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issues in oncology
pain management

2018 Quality Care: New Approach Successfully Reduces Opioid Use After Urologic Oncology Surgery

In a study conducted by Stanford Health Care, researchers achieved a 46% reduction in opioid use among 443 patients with cancer who underwent a range of urologic surgeries without increasing their pain or anxiety. They achieved this reduction through a two-pillared approach: (1) maximizing the use...

breast cancer
issues in oncology
cost of care

2018 Quality Care: Nationwide Survey Reveals Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer Face Major Financial Stress Due to Treatment Costs

A new nationwide analysis of more than 1,000 people living with metastatic breast cancer from 41 states reveals significant cancer-related financial burden known as financial toxicity, particularly for uninsured patients. The study will be presented by Greenup et al at the upcoming 2018 ASCO...

issues in oncology
pain management

2018 Quality Care: Opioid Deaths Are 10 Times Less Likely to Occur in Patients With Cancer Compared to the General Population

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2016, over 42,000 Americans died from opioid overdose, making the epidemic a top public health concern. Although opioids are commonly used for cancer-associated pain, the risks for overdose in patients with cancer were unknown. A...

issues in oncology
cost of care

2018 Quality Care: Older Patients With Advanced Cancer Experiencing Financial Difficulties Have Worse Quality of Life and Mental Health

Older patients with advanced cancer experiencing financial toxicity due to the cost of their treatment have higher rates of severe anxiety and depression and poorer quality of life than patients who do not experience financial hardship. In addition, for those patients having financial difficulty,...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology
cost of care

Estimated Medicare Cost for Prostate Cancer Care in Older Men

Although national guidelines recommend against prostate cancer screening in men age 70 and older, researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center estimate that screening for and treating prostate cancer in men in this age group costs Medicare more than ...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Researchers Identify Pitfall in PSMA PET Imaging Method

Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging has become a popular method for determining the stage of a patient’s prostate cancer. However, researchers have identified a pitfall in this imaging technique and are cautioning medical professionals to be...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Uncommon Lethal Complications of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

In a systematic review and meta-analysis reported in JAMA Oncology, Wang et al identified frequency and types of fatal toxic effects in patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Study Details The study involved analysis of fatal immune checkpoint inhibitor–associated toxic...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Survey Shows Increased Public Awareness of Lung Cancer Over Past Decade

Survey results released by the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) show that general awareness about lung cancer has improved significantly over the past decade, with 94% of the public reporting familiarity with lung cancer. Despite this change in overall perspective, findings also indicate that lung cancer ...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

AACR Releases Annual Cancer Progress Report

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has released its annual Cancer Progress Report highlighting how federally funded research discoveries are fueling the development of new and even more effective ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat cancer. Key advances outlined...

lung cancer
issues in oncology
survivorship

Small Study Shows Chemotherapy May Lead to Early Menopause in Young Women With Lung Cancer

A new study suggests chemotherapy may cause acute amenorrhea, leading to early menopause in women with lung cancer. The study is the first to comment on amenorrhea rates in women younger than 50, concluding that women with lung cancer who desire future fertility should be educated about risks and...

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Factors in Endocrine Deficiency in Pediatric and Young Adult Patients Receiving Radiotherapy for Brain Tumors

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vatner et al identified factors associated with an increased risk of endocrine deficiency in pediatric and young adult patients receiving radiation therapy for brain tumors, including hypothalamus and pituitary radiation dose. Study Details ...

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...

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
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...

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...

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...

lung cancer
issues in oncology
global cancer care

Lung Cancer Mortality Among Women Projected to Increase by 43% Worldwide by 2030

According to a report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, cancer is among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with an estimated incidence of 14 million new cases of the disease and 8.2 million cancer deaths in 2012. A study analyzing breast and female lung...

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,...

colorectal cancer
kidney cancer
hepatobiliary cancer
lung cancer
pancreatic cancer
issues in oncology
bladder cancer

Large Disparities in Cancer Mortality Rates Found Among Different Racial/Ethnic Populations in New York State

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of death for Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders in the United States. However, their cancer burden is less than that of non-Hispanic whites and especially non-Hispanic blacks, who bear the most disproportionate share of the...

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
survivorship

Genetic Risk for Subsequent Neoplasms in Long-Term Survivors of Childhood Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Wang et al found that germline pathogenic/likely pathogenic mutations significantly contributed to the risk of subsequent neoplasms in long-term survivors of childhood cancers. Study Details The study involved whole-genome sequencing on...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Handheld Device for Detecting Heart Dysfunction in Anthracycline-Exposed Survivors of Childhood Cancer

Cardiovascular complications, such as anthracycline-related heart failure, are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in survivors of childhood cancer, often developing at a time when these survivors are least engaged in long-term survivorship care, prompting the need for new paradigms in...

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...

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
immunotherapy

Adoption of Anti–PD-1 Agents Into Clinical Practice and Age Differences in Practice vs Pivotal Clinical Trials

In a retrospective cohort study reported in JAMA Oncology, O’Connor et al found that anti­–programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) agents rapidly reached eligible patients after U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. The study also showed that real-world patients were...

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
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....

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Risk-Prediction Tool Helps Tailor Lung Cancer Screening to Patient Preference and Clinical Benefit

A microsimulation model study found that the benefits of low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening for lung cancer varied substantially across the eligible population, with 3 factors being particularly influential: lung cancer risk, competing risks or life expectancy, and patient...

lung cancer
skin cancer
issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Survival in Male vs Female Patients Receiving Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

In a systematic review and meta-analysis reported in The Lancet Oncology, Conforti et al found a significant difference in overall survival benefit favoring male vs female patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy for advanced cancers. Study Details The study involved database...

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
immunotherapy

AACR 2018: Boosting T-Cell Memory May Result in Longer-Lasting Responses in Patients Treated With Checkpoint Blockade Immunotherapies

Some T cells have excellent memories. These subtypes—known as memory T cells—may explain why some immunotherapies are more effective than others and could potentially lead to researchers designing more effective studies using combination checkpoint blockade treatments, according to...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

AACR 2018: Off-the-Shelf, Dual-Targeted CAR T-Cell Product Showed Promising Results in Preclinical Studies

FT819—an off-the-shelf, T-cell receptor–less CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell product that could potentially be made more accessible to patients with cancer than conventional CAR T-cell therapies—showed positive results in preclinical specificity, functionality, and...

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...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

New ACCC Report Focuses on Immuno-Oncology, Cancer Care Delivery

As innovations in immunotherapies multiply, cancer programs and practices must overcome care coordination and communication challenges across the nation’s health-care system to integrate these advances into effective patient care. A new report from the Association of Community Cancer Centers...

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...

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