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issues in oncology

Customer Response to Personal Genomic Testing for Cancer Risk

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Gray et al found that most people receiving cancer-related data through direct-to-consumer personal genomic testing tended not to change health or screening behaviors when an elevated risk was identified. The study involved baseline and...

issues in oncology

Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells May Enable Tumor Cells to Circumvent Immune Attack, Improving Immunotherapy

One of the main reasons cancer remains difficult to treat is that cancer cells have developed a multitude of mechanisms that allow them to evade destruction by the immune system. One of these escape mechanisms involves a type of immune cell called myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). A recent...

issues in oncology

ESMO Asia 2016: Depressed Patients May Be Less Responsive to Chemotherapy

A brain-boosting protein plays an important role in how well people respond to chemotherapy, researchers reported at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore. A study (Abstract 497O_PR) found that patients with cancer suffering from depression have decreased amounts of brain-derived neurotrophic...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

ESMO Asia 2016: Almost 20% of Swedish Breast Cancer Patients Fail to Complete Prescribed Endocrine Therapy

Around 20% of patients with breast cancer in Sweden do not complete endocrine therapy, according to research that will be reported at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress (Abstract 62O_PR), to be held December 16–19 in Singapore.The study in over 5,500 women found that younger patients and those who...

issues in oncology

ESMO Asia 2016: Patients in India Wait an Average of 4 Months Before Seeking a Cancer Diagnosis

Patients in Chandigarh, India, waited an average of 4 months before seeking a cancer diagnosis, according to a recent study. Some patients waited less than a week before seeing a doctor—while others waited 3 years. The researchers will report their findings at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress ...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Jennifer K. Litton, MD, and Ann H. Partridge, MD, on Breast Cancer in Young Women

Jennifer K. Litton, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Ann H. Partridge, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discuss a range of issues for young women with breast cancer, including epidemiologic and biologic differences in younger patients, fertility issues, and pregnancy-associated breast cancer (Poster Discussion 6).

hematologic malignancies
issues in oncology

Marie Bleakley, MD, PhD, on GVHD: Reducing Rates and Increasing Survival

Marie Bleakley, MD, PhD, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses data on using naive T-cell depletion of peripheral blood stem cells, which led to very low rates of chronic graft-vs-host-disease and high survival (Abstract 668).

hematologic malignancies
leukemia
issues in oncology

ASH 2016: Study Shows Patients Traditionally Ineligible for Studies May Benefit From Trial Participation

Patients who potentially could benefit most from participation in clinical trials due to poor prognoses often are not included based on eligibility criteria, such as existing medical illnesses. A novel study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center revealed some patients with acute...

breast cancer
issues in oncology
survivorship

Psychotropic and Opioid Medication Use in Older Patients With Breast Cancer Across the Care Trajectory

A new McGill University study published by Syrowatka et al in JNCCN – Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network found that most patients with breast cancer aged 65 and older use psychotropic and opioid medications during active treatment, often in the first year of...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Having a Child With Cancer May Adversely Affect Parents’ Income and Employment

Having a child with cancer led to income reductions for parents and job discontinuation among mothers in a recent study, even after adjusting for prediagnosis sociodemographic factors. Published by Norberg et al in Cancer, the findings indicate that childhood cancer affects parents' income and...

issues in oncology

ASCO Releases Criteria for High-Quality Clinical Pathways in Oncology

ASCO today released Criteria for High-Quality Clinical Pathways in Oncology, a set of 15 inter-related criteria that provide an overarching framework for assessing pathway programs in the United States. ASCO developed the criteria to guide stakeholders in assessing the quality, utility, and...

issues in oncology

NCCN Imaging Appropriate Use Criteria Published for 15 Additional Guidelines

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-approved provider-led entity for imaging appropriate use criteria, continues to build its library of these standards and has published NCCN Imaging Appropriate Use Criteria™ for an ...

issues in oncology

AMA Statement on Opening Day Court Case Against Anthem-Cigna Deal

Andrew W. Gurman, MD, President of the American Medical Association (AMA), issued the following statement on November 21: “The nation’s slide toward health insurance monopolies will be contested in federal court today as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a bipartisan group of...

issues in oncology

Study Finds EXITS Gene Mutations May Contribute to Cancer Sex Bias

According to Surveillance, Epidemiology, and end Results (SEER) data from 2008 to 2012, American males have an excess risk of 20.4% of developing any cancer compared with females, and there is a ≥ 2:1 male predominance for some individual cancers. This excess risk results in approximately...

issues in oncology

NCCN Challenges Medical Community to ‘Just Bag It’ to Eradicate Deadly Medical Error

As part of its mission to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has announced the launch of Just Bag It: The NCCN Campaign for Safe Vincristine...

issues in oncology

Gold Nanoparticle Radiopharmaceuticals for the Selective Treatment of Telomerase-Positive Tumors

Tagging gold nanoparticles with a small dose of radiation has helped researchers trace the precious metal as it delivers a drug right into the heart of cancer cells, according to new laboratory research presented by Bavelaar et al at the 2016 National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Cancer...

