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issues in oncology
symptom management

Patients With Advanced Cancer Presenting to Emergency Departments With Delirium Likely to Die Earlier

According to a new study published by Elsayem et al in The Oncologist, patients with advanced cancer who are diagnosed with delirium when presenting to emergency departments are more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die earlier than patients without delirium. This shows the importance...

supportive care
symptom management

FDA Expands Ibrutinib Indications to Chronic Graft-vs-Host Disease

On August 2, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ibrutinib (Imbruvica) for the treatment of adult patients with chronic graft-vs-host disease after failure of one or more lines of systemic therapy. This is the first FDA-approved therapy for the treatment of chronic...

symptom management

Understanding and Managing Radiation-Induced Bystander Effect

More than half of patients with cancer undergo radiotherapy. Due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect, in which irradiated cells leak chemical signals that can travel some distance to damage unexposed healthy cells, many suffer side effects such as hair loss, fatigue, and...

hematologic malignancies
symptom management

FDA Approves Betrixaban for the Prophylaxis of Venous Thromboembolism

On June 23, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved betrixaban (Bevyxxa) for the prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in adult patients hospitalized for an acute medical illness who are at risk for thromboembolic complications due to moderate or severe restricted mobility...

issues in oncology
cost of care
symptom management

ASCO 2017: Many Emergency Department Visits Among Patients With Cancer Appear Preventable

Among patients with cancer, as many as 53% of emergency department visits that do not require admission could be avoided with better symptom management and greater availability of outpatient care tailored to their needs, according to a new study from Fred Hutchinson Cancer...

symptom management

ASCO 2017: Web-Based System for Self-Reporting Symptoms Helps Patients Live Longer

A randomized clinical trial of 766 patients shows that a simple intervention—a Web-based tool that enables patients to report their symptoms in real time, triggering alerts to clinicians—can have major benefits, including longer survival. Patients with metastatic cancer who used the...

symptom management
pain management

Peter Hoskin, MD, on Spinal Compression: Results From the SCORAD III Trial

Peter Hoskin, MD, of Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, discusses study findings on single-dose radiotherapy compared with multifraction radiotherapy in patients with metastatic spinal canal compression. (Abstract LBA10004)

symptom management

ASCO 2017: Remote Therapy Program Improves Quality of Life, Lowers Distress After Cancer Diagnosis

Most patients experience significant distress after they are diagnosed with cancer. This distress not only erodes quality of life, but can also negatively affect the course of the disease and the patient’s ability to tolerate treatment. Yet few patients with cancer receive psychological...

pain management
symptom management

ASCO 2017: Single-Dose Radiotherapy as Effective as Multiple Fractions in Relieving Symptoms of Spinal Cord Compression

Spinal cord compression is a common complication in people with metastatic cancer and is a major detriment to quality of life. Radiation treatment is widely used to relieve pain and other symptoms, but there is no standard recommended schedule, and approaches currently vary. Findings from a phase...

symptom management

Update to Guideline for Management of Fever and Neutropenia in Children With Cancer and HSCT Recipients

An update to the 2012 International Pediatric Fever and Neutropenia Guideline Panel recommendations for management of fever and neutropenia in children with cancer and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients was reported by Lehrnbecher et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology....

breast cancer
symptom management

Joint Position Statement on Management of Aromatase Inhibitor–Associated Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women With Hormone-Sensitive Breast Cancer

A new position statement, jointly published by seven international and European organizations, identifies fracture-related risk factors in patients treated with aromatase inhibitors and outlines key management strategies to help prevent bone loss and related fractures. It was published by Hadji et...

hematologic malignancies
symptom management

FDA Removes Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy Requirements for Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents

On April 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) requirements for the use of epoetin alfa and darbepoetin alfa to treat patients with anemia due to associated myelosuppressive chemotherapy. The Agency's announcement regarding...

symptom management

Preclinical Research Suggests Potential Therapy for 'Chemobrain'

