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issues in oncology

Social Interaction May Affect Patients’ Response to Chemotherapy

How well patients with cancer fared after chemotherapy was affected by their social interaction with other patients during treatment, according to a new study by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the University of...

issues in oncology

Understanding of Stage and Cancer Status Among Patients in a Community-Based Cancer Institute

As reported by Sivendran et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice, half of patients in a large community-based cancer institute did not know their stage of cancer, and one-third did not know of their cancer-free/in-remission status. Study Details The study involved 208 adult patients treated at...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

ASTRO Updates Insurance Coverage Recommendations for Proton Therapy

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has issued an update to its recommendations for medical insurance coverage regarding the use of proton beam therapy to treat cancer. The updated Proton Beam Therapy Model Policy provides guidance to payers on clinical indications that are...

issues in oncology

Cancer Risk May Be Higher Among Holocaust Survivors

A new study indicates that survivors of the Holocaust have experienced a small but consistent increase in the risk of developing cancer. Published by Sadetzki et al in Cancer, the findings offer an example of how extreme population-level tragedies can have an impact on health. Holocaust survivors...

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Study Demonstrates Potential for Artificial Intelligence and Whole-Genome Sequencing to Scale Access to Precision Medicine

In a study published by Wrzeszczynski et al in Neurology: Genetics, researchers at the New York Genome Center (NYGC), The Rockefeller University, and IBM illustrated the potential of IBM Watson for Genomics to analyze complex genomic data from state-of-the-art sequencing of whole genomes. The study ...

issues in oncology

New CDC Report Shows Cancer Death Rates Are Higher in Rural America

Despite decreases in cancer death rates nationwide, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows slower reduction in cancer death rates in rural America (a decrease of 1.0% per year) compared with urban America (a decrease of 1.6% per year), according to data...

issues in oncology

Factors Associated With Near-Miss/Safety Incidents in Cancer Radiotherapy

In a single-institution case-control analysis reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Judy et al found that complexity of procedure or schedule was a significant factor in near-miss or safety incidents involving cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy. Study Details The study involved a...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Narrow Network Insurance Plans More Likely to Exclude Doctors at NCI-Designated and NCCN Member Cancer Centers

Patients with cancer in the United States may be unable to access care at the nation’s top hospitals due to narrow insurance plan coverage—leaving patients to choose between lower premiums or access to higher-quality cancer care. A new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the...

skin cancer
issues in oncology

Delaying Lymph Node Biopsy After Melanoma Diagnosis May Not Adversely Affect Survival Rates

Postponing lymph node biopsy more than 30 days after melanoma diagnosis does not adversely impact long-term clinical outcomes, according to findings published by Nelson et al in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Today, management of high-risk melanomas starts with surgical removal...

issues in oncology

Biden Cancer Initiative Launches

On June 26, at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden launched the Biden Cancer Initiative, their new venture to continue the fight to make progress in cancer prevention, detection, treatment, and care. Initiative Overview The Biden Cancer Initiative...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Many Health Benefits Linked to Having Health Insurance

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about 28 million people younger than age 65 are uninsured, compared with more than 48 million in 2010, before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. A review of current evidence concerning the relationship between health insurance...

issues in oncology

Canadian Cancer Society Report: Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians Expected to Be Diagnosed With Cancer in Their Lifetime

Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, according to a new report—Canadian Cancer Statistics 2017—released by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada. For males, the...

issues in oncology

Digital Technology Preferences of Adolescents and Young Adults With Cancer

There is considerable scope to develop digital resources by means of which teenagers and young adults living with cancer can receive information and connect with both professionals and fellow patients. Such tools could help them gain different perspectives on treatment and survivorship, said Esha...

issues in oncology

CancerCare Establishes Patient Values Initiative, Releases Focus Group Assessment

CancerCarehas announced the establishment of the CancerCare Patient Values Initiative, a multipronged effort with an aim to reframe the national health-care policy dialogue so that it includes what is important to patients and their families. As the first step of this important project,...

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...

issues in oncology

Solange Peters, MD, PhD, and Mary Gospodarowicz, MD, on Mentoring Women in Oncology: An International Perspective

Solange Peters, MD, PhD, of the University of Lausanne, who has been a driving force in ESMO’s efforts to promote women in oncology, talks with Mary Gospodarowicz, MD, of Princess Margaret Hospital, a recipient of the 2017 Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award.

issues in oncology

Elizabeth J. Shpall, MD, and Nina Shah, MD—Mentor and Mentee: A Conversation

Elizabeth J. Shpall, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and recipient of the 2017 Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Award, discusses promoting women in oncology with Nina Shah, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, the protégé who nominated Dr. Shpall for this recognition.

issues in oncology

Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD: 2017 Update on ICLIO: Adopting Immunotherapy in the Community Setting

Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, of West Cancer Center, reports on this past year’s progress of the ACCC initiative to speed adoption of immunotherapeutics in community practices.

