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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...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

COA Practice Impact Report Details Consolidation, Shift of U.S. Cancer Care System Into More Expensive Hospital Setting

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) has released the 2018 Community Oncology Practice Impact Report, which tracks data on the changing landscape of cancer care in the United States. It details a decade-long trend of closure and consolidation in the U.S. cancer system that has resulted in a...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Postmarketing Label Modifications for Cancer Drugs Approved Without Supporting Randomized Controlled Trials

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Shepshelovich et al found that cancer drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of solid tumors without supporting randomized controlled trials were more likely to have postapproval safety-associated label...

issues in oncology
survivorship

ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Fertility Preservation in Patients With Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Kutluk Oktay, MD, PhD, of Yale University School of Medicine, and colleagues, ASCO has issued a clinical practice guideline update on fertility preservation in adults and children with cancer. The update was informed by an update panel systematic...

issues in oncology
symptom management

Study of Patient-Reported Symptom Burden in First Year After Cancer Diagnosis

In a Canadian retrospective population-based study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Bubis et al found that patients with cancer reported higher symptom scores at 1 month after diagnosis and identified several factors associated with higher symptom scores. Study Details The study...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines May Lead to Delayed Diagnosis in Nonwhite Women

The current guidelines for mammographic breast cancer screening, which are based on data from primarily white populations, may lead to delayed diagnosis in nonwhite women, according to a report published by Stapleton et al in JAMA Surgery. A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)...

issues in oncology
gastrointestinal cancer

Rehospitalization Patterns After Gastrointestinal Cancer Hospitalizations

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Manzano et al found that unplanned rehospitalization within 30 days after gastrointestinal (GI) cancer hospitalization was more likely after medical vs surgical index hospitalizations among older patients. Some risk factors for...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Barriers to Treatment in Limited-Stage Small Cell Lung Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Pezzi et al found that lack of health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, was associated with not receiving combined-modality therapy in limited-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC). They also found that lack of insurance was associated with poorer...

issues in oncology
cost of care

ACCC 2017 Survey Shows Cost of Treatment Is Top Threat to Cancer Program Growth

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) 8th annual Trending Now in Cancer Care survey, conducted in partnership with Advisory Board’s Oncology Roundtable, has identified current and emerging trends across U.S. cancer programs. When asked to identify the top threats to future cancer ...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Study Finds Adolescents Using Alternative Tobacco Products Are More Likely to Smoke 1 Year Later

Nonsmoking adolescents who use e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, or tobacco water pipes are more likely to start smoking conventional cigarettes within a year, according to new research by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Findings were published by Watkins et al in JAMA...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Out-of-Pocket Costs and Prescription Abandonment of Novel Oral Anticancer Agents

In a retrospective claims-based study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Doshi et al found that higher out-of-pocket costs were associated with increased rates of prescription abandonment for novel oral anticancer agents. Study Details The study involved data on 38,111 patients from...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
lung cancer
skin cancer
issues in oncology

Growing Socioeconomic and Racial Disparities in Management of Brain Metastases

Increasing use of a potentially life-saving treatment for metastatic cancer is leaving too many vulnerable patients behind, according to a new study from Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital published by Kann et al in JNCCN – Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. The...

breast cancer
skin cancer
issues in oncology
gastrointestinal cancer

Study Finds Increased Risk in Common Cancers in Female Night Shift Workers

In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified shift work with circadian disruption or chronodisruption as a probable human carcinogen. Now, a meta-analysis investigating whether long-term shift work increases the risks of common cancers in women has found that, overall, night...

issues in oncology

Sexual Problems and Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Adaptation of CCO Guideline

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Jeanne Carter, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and colleagues, ASCO has issued a clinical practice guideline adaptation of the Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) guideline on interventions to address sexual problems in people with cancer....

solid tumors
issues in oncology

California Trends in Cancer Survival by Health Insurance Status

A study using California Cancer Registry data showed that survival improvements in patients with cancer between 1997 and 2014 have largely been limited to those with private or Medicare insurance. These findings were reported in JAMA Oncology by Libby et al. Study Details The study involved...

issues in oncology

FCC, NCI Working to Improve Rural Cancer Care via Broadband Access

The Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force (C2HFCC) has announced that the FCC and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have joined forces, signing a memorandum of understanding that will focus on how increasing broadband access and adoption in rural areas can improve...

issues in oncology

Does Warfarin Have Anticancer Potential in Persons Older Than Age 50?

