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issues in oncology

ASCO 2016: Precision Medicine Yields Better Outcomes for Patients in Phase I Clinical Trials

A meta-analysis of 346 phase I clinical trials involving more than 13,000 patients found that patients whose treatment was selected based on the molecular characteristics of their tumor had significantly better outcomes. The study was featured in a press briefing today and will be presented by...

issues in oncology

American Cancer Society Report Assesses Progress Against Goals Set for Nation 25 Years Ago

A new report assesses how the nation fared against the ambitious goal set by the American Cancer Society (ACS) to reduce cancer death rates by 50% over 25 years ending in 2015. The report finds areas where progress was substantial, and others where it was not. Published by Byers et al in CA: A ...

issues in oncology

ESTRO 2016: Failure to Publish Phase III Radiotherapy Trial Results Exposes Patients to Risks Without Providing Benefits for Others

Although the publication of results of clinical trials carried out in the United States within 12 months of their completion has been mandatory since 2007, a remarkably high number of phase III radiotherapy trials did not do so, according to new research presented at the European Society for...

issues in oncology

Solid Organ Transplant Recipients With Preexisting Malignancies in Remission May Be More Likely to Die, Develop New Cancers

Patients who had cancer before receiving an organ transplant were more likely to die of any cause, die of cancer, or develop a new cancer than organ recipients who did not previously have cancer, a new study published by Acuna et al in the journal Transplantation has found. However, the increased...

gynecologic cancer
issues in oncology

ASCO Statement on Human Papillomavirus Vaccination for Cancer Prevention

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Bailey et al, ASCO has released a statement on increasing human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to prevent HPV-related cancers in the United States. In the United States, HPV is estimated to cause approximately 99.7% of cervical cancers, 60% of...

issues in oncology

TP53 Gene Variant S47 May Contribute to Increased Cancer Risk in People of African Descent

For years, clinical data have shown that African Americans have a higher death rate and shorter period of survival among patients with commonly diagnosed cancers. While studies have focused on whether socioeconomic factors contribute to these statistics, researchers have been diligently trying to...

issues in oncology

PET Probe [18F]CFA Detects Deoxycytidine Kinase Activity, May Lead to New Ways to Improve Response to Treatment

A promising new discovery by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) scientists could lead to a new method of identifying cancer patients whose disease expresses high levels of an enzyme and who are more likely to respond to particular treatments. Their findings were published by Kim et al in...

solid tumors
hematologic malignancies
issues in oncology
survivorship

Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Among Survivors of Some Adult-Onset Cancers

In a study using managed-care organization data reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Armenian et al found that survivors of adult-onset multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, lung/bronchus cancer, and breast cancer had an increased risk for subsequent cardiovascular disease. Study...

issues in oncology

Families of Cancer Decedents See Early Hospice, ICU Avoidance, and Death Outside the Hospital as Better End-of-Life Care

Families of patients dying with lung or colorectal cancer judged end-of-life care as better when it was less aggressive, involved earlier hospice, avoided intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and included death outside of the hospital, according to a study reported by Wright et al in JAMA. Study...

palliative care
issues in oncology
global cancer care

Site of Death, Health-Care Utilization, and Hospital Expenditures for Patients Dying With Cancer in Developed Countries

In a study reported in JAMA, Bekelman et al assessed the site of death, health-care utilization, and hospital expenditures among patients aged ≥ 65 years dying with cancer in Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United States. The United States had lower...

issues in oncology

Study Evaluates Patient/Oncologist Perceptions of Whole-Exome Sequencing in Advanced Cancer

A majority of people with advanced cancer want to hear findings from DNA sequencing and to learn how those results may affect their health and treatment options, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists report. Their findings were reported by Gray et al in Genetics in Medicine. The discovery...

issues in oncology

ASCO Report Finds U.S. Cancer Care System Ill-Equipped to Deliver New Advances to Patients