issues in oncology

Concerns About Safety of Generic Oncology Drugs Made in Developing Countries

In a Lancet Oncology article, Yang et al examined clinical, policy, safety, and regulatory considerations for generic oncology drugs focusing on the United States, Canada, European Union (EU), Japan, China, and India. Available data do not identify safety concerns in the United States, Canada, EU,...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Multiple Genetic Mutational Signatures Associated With Smoking

Scientists have measured the genetic damage caused by smoking in different organs of the body and identified several different mechanisms by which tobacco smoking causes mutations in DNA. Researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and their collaborators ...

issues in oncology
supportive care

Distress Screening in Oncology Leads to Better Doctor-Patient Relationships and Improved Outcomes

As many as 60% of patients with cancer report distress following a cancer diagnosis, and this stress can have a significant impact on patients’ well-being, resulting in psychosocial problems, physical side effects, and dissatisfaction with their health care. To examine the impact of distress ...

issues in oncology

Proportion of Cancer Deaths From Smoking Varies Across States and Is Highest in the South

Although smoking prevalence in the U.S. has declined by more than half since 1965, nearly 40 million adults still smoke cigarettes, resulting in about 167,133 cancer deaths in 2014, according to a study by the American Cancer Society. The study investigated cancer deaths among adults 35 and older...

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,...

issues in oncology

CancerLinQ Platform Hits Milestone of Having More Than 1 Million Patient Records in System

CancerLinQ LLC, a wholly-owned nonprofit of ASCO, announced on October 20, 2016, that more than 1 million patient records are now in the CancerLinQ™ platform. In addition, 70 practices have signed agreements to participate in CancerLinQ, representing more than 1,500 oncologists. “We...

issues in oncology

Adding Health Navigation Assistance to Community Helpline Connected More People to Cancer Control Measures

A partnership that added health navigation services to 2-1-1 call centers helped a significant number of underserved Texans receive cancer control measures such as Papanicolaou (Pap) tests and smoking cessation help, according to a study (PR12, C49) presented at the 9th Association for Cancer...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Affordable Care Act Increased Access to Cancer Care and Clinical Trial Participation Among Hispanics

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in California may have led to a significant increase in the number of Hispanic breast cancer patients at a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center and an increase in the number of Hispanic women who consented to participate in a...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

COA Releases 2016 Community Oncology Practice Impact Report

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) released the 2016 Community Oncology Practice Impact Report today, which tracks the changing landscape of cancer care in the United States. It documents a 121% increase in community cancer clinic closings and a 172% increase in consolidation into hospitals...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Study Reports No Association Between Vasectomy and Prostate Cancer Incidence or Mortality

In an analysis of the Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II) study cohort reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Jacobs et al found no significant association between vasectomy and overall prostate cancer incidence or mortality. A recent prospective study had shown an association of vasectomy...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

ASTRO 2016: Intervention Closes Racial Gap and Improves Treatment Rates for Early-Stage Lung Cancer

Enhanced, culturally competent communication with early-stage lung cancer patients can narrow racial gaps in curative treatment completion and increase treatment rates for all races, according to research presented by Manning et al at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

ASTRO 2016: Unmet Need for Radiation Therapy Found Among Nearly Half of Eligible Cancer Patients in Nine Developing Countries

Although approximately 50% of cancer patients in developing countries need radiation therapy to treat their disease, up to half of these patients do not have access to it, according to research presented by Rosenblatt et al at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology...

issues in oncology

Louis Harrison, MD, on Radiation Oncology and the Future of Health Care

Louis B. Harrison, MD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses radiation oncology in the context of personalized medicine, multidisciplinary care, new technology and applications, and the mandate to contain costs.

issues in oncology

Lia M. Halasz, MD, on Disparities in Radiotherapy Delivery

Lia M. Halasz, MD, of the University of Washington Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, summarizes a session on the uneven delivery of radiotherapy in the United States and around the world. (Scientific Session 10)

issues in oncology

Howard M. Sandler, MD, on RTOG’s Past and NRG’s Future

Howard M. Sandler, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, discusses prospective clinical trials as the gold standard of clinical decision-making and examines the infrastructure needed for future cancer research. (Abstract PS 3)

issues in oncology

Decisional Regret After Initial Treatment Decisions Among Parents of Children With Cancer

Racial/ethnic minority parents were more likely to express regret about initial cancer treatment decisions for their children, according to a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Mack et al found that factors associated with less decisional regret included receiving high-quality...

leukemia
issues in oncology

Adolescent Girls With Leukemia May Not Be Screened for Pregnancy Before Beginning Chemotherapy

A new study indicates that adolescent females with acute leukemia have low rates of pregnancy screening prior to receiving chemotherapy that can cause birth defects. These findings were published by Rao et al in Cancer. Although many chemotherapy drugs can cause birth defects, there are no...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Vice President Biden Announces New Steps to Improve Clinical Trials Essential to Advancing the Cancer Moonshot