issues in oncology
legislation

Xuesong Han, PhD, on Early-Stage Diagnosis and the Affordable Care Act: An Epidemiologic Study

Xuesong Han, PhD, of the American Cancer Society, discusses the Affordable Care Act and her study findings showing how implementation of the law is associated with a shift to early-stage diagnosis for all screenable cancers except prostate cancer (likely due to Task Force recommendations against routine screening). (Abstract 6521)

issues in oncology

Ethan M. Basch, MD, on Symptom Monitoring: Findings on Overall Survival Rates

Ethan M. Basch, MD, of the University of North Carolina, discusses results from a study that assessed patient-reported outcomes for symptom monitoring during routine cancer treatment of metastatic solid tumors. (Abstract LBA2)

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD, on HPV and the Value of the Vaccine

Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses her findings on the impact of prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccination on oral HPV infections among young adults in the United States. (Abstract 6003)

supportive care
issues in oncology

Gary Rodin, MD, on Advanced Cancer: The CALM Psychological Intervention

Gary Rodin, MD, of the University of Toronto, discusses study findings on a systematic approach to alleviating distress and managing predictable challenges. (Abstract LBA10001)

issues in oncology

ASCO 2017: ProfiLER Trial: Routine Genomic Testing Feasible, but Only a Subset of Patients May Benefit

Genomic testing of tumor samples can enable personalized treatment selection, where targeted treatments are matched to genetic changes in the tumor. Although a growing number of patients with advanced cancers receive some genomic testing, comprehensive genomic testing is not yet routine care. A...

issues in oncology

Twitter Use at the ASCO Annual Meeting

As reported by Pemmaraju et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice, use of Twitter at the ASCO Annual Meeting has increased dramatically between 2011 and 2016. The investigators conducted a retrospective review of publicly available tweets collected by Nephrology On-Demand Analytics for the ASCO...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

ATS 2017: Among All Cancers, Lung Cancer Appears to Put Patients at Greatest Suicide Risk

A lung cancer diagnosis appears to put patients at the greatest risk of suicide when compared to the most common types of non-skin cancers, according to new research presented at the 2017 American Thoracic Society International Conference (Abstract 8321). Researchers analyzed 3,640,229 patients in ...

issues in oncology

One in Five Cancers Diagnosed in the United States Is a Rare Cancer

About one in five cancer diagnoses in the United States is a rare cancer, according to new research from the American Cancer Society. The report, published by DeSantis et al in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, found rare cancers account for more than two in three cancers occurring in children...

issues in oncology
pain management

New Canadian Guideline Provides Advice to Physicians to Avoid Overprescribing of Opioids

Opioid overdoses are claiming the lives of thousands of Canadians. The impact of the opioid crisis continues to be devastating to individuals, families, and communities. Inappropriate prescribing of opioids has led to long-term dependence on this class of drugs. To help address problematic...

issues in oncology

ONS 2017: Hospital-Wide Initiative to Standardize the Administration of Vinca Alkaloids Using a Mini-Bag, Side-Arm Technique

Many patients with cancer who receive vinca alkaloids such as vincristine have a treatment regimen including other chemotherapy drugs that are administered intrathecally. If vincristine is mistakenly administered into the spinal fluid, it is uniformly fatal, causing ascending paralysis, neurologic...

issues in oncology

ASCO-NCI Collaboration Finds Widespread Benefits of Centralizing Coverage Analyses for Multisite Clinical Trials

ASCO has released findings from a collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that explored centralizing the development of coverage analyses for multisite cancer clinical trials. In an ASCO special article published by Szczepanek et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice,...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

ESTRO 2017: ESTRO Announces GIRO, a Project to Save 1 Million Lives in Under 20 Years

Although radiation therapy is an essential part of modern cancer treatment, and is indicated for about half of all new cancer patients, facilities for its provision are sadly lacking in many countries worldwide. Indeed, 29 out of 52 African nations have no radiotherapy facilities whatsoever. At the ...

issues in oncology

WHO to Begin Pilot Prequalification of Biosimilars for Cancer Treatment

This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) will launch a pilot project for prequalifying biosimilar medicines, a step toward making some of the most expensive treatments for cancer more widely available in low- and middle-income countries. The decision comes after a 2-day meeting in Geneva...

issues in oncology

New Spanish-Language Videos and Brochures From ASTRO Provide an Overview of Radiation Therapy

Spanish-speaking patients with cancer have new tools to help them understand treatment options for their disease. The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has released a series of Spanish-language patient videos on radiation therapy for cancer, including breast, prostate, lung, brain,...

issues in oncology

Children Conceived After Fertility Treatments May Be at Increased Risk for Pediatric Cancers