As the nation embarks on an ambitious “moonshot” to accelerate progress against cancer, our system for delivering today's cancer treatments must be better prepared to bring advances to all patients, warns a new report from ASCO. The State of Cancer Care in America: 2016, published...

issues in oncology

Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Among Surgeons Do Not Always Result in Culturally Competent Care

A survey of oncology surgeons from six hospitals in Washington State found that the surgeons in the sample “displayed and valued cultural awareness and sensitivity” but that “cultural awareness and sensitivity did not necessarily result in culturally competent behavior.” These findings highlight...

lung cancer
issues in oncology
gastroesophageal cancer

PET Scan Use in Follow-up Care for Lung and Esophageal Cancer Shows Wide Variation Between Hospitals, No Impact on Survival

A new study suggests that one approach to watching for a cancer's return is being inappropriately used at many hospitals and isn't helping patients survive longer. The findings are published by Healy et al in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study looked at how often survivors ...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Half of Elderly Patients With Colorectal Cancer Receive Expensive Therapy With Little Survival Benefit

A study published by Bradley et al in Medical Care showed that over a recent 10-year period, the rate of metastatic colorectal cancer patients older than age 75 receiving three or more treatments increased from 2% to 53%. During this period, 1-year treatment costs increased 32% to reach an...

issues in oncology

ASCO Provides Support and Guidance for the White House Cancer Moonshot Initiative

Although President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act in 1971, essentially declaring a war on cancer, the genesis of the idea had actually been born 2 years earlier, after the first landing on the moon set off a new era of scientific exploration and sparked a belief that any scientific...

issues in oncology

Ethan Basch, MD, on Assessing Quality: Patient-Reported Data

Ethan Basch, MD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, summarizes a session he chaired on the burgeoning use of patient-reported outcomes and wearable sensors in clinical practice and research.

issues in oncology

Monika K. Krzyzanowska, MD, MPH, on Patient-Centered Outcomes Research: Expert Perspective

Monika K. Krzyzanowska, MD, of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, summarizes a session that she co-chaired on this key topic.

issues in oncology

Randall F. Holcombe, MD, on Delivering Quality Care in a Large, Urban Institution

Randall F. Holcombe, MD, of the Icahn Mount Sinai School of Medicine, discusses the challenges of delivering quality care in an academic setting at a large hospital.

issues in oncology

Lee N. Newcomer, MD, on Assessing Quality: Payer Perspective

Lee N. Newcomer, MD, of the UnitedHealth Group, gives his perspective on how to assess quality in the age of precision medicine.

issues in oncology

Allison Kurian, MD, on Assessing Quality in the Age of Precision Medicine

Allison Kurian, MD, of Stanford University School of Medicine, discusses pressing questions about the clinical utility and value of extended genomic testing and other forms of precision medicine.

issues in oncology

Joseph O. Jacobson, MD, on Improving Cancer Care: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why

Joseph O. Jacobson, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses a session he co-chaired on the thorny questions of how best to improve cancer care.

issues in oncology

Sandra L. Wong, MD's, Oral Abstract Discussion: Expert Perspective

Sandra L. Wong, MD, of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, summarizes three abstracts for which she was the discussant. The topics were rates of surgical site infections, an online resource for hospital cancer surgery volumes, and barriers to oncology appointments at comprehensive cancer centers. (Abstracts 171, 172, 55)

issues in oncology

Patricia A. Ganz, MD, on Improving Quality and Value in Cancer Care

Patricia A. Ganz, MD, of the University of California at Los Angeles, the 2016 winner of the Joseph V. Simone Award, summarizes her “Lecture for Excellence in Quality and Safety in the Care of Patients With Cancer.”

issues in oncology

Joseph V. Simone, MD, on Safety and Quality in Cancer Care: The Big Picture

Joseph V. Simone, MD, of the Simone Consulting Company, reflects on the prospects for the future of safety and quality.

