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issues in oncology

Greg D. Judy, MD, on Safety Incidents in Radiotherapy

Greg D. Judy, MD, of UNC Health Care, discusses the contributing factors, and possible fixes, for near-miss and actual safety incidents in patients being treated with radiotherapy.

breast cancer
prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Diana D. Jeffery, PhD, on Mental Health Comorbidities: Predictors of Cost and Utilization

Diana D. Jeffery, PhD, of the Defense Health Agency, discusses the need to screen for mental health comorbidities, including depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, substance use disorders, and persistent mental illnesses, as shown in a study of breast and prostate cancer patients (Abstract 18).

issues in oncology

John V. Cox, DO, MBA, on 2017 Quality Care Symposium Highlights: Expert Perspective

John V. Cox, DO, MBA, of the Parkland Health System/UTSW, discusses some of the key presentations at the 2017 Quality Care Symposium (Abstracts 3, 37, 52).

issues in oncology
cost of care

Patients With Cancer History More Likely to Change Prescriptions to Save Money

A new study led by American Cancer Society investigators found that cancer survivors are more likely to change their prescription drug use for financial reasons than those without a cancer history. These findings were published by Zheng et al in Cancer. The rising cost of cancer drugs imposes a...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

ASCO Quality Care 2017: Study Examines Cancer Center Websites’ Information on Breast Cancer Treatment, Outcomes

As an increasing number of patients look to the internet for cancer information, researchers from the University of Alabama found that the websites of many National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers lack sufficient information to help patients with breast cancer understand all their...

issues in oncology

ASCO Quality Care 2017: In-House Specialty Pharmacy at Cancer Center Improves Quality of Care, Reduces Medical Errors

An influx of new oral cancer drugs provides patients with a more convenient and less invasive way to take medication, but such treatments are often associated with adherence challenges and medical errors. New research shows that the addition of an in-house specialty pharmacy at a cancer center in...

issues in oncology

Lawrence Fong, MD, on Novel T-Cell Checkpoint Combinations

Lawrence Fong, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, discusses combination immunotherapy, now approved in melanoma, and the trials underway to explore other indications.

issues in oncology

Elizabeth Ann Mittendorf, MD, PhD, on ASCO-SITC Meeting Highlights: Expert Perspective

Elizabeth Ann Mittendorf, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses some of the top papers presented at the ASCO-SITC Symposium and how these presentations will affect clinical practice.

issues in oncology

Researchers Use Cardiomyocytes to Create Index of Cardiotoxicity of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine used heart muscle cells made from stem cells to rank commonly used chemotherapy drugs based on their likelihood of causing lasting heart damage in patients. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors can be an effective treatment for many types of cancers, ...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Payers Weigh the Implications of Multigene Testing Coverage

Innovation in precision medicine has introduced an amalgam of testing options, of which hereditary cancer panels—multigene tests—are a major component. Additionally, the importance of inherited cancer genomics was further bolstered by former President Barack Obama’s Precision...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Cancer Mortality in Hispanics Varies Among Ethnic Groups

Although cancer is a leading cause of death among Hispanics, the burden of cancer mortality within Hispanic groups has not been well quantified. Now, a study by Pinheiro et al comparing the differences among Hispanic populations and cancer incidence has found that cancer mortality varies...

issues in oncology

Brian C. Allen, MD, on Assessing Tumor Response: Standard-of-Care vs Computer-Assisted Evaluation

Brian C. Allen, MD, of Duke University Medical Center, discusses the benefits of using a computerized process that provides step-wise guidance, decreases interpretation time, and reduces errors when measuring tumor response to treatment. (Abstract 432)

leukemia
issues in oncology

Children, Parents Overreport Leukemia Treatment Adherence

New research suggests that young patients with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and their parents are likely to report to their physician that they took more of their anticancer medication than they actually did. The study, published by Landier et al in Blood, found that 84% of patients with ALL...

issues in oncology

ASH/AACR/AACI/ASTRO/ASPHO/Lungevity Foundation Statement on Administration's Executive Order

Today, the American Society of Hematology, the American Association for Cancer Research, the Association of American Cancer Institutes, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, and the LUNGevity Foundation issued a statement on the...