Today, Vice President Joe Biden announced a series of new steps focused on increasing access to information about clinical trials and improving the efficiency of our clinical research system. These steps include making it easier for participants to find clinical trial opportunities as quickly as...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

CDC Finds Cancer Death Rates Among Children and Adolescents Declined by 20%, With Brain Cancer Topping Leukemia as Leading Cause of Death

New findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the cancer death rate for children and adolescents aged 1 to 19 has been steadily declining since the mid-1970s and dropped by 20% from 1999 to 2014, the result of advances in therapy, especially for leukemia. During...

issues in oncology

American Association for Cancer Research Releases 2016 Cancer Progress Report

Federally funded research continues to spur progress against cancer; however, accelerating the pace of progress will require robust, sustained, and predictable annual funding increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Food and Drug...

issues in oncology
survivorship

New American Cancer Society Report Reveals Gaps in Pediatric Cancer Research

A first-of-its-kind joint report from the American Cancer Society and Alliance for Childhood Cancer has compiled the latest information related to pediatric cancer, including statistics and trends; a current list of drugs used to treat pediatric cancers; ongoing pediatric cancer clinical trials;...

issues in oncology

Chinese Journal of Cancer Extends Deadline for Submission of Most Important Questions in Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

The Chinese Journal of Cancer (CJC) is soliciting the 150 most important questions in cancer research and clinical oncology from cancer researchers around the world. The editors of CJC believe this will help provide important insights and guidance in future efforts to advance cancer research...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care 2016: Usage of Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act

In 1997, Oregon enacted a voter initiative allowing terminally ill residents to self-administer physician-prescribed medication to end their lives called the Oregon Death With Dignity Act (ORDWDA). Statute requires prescriptions written for lethal medications be reported; the state also collects...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Palliative Care 2016: Perception of Curability in Patients With Advanced Cancer Receiving Palliative Care

There are limited data on the illness understanding and perception of curability among patients with advanced cancer receiving palliative care around the world. In a study led by Sriram Yennu, MD, MS, Associate Professor in the Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine at The...

palliative care
supportive care
issues in oncology

Randy L. Wei, MD, PhD, on Radiation Oncologists and Palliative Care

Randy L. Wei, MD, PhD, of the University of California, Irvine, discusses findings from a survey that focused on ASTRO members who assessed their ability to deliver palliative and supportive care, and their access to continuing medical education on the topic (Abstract 105).

palliative care
issues in oncology

Sriram Yennu, MD, on Patient Perception of Curability

Sriram Yennu, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses findings from a study of an international cohort of patients with advanced cancer who received palliative care. Nearly half the patients incorrectly believed their cancer was curable (Abstract 5).

palliative care
issues in oncology

Jennifer S. Temel, MD, on The Changing Conversation Around Prognostication

Jennifer S. Temel, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses increasing prognostic uncertainty in light of targeted treatments and immunotherapies, and the difficulty predicting who will benefit.

global cancer care
issues in oncology
palliative care

Emily Haozous, PhD, RN, on Cultural Differences in End-of-Life Care

Emily Haozous, PhD, RN, of the University of New Mexico, discusses health disparities and cultural differences in palliative and end-of-life care, with case study examples drawn from American Indian communities.

palliative care
issues in oncology

J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, PhD, on Supporting Family Caregivers: The ENABLE Model

J. Nicholas Dionne-Odom, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, discusses the “hidden” health-care workforce of family caregivers and what clinicians can do to help ease the burden on families.

palliative care
issues in oncology

Charles D. Blanke, MD, on Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act

Charles D. Blanke, MD, of the Oregon Health & Science University and Southwest Oncology Group, discusses the nearly 20 years’ experience with Oregon’s Death With Dignity (DWD) Act, a voter initiative that led to the first such law enacted in the United States (Abstract 44).

issues in oncology

ASCO and AACI Collaborate on Initiative to Reduce Administrative and Regulatory Burden in Cancer Clinical Trials

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vose et al have provided a summary of the groundwork of an initiative by ASCO and the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) to identify and reduce administrative and regulatory burdens in the conduct of cancer clinical trials. The...

issues in oncology

Patients With Cancer May Be at Heightened Risk of Injuries During Diagnostic Process

Patients with cancer have heightened risks of unintentional and intentional injuries during the diagnostic process, revealed findings from a large study published by Shen et al in The BMJ. A range of injuries are common, and some are potentially life-threatening, the study showed. The authors...

issues in oncology

Gene Overexpression Scoring System May Accurately Predict Patient Response to Cancer Treatments

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) identified 14 genes regulating genome integrity that were consistently overexpressed in a wide variety of cancers. They then created a scoring system based upon the degree of gene overexpression. For...

issues in oncology

Outpatient Bloodstream Infections Costly for Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant and Cancer Patients

Pediatric stem cell transplant and cancer patients often are discharged from the hospital with an external central venous line for medications that parents or other caregivers must clean and flush daily to avoid potentially life-threatening infections. If an outpatient develops a bloodstream...