issues in oncology

Craig Earle, MD, on The Science of Quality

Craig Earle, MD, of Canada’s Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, summarizes abstracts discussed in a ticketed session that he co-chaired on this key topic. (Abstracts 173, 174, 175)

issues in oncology

Kerin B. Adelson, MD, on Improving Cancer Staging

Kerin B. Adelson, MD, of the Yale Cancer Center, discusses an electronic decision support tool to capture staging data. This information allows automated reports for clinical trial screening, outcomes analysis, quality comparisons, and reporting. (Abstract 151)

issues in oncology

Dawn L. Hershman, MD, on Improving Quality and Safety With Multidisciplinary Teams

Dawn L. Hershman, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center, summarizes a joint ASCO/NCI session on this important topic, including the challenges and solutions.

issues in oncology

Cancer Statistics for African Americans, 2016

A new report outlines substantial progress in reducing the mortality gap between blacks and whites for some cancers, while the gap has widened or remained level for two leading cancers: breast cancer in women and colorectal cancer in men. The findings are included in Cancer Statistics for African...

issues in oncology

Quality Improvement Projects Aim at Reducing Errors in Prescribing IV and Oral Chemotherapy

Two quality improvement projects described in the Journal of Oncology Practice resulted in reduced errors in prescribing intravenous (IV) and oral chemotherapy. A project at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston outpatient infusion centers first identified 15 different types of...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update on Ovarian Suppression/Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy in Hormone Receptor–Positive Breast Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Burstein et al, ASCO has released a clinical practice guideline update on ovarian suppression as part of the extant guideline on adjuvant endocrine therapy in hormone receptor–positive breast cancer. The update is based on an update panel...

issues in oncology
gynecologic cancers
head and neck cancer

100% of NCI-Designated Cancer Centers Endorse the Promotion of the HPV Vaccination for Cancer Prevention

All National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers have united to support human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination (see below). A team of HPV experts drafted a consensus statement that advises widespread use of HPV vaccines to prevent cancer. HPV causes cancer of the cervix, anus, and...

issues in oncology

Failure of Updated Dietary Guidelines to Advise Limiting Red and Processed Meat Deemed a ‘Missed Opportunity’

“A missed opportunity” is how Susan Higginbotham, PhD, RD, Vice President for Research, American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), described the “failure” of updated dietary guidelines to recommend limiting consumption of red and processed meat. Doing so would have “the potential to save...

issues in oncology
lung cancer
geriatric oncology

Management of Advanced Lung Cancer in the Elderly: A Reason to Rejoice or a Cause for Concern?

There is ample evidence to suggest that older adults with a good performance status (0 or 1) with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) should be treated with combination chemotherapy akin to younger patients.1,2 However, older adults comprise a heterogeneous group that has been...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Evolving Tools for Clinical Decision-Making

Value in cancer care—and how to define it—is a hot topic. There is general agreement that it is some measure of benefit vs cost, but “should the focus be on providing value to patients at a population level or at an individual level?” asked Alan Balch, PhD, CEO of the Patient Advocate Foundation,...

issues in oncology

Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Among Oncology Surgeons Do Not Necessarily Result in Culturally Competent Care

A survey of oncology surgeons from six hospitals in Washington State found that the surgeons in the sample “displayed and valued cultural awareness and sensitivity” but that “cultural awareness and sensitivity did not necessarily result in culturally competent behavior.”...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

2016 Head and Neck Cancer Symposium: Study Maps Distinct Molecular Signatures of HPV-Positive Throat Cancer by Smoking Status

Patients with throat cancer exposed to both human papillomavirus (HPV) and tobacco smoke demonstrate a pattern of mutations along several key cancer genes, according to research presented by Zevallos et al at the 2016 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium (Abstract 1). These distinct...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Serum Tumor Marker Testing Overused, Especially for Solid Tumors

A retrospective review to evaluate the frequency of serum tumor marker testing “found a high rate of serum tumor marker testing overuse and extreme overuse in patients with advanced solid tumors,” Melissa K. Accordino, MD, of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New...