A Norwegian population–based cohort study indicated that the use of warfarin was associated with a reduced risk of cancer overall and site-specific cancers among patients aged > 50 years. The findings were reported in JAMA Internal Medicine by Haaland et al. As noted by the investigators,...

hematologic malignancies
issues in oncology

ASH 2017: Direct Oral Anticoagulant May Reduce Recurrence of VTE in Patients With Cancer

People with cancer have an increased risk of developing blood clots, with roughly one in five experiencing venous thromboembolism (VTE). International guidelines recommend treatment using low–molecular-weight heparin, an anticoagulant that is injected subcutaneously; however, new results from ...

issues in oncology

HPV Vaccination and Oral HPV Infections in Young Adults in the United States

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Chaturvedi et al found that whereas prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has reduced the incidence of oral HPV infection in young adults compared with no vaccination, low uptake of the vaccine has resulted in a modest overall...

issues in oncology
cost of care

ASCO Applauds New Report on Making Medicines Affordable

Today, ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, released the following statement: “A report released today by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine underscores the imperative our nation faces to address the affordability of drugs for medical conditions that have...

issues in oncology

More Than One-Third of PAs in Oncology Experience Burnout, Despite High Rate of Career Satisfaction

A new physician assistant (PA)-based study finds that despite personal satisfaction in the oncology specialty, high rates of burnout—over one-third of PAs (34.8%)—are common. These findings reveal important factors that could help to decrease burnout and improve the oncology workforce...

breast cancer
prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Urban American Indian and Alaskan Natives May Have Lower Survival Rates Following Invasive Prostate and Breast Cancers

Compared with the non-Hispanic white (NHW) population, the urban American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) community was more likely to have lower survival rates following invasive prostate and breast cancer, according to a new study by Emerson et al in Cancer Research. “It’s been...

issues in oncology

Discussion of Cancer Prognosis and the Patient-Physician Relationship

In a longitudinal cohort study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Fenton et al found that discussion of cancer prognosis between oncologists and patients did not worsen patient judgment of the quality of the patient-physician relationship. Study Details The study involved 265 adult...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Many Cancer Survivors Live With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A recent study showed approximately one-fifth of patients with cancer experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) several months after diagnosis, and many of these patients continued to live with PTSD years later. Published by Chan et al in Cancer, the findings highlight the need for early...

issues in oncology

Link Between Cancer and Diabetes, High Body Mass Index

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Cancer Research Fund, there is a causal association between a high body mass index (BMI) and 14 cancers, including colorectal, gallbladder, pancreatic, kidney, liver, endometrial, postmenopausal breast, ovarian, gastric...

issues in oncology

FDA Announces Comprehensive Regenerative Medicine Policy Framework

On November 16, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a comprehensive policy framework for the development and oversight of regenerative medicine products, including novel cellular therapies. The framework—outlined in a suite of four guidance documents—builds upon the...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Differences in Insurance Coverage Associated With Nearly Half of Black-White Survival Disparity in Colorectal Cancer

Health insurance coverage differences account for nearly one-half of the black-white survival disparity in colorectal cancer patients, according to a new study published by Sineshaw et al in Gastroenterology. The findings reinforce the importance of equitable health insurance coverage to mitigate...

health-care policy
issues in oncology
legislation

Hospital Groups File Lawsuit to Stop Significant Payment Cuts for 340B Hospitals

The American Hospital Association (AHA), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and America’s Essential Hospitals have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to prevent significant...

issues in oncology

Representation of Minorities and Women in Oncology Clinical Trials From 2003 to 2016

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Duma et al found that African American, Hispanic, older, and female patients were underrepresented in oncology clinical trials during the period of 2003 to 2016. Study Details The study involved analysis of enrollment data from all cancer...

issues in oncology

Survival as Quality Metric in Cancer Care

In a National Cancer Data Base study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Shulman et al found little difference in risk-adjusted cancer mortality rates among individual hospitals, suggesting survival may not be an ideal quality metric at the individual hospital level. However, survival was ...

issues in oncology

ASCO Cites Evidence That Alcohol Is Linked to Cancer, Calls for Reduced Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol use—whether light, moderate, or heavy—is linked with increasing the risk of several leading cancers, including those of the breast, colon, esophagus, and head and neck, according to evidence gathered by ASCO. In a statement released November 7 identifying alcohol as a definite...

issues in oncology

Hospital Emergency Department Practices for Treating Older Adults With Cancer

A new study published by Lipitz-Snyderman et al in JNCCN–Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network found that among patients presenting to the emergency department, those with cancer, especially those aged 75 years or older, are more likely to be admitted to the hospital—and...

issues in oncology

Worldwide Cancer Incidence and Mortality Among Persons Aged 20 to 39 in 2012

In a study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Fidler et al found that cancer burden was higher worldwide among women vs men aged 20 to 39 in 2012 and that the incidence was higher but mortality lower in very high vs low Human Development Index regions. Study Details The study involved data from the ...

issues in oncology

Changes in Uninsured Status Among Nonelderly Cancer Patients Under the Affordable Care Act

In a research letter in JAMA Oncology, Soni et al reported reductions in the proportion of nonelderly adult cancer patients who were uninsured between 2010 and 2013 vs 2014, after institution of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Study Details The study used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology,...

issues in oncology

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Cancer-Specific Survival in California