Findings offered by a University of Kansas (KU) researcher at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in early April suggest a possible therapeutic intervention for “chemobrain,” the cognitive impairment that plagues up to a third of cancer patients following chemotherapy. ...

symptom management

Dexamethasone Mouthwash in Preventing Everolimus-Related Stomatitis in Women With Breast Cancer

In the phase II SWISH study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Rugo et al found that use of a dexamethasone-based mouthwash may prevent everolimus-related stomatitis in postmenopausal women receiving everolimus (Afinitor) for hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer....

cost of care
symptom management

Laura E. Panattoni, PhD, on Costs of Preventable Emergency Department Use

Laura E. Panattoni, PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses results from a regional study on emergency department costs during cancer treatment and the need to focus on managing symptoms (Abstract 2).

symptom management

Ethan M. Basch, MD, on Symptom Control and Quality: The Patient’s Voice

Ethan M. Basch, MD, of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discusses programs—now rolling out at various institutions—that use direct patient reporting of symptoms as a part of quality assessment (Posters 61, 81; Abstract 218).

symptom management

Comparison of Pharmaceutical, Psychological, and Exercise Treatments for Cancer-Related Fatigue

Exercise and/or psychological therapy may work better than medications to reduce cancer-related fatigue and should be recommended first to patients, according to a Wilmot Cancer Institute-led study published by Mustian et al in JAMA Oncology. “If a [patient with cancer] is having trouble...

symptom management

Feasibility of Patient Reporting of Adverse Events in Cancer Clinical Trials

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Basch et al found that use of patient-reported outcome questionnaires to report symptomatic adverse events was feasible in the setting of multicenter cancer treatment trials. Study Details In the study, 361 consecutive patients enrolled in 1 of 9 U.S....

symptom management

FDA Approves Telotristat Ethyl for Carcinoid Syndrome Diarrhea

On February 28, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved telotristat ethyl (Xermelo) tablets in combination with somatostatin analog therapy for the treatment of adults with carcinoid syndrome diarrhea that somatostatin analog therapy alone has inadequately controlled. About...

symptom management

Patient-Reported Outcomes for Assessing Symptom Burden in Patients Receiving Oral Anticancer Therapy

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Mackler et al found that use of a validated symptom assessment tool for patient-reported outcomes was feasible in evaluating symptom burden in outpatients receiving oral anticancer treatment in the clinical setting. Study Details The study...

palliative care
symptom management

Palliative Radiation Therapy for Bone Metastases: Update of an ASTRO Evidence-Based Guideline

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) recently published an updated clinical guideline that underscores the safety and effectiveness of palliative radiation therapy for treating painful bone metastases. Based on recent clinical trial data, the guideline recommends optimal radiotherapy ...

symptom management

Managing Patients With Low-Risk Neutropenic Fever at Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Goodman et al described a management practice for low-risk neutropenic fever in cancer patients that has reduced in-patient stay with intravenous antibiotic use at Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. Study Details In the study,...

symptom management

How Does Sublingual Fentanyl Measure Up Against Subcutaneous Morphine in Managing Cancer Pain?

An Italian single-center trial compared treatment with sublingual fentanyl tablets and subcutaneous morphine in managing severe pain episodes in cancer patients receiving opioid treatment. In the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Zecca et al reported that the trial did not show noninferiority of...

breast cancer
symptom management

Electra D. Paskett, PhD, on Preventing Lymphedema: Results of a CALGB Study

Electra D. Paskett, PhD, of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses an intervention that increased knowledge of lymphedema in breast cancer, and the personal story that drove her research (Abstract 104).

symptom management

Survivorship Symposium 2017: Physical and Psychological Factors Contribute to Decreased Physical Activity in 75% of Patients With Cancer

Although, in the past, patients with cancer were often counseled by their physicians to rest and reduce their physical activity, according to the American Cancer Society, emerging data are showing that exercise is not only safe and possible during cancer treatment, it can improve patients’...

breast cancer
symptom management

No Increased Risk of Skeletal Events in Patients With Bone Metastases Taking Zoledronic Acid

