Equality in Oncology Among Sexual and Gender Minorities

Matthew B. Schabath, PhD, of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, discusses the disparities in cancer care among members of the LGBTQ community and the need to collect more data in order to close that gap.

issues in oncology

Lauren M. Hamel, PhD, on Race and Doctor-Patient Behavior

Lauren M. Hamel, PhD, of Wayne State University/Karmanos Cancer Institute, discusses her findings on the ways in which nonverbal behavior between doctors and patients of the same or different races can affect their relationship, quality of communication, and ultimately, perhaps outcomes as well...

issues in oncology

Mallika Sharma, MPH, on Eliminating Prior Authorizations, Anxiety, Delay in Care, Higher Costs

Mallika Sharma, MPH, of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, discusses her findings that, by doing away with the many prior authorization denials based on administrative errors, providers may offer higher-value care by eliminating unnecessary anxiety among patients, administrative burdens, and increased...

issues in oncology

Grace C. Hillyer, EdD, MPH, on Enrolling Patients in Clinical Trials: Improving Clinician-Patient Communication

Grace C. Hillyer, EdD, MPH, of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, discusses the many barriers to enrolling patients in clinical trials, most notably different attitudes toward and perceptions about research studies among clinicians vs patients. Her findings point to the need for...

issues in oncology

Elena Martinez, PhD, MPH, on Diversity in Precision Oncology

Elena Martinez, PhD, MPH, of Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego, discusses the challenges of ensuring diversity in precision oncology and potential solutions to address the challenges.

cost of care
issues in oncology

Ryan Huey, MD, on the Financial Toxicity of Early-Phase Clinical Trials

Ryan Huey, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses his findings that showed the large financial burden on lower-income patients enrolled in phase I trials (Abstract 8).

issues in oncology
health-care policy

Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD, on Policy and Business Solutions to Address Disparities in Cancer Care

Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD, of the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, discusses cultural factors that contribute to cancer care disparities, the role of national policy in addressing inequities in access to care, and what local institutions can do to improve the situation.

issues in oncology

Racial Reporting and Representation in Oncology Trials

New research published by Loree et al in JAMA Oncology found that race and race subgroup analysis reporting does not occur frequently and that black and Hispanic populations are underrepresented in oncology trials that have led to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals. The study raises...

issues in oncology

Obesity-Associated Cancers and Age Demographics

A study published by Koroukian et al in JAMA Network Open found that from 2000 to 2016, incident obesity-associated cancers were increasingly found in younger age groups. The authors suggest that interventions are needed to reduce obesity and to implement individualized screening programs. The...

issues in oncology

Relationship Between Sleep Apnea and Cancer Risk in Women

Women with severe sleep apnea appear to also have an elevated risk of developing cancer, according to findings from a study by Pataka et al in the European Respiratory Journal. No causal relationship was demonstrated, but a link between nocturnal hypoxia in women and higher cancer risk was...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Access to Care and Quality of Life Among Sexual Minority Cancer Survivors

In a study published by Boehmer et al in Cancer, researchers found access to care among sexual minority cancer survivors was lacking. Moreover, sexual minority women with poor access to care, in particular, had a worse quality of life. Methods Researchers performed a secondary analysis of 4...

issues in oncology

Cancer in Adults Aged 85 and Older: Rates, Screening, and Survival

A new report published by DeSantis et al in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians examined cancer statistics in adults 85 and older and found incidence and mortality trends are generally similar to those in people aged 65 to 84 years, but disease screening rates are unexpectedly high and survival is...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Androgen-Deprivation Therapy May Increase Risk for QT Prolongation and Torsades de Pointes

In a study published by Salem et al in Circulation, researchers examined how several testosterone-blocking drugs commonly used in the treatment of prostate cancer affect the heart's QT interval. The longer a QT interval—typically measured by an electrocardiogram—the more at risk a ...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

Global Burden of Pediatric and Adolescent Cancer in 2017

A recent analysis looked at the global burden of pediatric cancer through the lens of years of affected and lost life. This work shows a much greater burden of childhood cancer, placed largely in low- and middle-income countries, than previous estimates. The findings were published in The Lancet...

skin cancer
issues in oncology

Survey Finds Majority of Americans Are Unfamiliar With Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Nearly-three quarters of Americans are not familiar with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common type of cancer in the United States, according to a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of The Skin Cancer Foundation. Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma is more common...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

WHO Releases Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic

Many governments are making progress in the fight against tobacco, with 5 billion people today living in countries that have introduced smoking bans, warnings on packaging, and other effective tobacco control measures—four times more people than a decade ago. However, a new World Health...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Abdominal Fat and Mortality in Patients With Colorectal Cancer

For patients with colorectal cancer, new research shows a clearer connection than previously known between fat deposits in certain areas of the body and higher rates of death from all causes within 7 years of cancer diagnosis. These findings were published by Brown et al in the Journal of the...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Deep Natural Language Processing of Oncology Radiology Reports

Scientists have demonstrated that an artificial intelligence (AI) tool can perform as well as human reviewers—and much more rapidly—in extracting clinical information regarding changes in tumors from unstructured radiology reports for patients with lung cancer. These findings were...

lymphoma
issues in oncology

FDA Requests Manufacturer Recall of Some Textured Breast Implants

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that Allergan, the manufacturer of a specific type of textured breast implant, recall specific models of its textured implants from the U.S. market due to the risk of breast implant–associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL)....

