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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...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Researchers Question Process for Reviewing Coverage of 'Off-Label' Cancer Drug Use

A group of University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers is calling for an overhaul of the process that determines which cancer drugs used off-label—or beyond their approved use—are reimbursed by federally funded health insurance in the United...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Influence of Patients’ Side-Effect Expectations on Outcome of Endocrine Treatment for Breast Cancer

A study of women receiving hormone therapies such as tamoxifen as part of their treatment for breast cancer found that the number and seriousness of side effects they experienced were influenced by their expectations. The study, published by Nestoriuc et al in Annals of Oncology, found that women...

issues in oncology

Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Genomic Sequencing

As scientists learn more about which genetic mutations are driving different types of cancer, they're targeting treatments to small numbers of patients, with the potential for big payoffs in improved outcomes. But even as we learn more about these driver mutations, a new study published by Spratt...

issues in oncology

Parents May be More Likely to Support HPV Vaccine Requirements for School Entry If States Include Opt-Out Provisions

Parents are more likely to support laws that would make the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine mandatory for school entry if their state offers opt-out provisions, according to a study published by Calo et al in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. However, opt-out provisions may...

issues in oncology

Psychological Impact of Genetic Testing to Be Explored in Subset of NCI-MATCH Trial Patients

The ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group has received federal approval to add a quality-of-life research study, COMmunication and Education in Tumor Profiling, or COMET (EAQ152), to the NCI-MATCH (EAY131) trial already underway. Using feedback surveys before and after a patient undergoes tumor gene...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Study Finds Computers Surpass Pathologists in Predicting Lung Cancer Type, Severity

Computers can be trained to be more accurate than pathologists in assessing slides of lung cancer tissues, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The researchers found that a machine-learning approach to identifying critical disease-related features...

issues in oncology

Preclinical Study Finds Etoposide May Damage Developing Ovaries of Female Fetuses

The chemotherapy drug etoposide may have adverse effects on the developing ovaries of female fetuses, according to a preclinical study of mouse cells published by Stefansdottir et al in BMC Cancer. Norah Spears, DPhil, the corresponding study author and Professor of Reproductive Physiology at the...

issues in oncology

Report Tracks Cancer Trends by Race/Ethnicity in Los Angeles County for 37 Years

Prostate cancer and lung cancer have been the number 1 and 2 cancers among men. Stomach cancer, the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, has been on a steady decline among Koreans and Japanese. Black men had the highest overall rates of cancer. Thyroid cancer has been on the rise, and...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Obesity on the Rise in Adults With a History of Cancer

A study at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health showed that obesity was more prevalent in patients with a history of cancer than in the general population, and survivors of colorectal and breast cancers were particularly affected. The study is among the first to compare rates of...

issues in oncology

Metabolic Imaging as a Method to Assess Treatment Response to Cytotoxic and Cytostatic Agents

Tumor shrinkage is not the only measure of a successful anticancer therapy. A University of Colorado Cancer Center article published by Serkova et al in Frontiers in Oncology describes a promising alternative: metabolic imaging. Tumors rush their metabolism to grow and proliferate. By recognizing a ...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

New American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Report Shows States Are Making Progress Implementing Policies to Reduce Toll of Cancer

Although a majority of states are still missing important opportunities to pass and implement legislative solutions proven to prevent and fight cancer, there is progress being made to move the nation closer to ending cancer as we know it, according to a report recently released by the American...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Insurance Status Impacts Survival, According to Two New Studies

Men with testicular cancer who were uninsured or on Medicaid had a higher risk of death from what is normally a curable disease than insured patients, a new study found. The findings, published by Markt et al in Cancer, add to growing evidence that differences in health insurance status can affect...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Low Engagement in Internet-Based Research in Underrepresented Population

A large study by Hartz et al examining whether Internet-based research approaches effectively engage participants from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds has found engagement in this type of research to be low among participants without a high school education, those living below the...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Potential Link Between Obesity and Cardiotoxicity From Anthracyclines Alone or With Trastuzumab for Breast Cancer

Obesity and being overweight were associated with an increased risk of cardiotoxicity in women receiving treatment with anthracyclines and sequential anthracyclines/trastuzumab (Herceptin) for breast cancer, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis reported in the Journal of Clinical...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Increased Obesity Rates Reported in Adults With a History of Cancer

In a population-based study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Greenlee et al found that rates of obesity have increased more in patients with a history of cancer than in the general population. These rates were particularly high among survivors of colorectal and breast cancers and black ...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

New Study Finds Increase in Imaging After Thyroid Cancer Treatment Identifies Recurrence but May Not Improve Survival

More imaging after thyroid cancer treatment identifies recurrence, but it does not always improve survival, a new study published by Banerjee et al in The BMJ suggests. Researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center looked at 28,220 patients diagnosed with...

issues in oncology

Delirium Frequent and Underdiagnosed Among Advanced Cancer Patients Presenting to an Emergency Department

A new study indicates that delirium is relatively frequent and underdiagnosed by physicians in patients with advanced cancer visiting the emergency department. Delirium was similarly common among older and younger patients, which suggests that in the setting of advanced cancer, all patients should...

issues in oncology

Some Adolescent Survivors of Childhood Cancer May Benefit From More Comprehensive Mental Health Screening

Most adolescent survivors of childhood cancer have no reported psychological symptoms, but an analysis led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital found that those who do often have multiple symptoms and distinct symptom profiles. The findings, published by Krull et al in the Journal of Clinical...

issues in oncology

Study Finds New Whole-Exome Sequencing Test Accurately Identifies Actionable Mutations

Exome Cancer Test v1.0 (EXaCT-1), a new whole-exome sequencing test developed by the Englander Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, detected mutations that guide precision cancer treatment with over 95% accuracy, according to a study by Rennert et al published in Genomic ...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Hematologic Oncologists Surveyed on Quality Measures of End-of-Life Care and Barriers to Such Care

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Odejide et al surveyed hematologic oncologists to identify acceptable end-of-life-care quality measures and asked the clinician to identify barriers to such care. Respondents considered unrealistic patient expectations the top barrier to...

issues in oncology

Discovery of Fragment Length of Circulating Tumor DNA Might Increase Liquid Biopsy Sensitivity

The liquid biopsy may be a welcome reprieve from typical biopsies. The minimally invasive test could reduce the need for the sometimes painful and risky procedures involved in sampling tumors, particularly those that reside deep within the body. However, thus far, the utility of the test has been...

issues in oncology

Patient-Oncologist Difference of Opinion About Advanced Cancer Prognosis Is Common, Study Shows

Misunderstandings about prognosis between patients with advanced cancer and their doctors was common, according to a study by Gramling et al in JAMA Oncology—and the vast majority of patients didn't know that their doctors held different opinions about how long they might live. “We've...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese People May Lower Levels of Certain Proteins Linked to Cancer

A new study investigating the effects of dietary weight loss and exercise on circulating levels of certain angiogenesis-related proteins, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), in postmenopausal...