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have found that babies born to mothers who underwent fertility treatments may be at increased risk of developing types of pediatric malignancies and neoplasms. The study, published by Wainstock et al in the American Journal of Obstetrics &...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Higher Costs for Complex Cancer Surgery May Be an Indicator of Lower-Quality Care

Higher costs for complex cancer surgery may be an indicator of worse—rather than better—quality of care, according to new research by experts at Rice University and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Their findings are published by Ho et al in Surgery, and provide...

issues in oncology

Second Cancers May Be Deadlier in Pediatric, Adolescent, and Young Adult Patients

Second cancers in children as well as adolescents and young adults (AYAs) are far deadlier than they are in older adults and may partially account for the relatively poor outcomes of cancer patients aged 15 to 39 years overall, according to a new study by University of California (UC), Davis...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

ELCC 2017: Patients With Lung Cancer Treated With PD-1/PD-L1 Checkpoint Inhibitors May Experience Adverse Events After Influenza Vaccination

Patients with lung cancer treated with programmed cell death protein 1/programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) checkpoint inhibitors may be at increased risk of adverse events after receiving the seasonal influenza vaccination, according to the first study measuring this effect. The results, to ...

issues in oncology

FDA Takes Action Against 14 Companies for Selling Illegal Cancer Treatments

On April 25, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted warning letters addressed to 14 U.S.-based companies illegally selling more than 65 products that fraudulently claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure cancer. The products are marketed and sold without FDA approval, most commonly on ...

issues in oncology

Predictors of Adherence to Oral Chemotherapy

In a single-center study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Jacobs et al found that improved satisfaction with clinician communication and treatment was the strongest predictor of treatment adherence in patients receiving oral anticancer medication. Study Details The prospective study...

issues in oncology

Medical Groups Unite in Support of March for Science

Twenty-five of the nation’s leading medical groups issued this statement on April 17: As the world's leading organizations representing clinicians, laboratory researchers, and physician-scientists committed to improving patient care, we support the March for Science and its nonpartisan call...

issues in oncology

ASCO Research Statement: Tapping the Potential of Observational Research

In a research statement reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Visvanathan et al, ASCO has outlined steps for incorporating high-quality observational research into the evidence base for clinical decision-making. As stated by the authors: “ASCO believes that high-quality...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Link Between Telomere Length and Neighborhood Circumstances

Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have begun to establish a biological basis for the long-held but not well-tested theory that neighborhood exposures can impact health outcomes. Shannon Lynch, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase, led a team...

issues in oncology

Annual Report to the Nation: Cancer Death Rates Continue to Decline

Overall cancer death rates continue to decrease in men, women, and children for all major racial and ethnic groups, according to the latest Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975–2014, published by Jemal et al in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The report...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Studies Find Disparity in Life Expectancy Widening Between Wealthy and Poor Americans

To better understand the conditions and mechanisms driving health disparities in the United States, The Lancet partnered with physicians and public health researchers from the City University of New York, Harvard Medical School, Cornell University, Yale School of Medicine, and the New York...

issues in oncology

AACR 2017: Telomere Length May Predict Cancer Risk, According to Large Epidemiologic Study

The length of the telomeres that protect the tips of chromosomes may predict cancer risk and be a potential target for future therapeutics, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) scientists reported at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in...

issues in oncology

Effect of Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation on Cancer Incidence in Postmenopausal Women

In a population-based trial reported in JAMA, Lappe et al found that dietary supplementation with vitamin D3 and calcium did not significantly reduce the incidence of all cancers over 4 years among postmenopausal women aged ≥ 55 years. Study Details In the double-blind trial, 2,303 healthy...

issues in oncology

New NCCN Radiation Therapy Compendium Aids in Decision-Making for Patients With Cancer

Radiation therapy, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy or surgery, is one of the most common treatment options for people with cancer. Nearly two-thirds of patients with cancer in the United States receive radiation therapy during their illness. To support clinical decision-making...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care Consultations for Patients With Advanced Cancers May Reduce Hospitalization and Improve Quality of Care

Patients admitted to the hospital with advanced cancers who were referred early to palliative care had decreased health-care utilization and increased use of support services following discharge, according to a new study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Published...

issues in oncology

New Study Finds Most Cancer Mutations Due to Random DNA-Copying Errors

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists report data from a new study providing evidence that random, unpredictable DNA copying “mistakes” account for nearly two-thirds of the mutations that cause cancer. Their research is grounded on a novel mathematic model based on DNA...

issues in oncology

Paul M. Cinciripini, PhD, on Smoking Cessation in Patients With Cancer

Paul M. Cinciripini, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the oncologist’s role in addressing and documenting cancer patients’ smoking and cessation attempts as well as treatment advances.

issues in oncology

Factors Associated With Early Death in Childhood Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Green et al found that risk factors for death within 1 month of diagnosis of childhood cancer included age up to 1 year, specific diagnoses, and minority race/ethnicity. The study involved analysis of data from SEER (Surveillance,...

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