In a study using California Cancer Registry data reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ellis et al found that the stage at diagnosis was the greatest contributor to racial/ethnic disparities in cancer-specific survival, with neighborhood socioeconomic status and marital status also being...

issues in oncology

AACR-NCI-EORTC: Rising Number of Seamless Clinical Trials in Oncology

The number of early-phase trials in oncology that adopted a seamless approach—as opposed to a traditional trial approach with defined phase I, II, and III plans—is rising, with data from the majority of them presented after 2014, according to a study presented by Barata et al at the...

issues in oncology

Cancers Associated With Overweight and Obesity Make Up 40% of Cancers Diagnosed in the United States

Overweight and obesity are associated with increased risk of 13 types of cancer—and these cancers account for about 40% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States in 2014—according to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Overall, the...

issues in oncology

FDA Conducts Global Operation to Protect Consumers From Potentially Dangerous Prescription Drugs Sold Online

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in partnership with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, recently took action against more than 500 websites that illegally sell potentially dangerous, unapproved versions of prescription medicines, including opioids, antibiotics, and...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Liquid Biopsy May Provide Predictive Biomarkers for Checkpoint Inhibitor Response

Although checkpoint inhibitor–based immunotherapy has revolutionized treatment for a variety of cancers, the majority of patients with cancer do not respond to the therapy, and a subset of patients may even experience hyperprogression. Many patients also experience some degree of...

issues in oncology

Changes in Insurance Coverage and Diagnosis Stage After Affordable Care Act Implementation

Jemal et al found decreases in the percentage of uninsured patients and trends toward earlier diagnosis among nonelderly patients with cancer after implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Their findings were reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Study Details The study used...

issues in oncology

Second Annual ASCO Advocacy Summit Convenes in Washington, DC

Nearly 100 oncology care providers from across the United States traveled to Capitol Hill on September 27 and 28 to participate in the second annual ASCO Advocacy Summit. Advocates met with Members of Congress and their staff to educate them on critical issues affecting patients with cancer ...

issues in oncology

ASTRO 2017: Distress in Patients Receiving Radiation Associated With Missed Appointments, Hospitalization

Psychological distress has long been associated with negative health outcomes for patients with cancer, though specific reasons remain unclear. A new study has found that roughly half of all patients who reported having severe distress, which the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN)...

issues in oncology

ASTRO 2017: Urban Cancer Center Finds 75% of Its Patients With Depression Were Previously Undiagnosed

A new study of patients at an urban cancer center points to a potentially serious problem that may limit the impact of clinical cancer care—undiagnosed depression. Among the 40% of patients at the center who were diagnosed with depression, three in four had not previously been told they were ...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Preexisting Dementia and Survival in Older Patients With Stage III Colon Cancer

A pre-existing diagnosis of dementia was associated with increased risk of death for older patients with advanced colon cancer; however, some of the effects of dementia on survival could be mediated by receipt of chemotherapy, according to results of a study published by Chen et al in Cancer...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

AACR Releases 2017 Cancer Progress Report: Harnessing Research Discoveries to Save Lives

Federally funded research that provides a deep understanding of cancer is spurring advances against many types of the disease. With a strong bipartisan commitment from Congress to keep investment in biomedical research a national priority, we can accelerate our pace of progress and save more lives...

issues in oncology
symptom management

Assessing and Managing CAR T-Cell Treatment Toxicities

Immune-cell based therapies opening a new frontier for cancer treatment carry unique, potentially lethal side effects that provide a new challenge for oncologists—one addressed by a team led by clinicians at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center with proposed guidelines for...

issues in oncology

New ASCO Guideline Aims to Improve Clinician Communication With Patients

A new guideline from ASCO published by Gilligan et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology outlines best practices for cancer clinicians when communicating with patients and their loved ones. The Patient-Clinician Communication: American Society of Clinical Oncology Consensus Guideline...

issues in oncology

ESMO 2017: Patients Struggle With Key Aspects of Clinical Trial Methodology

Clinical trials are fundamental to the development of new treatments for cancer, yet the annual accrual to cancer clinical trials worldwide is low, estimated at 3%–5%. A nationwide study in Ireland, the preliminary results of which were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology...

issues in oncology

ESMO 2017: Abdominal to Peripheral Fat Ratio May Predict Risk of Cancer Diagnosis in Postmenopausal Women

Body fat distribution in the trunk is more influential than body weight when it comes to cancer risk in postmenopausal women, according to a study presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid (Abstract 1408P_PR). The findings put a new spin on weight...

issues in oncology
survivorship

ESMO 2017: NOR-CAYACS Trial: Factors That May Limit Work Ability of Young Adult Cancer Survivors

Factors that may limit the ability of young adult cancer survivors to work were reported at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2017 Congress in Madrid (Abstract 1110PD_PR). Late side effects can occur months or years after cancer treatment. In patients diagnosed with cancer in young...

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