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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 (Abstract 19).

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

Manali I. Patel, MD, on Community Practices: Enhancing Delivery of Value-Based Cancer Care

Manali I. Patel, MD, of Stanford Cancer Center, discusses enhancing value for patients with cancer treated by community practitioners at the end of life by also utilizing trained lay health workers in a novel intervention that reduced the use of acute care and emergency department visits while improving quality of life.

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 the ways in which oncologists can learn from errors in other industries.

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 the scope (Abstract 272).

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 (Abstract 169).

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 costs (Abstract 9).

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 better communication between the two groups and more patient input (Abstract 170).

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

Single-Institution Study of Next-Generation Sequencing Outcomes in Patients With Cancer

In a single-institution retrospective study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Davis and colleagues found that next-generation sequencing (NGS) tests resulted in changes in management in a small proportion of patients with cancer. Study Details The study involved retrospective review...

issues in oncology

Age Disparities Among Patients in Cancer Clinical Trials and Patients With Cancer in the General Population

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Ludmir et al found that the median age of patients with common cancers enrolled in clinical trials was substantially lower than the median age of patients with the same cancers in the general population. Age disparity was greater in industry-funded trials....

issues in oncology

Outcomes Among Older HIV-Positive Patients With Cancer in the United States

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Coghill et al found that outcomes are often worse among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients aged 65 years or older with cancer vs HIV-negative patients with cancer, after adjustment for the first courses of treatment. In the study,...

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...

issues in oncology

Patient vs Provider Views on Goals and Adverse Effects of Cancer Therapy

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Duckworth et al found that many patients with cancer had more optimistic treatment goals vs their physicians and that patients who did not understand adverse effects associated with treatment had higher distress scores. As stated by the...

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 ...

gynecologic cancer
issues in oncology

Psychological Stress and Cancer-Specific Mortality in Patients With Cervical Cancer

Results from a large cohort study showed that psychological stress is associated with increased cancer-specific mortality among women with cervical cancer, independent of tumor characteristics and treatment modality. The findings support the integration of psychological screening and intervention...

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...

issues in oncology

Clinical Deterioration Among Patients Hospitalized at a Tertiary Cancer Hospital

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Lyons et al found that transfer to the intensive care unit (ICU) or on-ward death occurred in 9% of admissions to cancer wards at an urban tertiary cancer hospital. Investigators identified factors associated with clinical deterioration...

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...

issues in oncology

Fragility Analysis of Phase III Trials Supporting FDA Approval of Anticancer Drugs

In an analysis reported in The Lancet Oncology, Del Paggio and Tannock found that many phase III trials supporting U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of anticancer drugs have a low fragility index—a measure of how many people in a study would have had to have a different outcome ...

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
immunotherapy

Incidence of Olaratumab Infusion-Related Reactions

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Van Tine et al found that infusion-related reactions occurred in 14.4% of patients receiving olaratumab in clinical trials, with grade ≥ 3 events occurring in 2.3%. (Olaratumab was withdrawn from the global market on April 25, 2019, based...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Receipt of Radioactive Iodine Treatment for Differentiated Thyroid Cancer and Perception of Patient Choice

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Wallner et al found that many patients with differentiated thyroid cancer reported feeling they had no choice in receipt of radioactive iodine treatment. As stated by the investigators, “For many patients with differentiated thyroid...

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...

issues in oncology
symptom management
immunotherapy

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Rechallenge After Immune-Related Adverse Events

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Simonaggio et al found that rechallenge with an immune checkpoint inhibitor after occurrence of immune-related adverse events was associated with occurrence of an immune-related adverse event in approximately half of patients, with no increase in severity....

issues in oncology

Does Centralization of High-Risk Cancer Surgery in Hospital Systems Improve Outcomes?

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Sheetz et al identified the degree of centralization of high-risk cancer surgeries within hospital systems and found improved short-term outcomes with increased centralization among Medicare patients. Study Details The study involved...

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...

lung cancer
issues in oncology
cost of care

Frequency, Complications, and Costs of Diagnostic and Postprogression Biopsies in NSCLC

In a retrospective study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Kelly et al identified the frequency of diagnostic and postprogression biopsies, complication rates, and associated costs in patients with non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The study involved patient data from the...

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 cancer
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...

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