issues in oncology

Immunotherapy 2.0 Named Advance of the Year in ASCO's Report

A growing number of patients with cancer are benefiting from research advances in immunotherapy, leading ASCO to name immunotherapy as the Society's Advance of the Year for a second year in a row. Released today, Clinical Cancer Advances 2017: ASCO's Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer...

issues in oncology

Trends in Cancer Mortality in the United States and U.S. Counties From 1980 to 2014

In a study reported in JAMA, Mokdad et al found that cancer mortality rates have dropped from 240.2 to 192.0/100,000 population between 1980 and 2014. Mortality rates varied widely among U.S. counties for various cancers. The report covers 29 cancers in 3,144 counties. Summarized here are findings...

issues in oncology

Predicting Outcomes in Older Patients With Cancer

In the French ELCAPA14 study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ferrat et al found that four frailty classifications performed well in predicting outcomes in a cohort of patients aged ≥ 70 years with various cancers. Study Details The study involved 763 in- or outpatients with...

issues in oncology

Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology White Paper Highlights the Challenges, Progress, and Priorities in Immunotherapy

While momentum around immunotherapies for cancer continues to build, the high cost of these therapies places them at the center of debate about how best to define and measure value in cancer care. As these therapies are increasingly integrated into practice, all stakeholders—providers,...

issues in oncology

Fear of Diagnostic Low-Dose Radiation Exposure May Be Overstated, Experts Assert

In an article published by Siegel et al in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, researchers assert that exposure to medical radiation does not increase a person’s risk of getting cancer. The long-held belief that even low doses of radiation, such as those received in diagnostic imaging, increase...

issues in oncology

Potential Biomarker of Recurrent Venous Thromboembolism in Cancer Patients Receiving Anticoagulant Therapy

In a biomarker analysis of the CATCH trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Khorana et al found that elevated circulating tissue factor levels were associated with an increased risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism in cancer patients on anticoagulant therapy. CATCH was a randomized ...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

ASCO Releases Principles for Patient-Centered Health-Care Reform

ASCO has released the “ASCO Principles for Patient-Centered Health-care Reform,” seven recommendations designed to ensure access to high-quality cancer care amid the changing U.S. health-care delivery landscape. The principles aim to assist the new Congress and Administration, so, as...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Has the Affordable Care Act Reduced Socioeconomic Disparities in Cancer Screening?

Out-of-pocket expenditures are thought to be a significant barrier to receiving cancer preventive services, especially for individuals of lower socioeconomic status. A new study published by Cooper et al in Cancer looked at how the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which eliminated such out-of-pocket...

issues in oncology

NCI-Designated Cancer Centers Issue Statement in Support of New CDC Recommendations on HPV Vaccination

The 69 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers have issued a joint statement in support of recently revised recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve national vaccination rates for human papillomavirus (HPV). According to the CDC,...

issues in oncology

Cancer Death Rate Has Dropped 25% Since 1991 Peak, According to American Cancer Society Report

A steady decline over more than 2 decades has resulted in a 25% drop in the overall cancer death rate in the United States. The drop equates to 2.1 million fewer cancer deaths between 1991 and 2014. The news comes from "Cancer Statistics, 2017," the American Cancer Society’s...

issues in oncology
cost of care

ACCC 2016 Survey Finds Cancer Drug Costs Remain the Most Critical Challenge to Care

As more cost pressures are placed on the health-care system, and the transition to value-based care gains momentum, the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ (ACCC) 7th annual Trends in Cancer Programs survey revealed critical challenges and emerging trends in U.S. cancer programs. The...

issues in oncology

Preclinical Study Potentially Explains Vulnerability of Young Patients With Cancer to Treatment Toxicities

Despite many successes in treating pediatric cancer, young children remain at high risk for developing severe, long-lasting impairments in their brain, heart, and other vital organs from chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In adults, however, these tissues are relatively spared. This disparity, ...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Genome-Based Model for Adjusting Radiotherapy Dose Shows Promise

In a retrospective cohort–based study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Scott et al found that individual patient genomic-adjusted radiation dose was associated with outcomes across different cancer types. Study Details In the study, gene-expression–based radiation-sensitivity index...

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...