leukemia
issues in oncology

Inherited Genetic Variations That Lead to Severe Drug Toxicity in Pediatric Leukemia Discovered

An international research team has determined how inherited gene variations lead to severe drug toxicity that may threaten chances for a cure in children with leukemia. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists led the study, results of which set the stage to expand the use of a...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Autoantibodies May Help Detect Lung Cancer Earlier

Preliminary research has identified autoantibodies—immune proteins found in the blood specific for one's own proteins—that can potentially detect lung cancer early by distinguishing between smokers with or without lung cancer and can also discriminate between lung cancer and low-dose...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Fecal Immunochemical Test Sensitive and Effective for Annual Colorectal Cancer Screening

Annual screening with the fecal immunochemical test is highly sensitive for detecting colorectal cancer and “is feasible and effective for population-level colorectal cancer screening,” according to a large-scale retrospective cohort study assessing the fecal immunochemical...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology
issues in oncology

Updated Guidelines Recommend That Patients With Colorectal Cancer Undergo Colonoscopy After Cancer Resection

According to new recommendations from the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer published by Kahi et al in Gastroenterology, postoperative colonoscopy is associated with improved overall survival for colorectal cancer patients. Therefore, it is critically important that colorectal...

survivorship
cns cancers
issues in oncology

Increased Risk of Severe Neurocognitive Impairment in Adult Survivors of Pediatric CNS Tumors

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Brinkman et al, a study in the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort showed that adult survivors of pediatric central nervous system (CNS) tumors are at increased risk of severe neurocognitive impairment. Study Details The study involved 224 survivors of CNS...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Gene Previously Observed Only in Brain Is Important Driver of Metastatic Breast Cancer

When breast cancer becomes metastatic, patient survival is drastically reduced, prompting the need to explore the genes that may cause tumor cells to metastasize. Now, scientists from The Wistar Institute have shown that a gene that was once thought only to be found in the brain is also expressed...

issues in oncology

Interruption of Radiation Therapy Due to Noncompliance Risks Cancer Recurrence

Cancer patients who miss two or more radiation therapy sessions (except for planned treatment breaks) have a worse outcome than fully compliant patients, investigators at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC) and Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Albert Einstein Cancer Center have...

pancreatic cancer
issues in oncology

Preclinical Device Hits Pancreatic Tumors With Drug Cocktail, Sparing the Body

A highly lethal cancer sometimes requires large doses of highly toxic drugs. However, a blitzkrieg approach can be unfeasible for some patients due to severe side effects. Now a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found that an implantable device can deliver a ...

issues in oncology
head and neck cancer

Possible Marker for Recurring HPV-Linked Oropharyngeal Cancers

A retrospective analysis of human papillomavirus (HPV) antibodies in patients treated for oropharyngeal cancers linked to HPV infection suggests at least one of the antibodies could be useful in identifying those at risk for a recurrence of the cancer, said scientists at The Johns Hopkins...

issues in oncology

ASCO Issues Policy Statement Calling for Improvements to Clinical Pathway Programs in Oncology

ASCO released a new policy statement with recommendations to ensure that clinical pathways in oncology promote—not hinder—the care of patients with cancer. Published by Zon et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice,1 the statement asserted that the way in which these treatment management tools in...

issues in oncology

Vice President Joe Biden Discusses Big Data in Cancer Research at World Economic Forum

On January 19, 2016, Vice President Joe Biden discussed big data as one of the “major undertakings” designed to advance the pace of progress in the fight against cancer as part of his new “moonshot” initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos Klosters, Switzerland. Mr. Biden presided over a...

leukemia
issues in oncology

New Assay Detects Persistent Disease in Leukemia Patients Thought to Be in Remission

The outcomes of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) have dramatically improved as the result of tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment. Use of a tyrosine kinase inhibitor regimen can lower the blood CML biomarker to levels imperceptible by current detection methods. For patients in “molecular...