A new study published in JAMA reported that patients with bone metastases due to breast cancer, prostate cancer, or multiple myeloma who used zoledronic acid every 12 weeks compared with every 4 weeks did not have in an increased risk of skeletal events over 2 years. In this study, Andrew L....

symptom management

Comparison of Scales for Assessing Cisplatin-Related Ototoxicity in Children

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Knight et al of the Children’s Oncology Group found that the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Ototoxicity (SIOP) scale may be more sensitive than other classification systems in detecting ototoxicity in children...

breast cancer
symptom management

Effectiveness of Electroacupuncture for Sleep Disturbances in Patients With Breast Cancer and Hot Flashes

Studies suggest that approximately 30% to 40% of women with breast cancer report persistent hot flashes. Nocturnal hot flashes are among the most problematic because they can contribute to poor sleep. A new study published by Garland et al in Menopause shows that electroacupuncture may be effective ...

breast cancer
symptom management

Patricia A. Ganz, MD: Aromatase Inhibitors Data Review

Patricia A. Ganz, MD, of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, summarizes two studies on using duloxetine for aromatase inhibitor–associated musculoskeletal symptoms, and aromatase inhibitors’ effect on endothelial function and heart disease (Abstracts S5-06 and S5-07).

breast cancer
symptom management

Anne Hudson Blaes, MD, on Aromatase Inhibitors and Cardiovascular Disease

Anne Hudson Blaes, MD, of the University of Minnesota, discusses the association between aromatase inhibitors, endothelial function, and early heart disease (Abstract S5-07).

symptom management
breast cancer

Jame Abraham, MD, on Hair Loss: SCALP Trial Results

Jame Abraham, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, discusses findings of the Scalp Cooling Alopecia Prevention trial for patients with early-stage breast cancer (Abstract S5-02).

symptom management

Sodium Thiosulfate Seems to Protect Against Cisplatin-Related Hearing Loss in Children With Cancer

The antioxidant sodium thiosulfate provided protection against cisplatin-related hearing loss in children with cancer, according to a phase III trial reported by Freyer et al in The Lancet Oncology. The open-label trial included 104 assessable patients (aged 1 to 18 years) from 38 Children’s ...

hematologic malignancies
symptom management

ASH 2016: New Data Shed Light on Potential Advantages of Pacritinib for Patients With Myelofibrosis

Compared with standard therapy, pacritinib significantly reduces spleen size among people with myelofibrosis who have very low levels of platelets, according to a late-breaking study presented by Mascarenhas et al during the 58th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition...

hematologic malignancies
symptom management

ASH 2016: Ibrutinib Found Helpful in Treating Graft-vs-Host Disease After Stem Cell Transplant

A late-breaking abstract presented by Miklos et al during the 58th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition in San Diego (Abstract LBA-3) showed patients who experience graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) after stem cell transplantation that is not resolved by corticosteroid...

hematologic malignancies
symptom management

Brenda M. Sandmaier, MD, and Sagar Lonial, MD, on Preventing GVHD: Clinical Trial Results

Brenda M. Sandmaier, MD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Sagar Lonial, MD, of Emory University, discuss study findings on sirolimus combined with mycophenolate mofetil and cyclosporine to improve prevention of acute graft-vs-host-disease after unrelated hematopoietic cell...

hematologic malignancies
symptom management

Jean M. Connors, MD, and Julie Vose, MD, MBA, on Thrombosis and Anticoagulation: Best of ASH Clinical Data

Jean M. Connors, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Julie Vose, MD, MBA, of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, discuss a roundup of key findings on a critical area in the treatment of hematologic malignancies (Abstracts 17, 85, 86, 135, 139, 143, 273, 415, 419, 719, 877, 880).

palliative care
issues in oncology
symptom management

Prolonged Length of Stays, Readmissions, and Discharge to Care Facilities Among Postoperative Patients With Advanced Cancer

Patients with disseminated advanced cancer who undergo surgery are far more likely to endure long hospital stays and readmissions, referrals to extended care facilities, and death, University of California (UC) Davis researchers have found. Their study, published by Bateni et al in PLOS One,...