issues in oncology

Study Looks at Effect of Parenthood, Gender on Conference Attendance and Early Career Satisfaction

For oncologists in the beginning of their careers, scientific conferences present an opportunity to network, share research, gain new knowledge, and advance in their career. However, many women find themselves skipping these conferences because of family obligations, a new research letter published ...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Rates of Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis in Adults Younger Than Age 50

A new study published by Virostko et al in Cancer found that the proportion of adults diagnosed with colorectal cancer under age 50 in the United States has continued to increase over the past decade, and younger adults are diagnosed with more advanced disease. To determine recent trends in...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Association Between ADT for Prostate Cancer and Diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease or Dementia in Older Patients

In a report published by Jayadevappa et al in JAMA Network Open, researchers found that among older patients with prostate cancer, treatment with androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) was associated with a subsequent diagnosis of Alzheimer disease or dementia over a follow-up period of at least 10...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Poorer Outcomes for Patients With Lung Cancer Undergoing Radiotherapy During Disaster-Level Hurricanes

Patients who experienced a disaster-level hurricance during radiotherapy for lung cancer had worse overall survival than those who completed treatment in normal circumstances, with longer disaster declarations associated with increasingly worse survival. These findings come from a...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Rise in Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer Not Fully Aligned With Screening Trends

A new study finds that trends in colonoscopy rates did not fully align with recent increases in colorectal cancer incidence in younger adults. The findings were published by Fedewa et al in the Journal of Medical Screening. Colorectal cancer incidence rates are declining in adults older than...

issues in oncology

Economic Burden of Cancer in the United States in 2015

There were more than 8.7 million person-years of life lost and $94.4 billion in earnings lost due to cancer among people aged 16 to 84 in the United States in 2015. The calculation comes from a new report published by Islami et al in JAMA Oncology. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Does Radioactive Iodine Treatment for Hyperthyroidism Increase the Risk of Cancer Mortality?

Findings from a study of patients who received radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism show a modest association between the dose of treatment and long-term risk of death from solid cancers, including breast cancer. The study, led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), was...

kidney cancer
issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Benefit Seen With Targeted Therapies in Elderly and Medically Complex Patients With Metastatic RCC

Many elderly and medically complex patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC)—who are often underrepresented in clinical trials—saw overall survival benefits from treatment with targeted therapies, according to a study that analyzed 13 years of data on Medicare patients...

issues in oncology
gastrointestinal cancer

ESMO World GI 2019: Incidence of Gastric Cancer in Younger Individuals

The incidence of gastric cancer has been increasing in younger individuals, and those under 40 with chronic digestive symptoms should be more actively investigated. These findings follow new data from a retrospective, observational study in Mexico, which showed that 1 in 7 of over 2,000...

head and neck cancer
lung cancer
issues in oncology

Do Statins Lower the Risk of Cardiovascular Complications in Patients Treated With Radiotherapy to the Chest, Neck, or Head?

Patients with cancer who took cholesterol-lowering statin medication following radiation therapy of the chest, neck, or head had significantly reduced risk of suffering a stroke—and possibly other cardiovascular complications—according to research published by Boulet et al in...

gynecologic cancers
issues in oncology

Implementation of Minimum Hospital Volume Standards Could Impact Ovarian Cancer Surgical Care

Limiting ovarian cancer surgery to high-volume hospitals could improve survival but may also reduce access for many rural and underserved patients, a study from researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons has found. The findings were published by Wright et al...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Leading Organizations Call on Congress to Help Eliminate HPV-Related Cancers

Today, the American Association for Cancer Research, Moffitt Cancer Center, and Biden Cancer Initiative hosted a congressional briefing titled “Let’s End HPV-Related Cancers” in Washington, DC. In conjunction with this briefing, leading health organizations and...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Study Finds Primary Care Providers Are Engaged in Cancer Survivorship Care but Report Barriers to Optimal Care Delivery

A new study published by McDonough et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice found that while primary care physicians are often involved in cancer survivorship care, many do not feel adequately prepared for key components of it. The study shared the results of a survey of 117...

issues in oncology

AACR Environmental Carcinogenesis: Silicone-Based Wristbands for Detection of Occupational Environmental Exposures for Firefighters

First responders such as paramedics and firefighters may be exposed to hazardous occupational environmental exposures, but linking these exposures to conditions such as cancers is difficult due to the latency period of disease, magnitude of potential exposure, and potential interactions of...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

AACR Environmental Carcinogenesis: Lowering Exposure to Nitrates in Drinking Water May Reduce U.S. Cancer Cases

Nitrate levels in water resources have increased in many areas of the world, largely due to the use of inorganic fertilizer and animal manure in agricultural areas. Research has shown that the risk of specific cancers and birth defects may be increased when nitrate is ingested under conditions that ...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Radiotherapy Increases Adverse Cardiovascular Event Risk for Patients With Lung Cancer

A new retrospective study led by investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute examined outcomes for patients after receiving treatment for locally advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), finding that the average radiation dose delivered to the...

issues in oncology
survivorship

U.S. Cancer Survivors Numbered Nearly 17 Million at the Start of 2019

There were more than 16.9 million Americans with a history of cancer on January 1, 2019, and that number is projected to reach more than 22.1 million by 2030 based on the growth and aging of the population alone, according to estimates from Cancer Treatment and Survivorship Statistics, 2019....

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...

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