solid tumors
symptom management

Study Finds Pneumonitis Associated With Anti–PD-1/PD-L1 Antibody Treatment

In a two-institution experience reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Naidoo et al identified the incidence of pneumonitis occurring in patients receiving anti–PD-1/PD-L1 (programmed cell death protein 1/ligand 1) monoclonal antibody as monotherapy or combined with anticytotoxic...

palliative care
symptom management

Stephen T. Sonis, DMD, DMSc, on Radiotherapy-Induced Oral Complications

Stephen T. Sonis, DMD, DMSc, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and scope of oral complications of radiation therapy.

palliative care
symptom management

Joseph A. Greer, PhD, on An App for Adherence to Oral Chemotherapy

Joseph A. Greer, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the development of a mobile application to address treatment adherence and symptoms (Abstract 104).

palliative care
symptom management

Tracy A. Balboni, MD, MPH, on Managing Spinal Metastases With Radiation Therapy

Tracy A. Balboni, MD, MPH, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, talks about how to preserve quality of life in the presence of complex spinal lesions, including novel ways to assess spinal instability and treat metastases.

supportive care
symptom management

FDA Approves Extended-Release Granisetron Injection for the Prevention of Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

Heron Therapeutics, Inc, announced on August 10, 2016, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved granisetron (Sustol) extended-release injection. Granisetron is a serotonin-3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonist indicated in combination with other antiemetics in adults for the prevention ...

supportive care
symptom management

Olanzapine Combination Reduces Nausea and Vomiting in Patients Receiving Highly Emetogenic Chemotherapy

In a phase III trial reported by Navari et al in The New England Journal of Medicine, the addition of the antipsychotic agent olanzapine vs placebo to dexamethasone, aprepitant, or fosaprepitant, and a 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3–receptor antagonist reduced nausea and improved antiemetic...

breast cancer
survivorship
symptom management

Can Self-Administered Acupressure Reduce Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors?

Self-administered relaxing acupressure and stimulating acupressure were both associated with reduced persistent fatigue vs usual care in breast cancer survivors, according to a randomized clinical trial reported by Zick et al in JAMA Oncology. However, only relaxing acupressure had significant...

breast cancer
symptom management

Preclinical Study Shows Target of Trastuzumab, Receptor Protein ErbB2, Needed for Coronary Vasculature Patterning

A receptor protein that is the target of the breast cancer drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) is needed for proper heart blood vessel development, reported researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. They published their findings this month in a paper ...

supportive care
symptom management

Impact of Systemic Inflammation on Quality of Life in Advanced Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Laird et al found that increased systemic inflammation was associated with poorer patient-reported quality of life independent of performance status. Study Details The study involved data from 2,520 adult patients in a biobank of patients...

symptom management

Factors Associated With Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Older Patients

In an analysis of the linked Southwest Oncology Group–Medicare databases reported by Hershman et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, an increased risk of peripheral neuropathy in older patients receiving taxane therapy was associated with increasing age and a history of diabetes in...

hematologic malignancies
symptom management

Protein Could Help Identify Chronic Graft-vs-Host Disease

A new study published by Kariminia et al in the journal Blood has identified a protein that could diagnose chronic graft-vs-host disease in patients undergoing blood and bone marrow transplantation. The work was led by researchers in the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program at BC...

breast cancer
symptom management

Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction Program May Reduce Psychological and Physical Symptoms in Breast Cancer Survivors

A mindfulness-based stress-reduction program for breast cancer survivors was associated with psychological and physical symptom benefits during and at 6 weeks after intervention, according to a randomized trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Lengacher et al. Study Details In the...

symptom management

External Validation of a Prediction Tool for Chemotherapy Toxicity in Older Patients With Cancer

Hurria et al validated a prediction tool for chemotherapy toxicity in cancer patients aged ≥ 65 years in an external cohort, according to a report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The predictive model had been developed in a prior study in 500 patients. Study Details The study...

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