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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...

issues in oncology

Heart Failure After First Heart Attack Associated With Increased Risk of Cancer

Patients who develop heart failure after their first heart attack have a greater risk of developing cancer when compared to first-time heart attack survivors without heart failure, according to a study published by Hasin et al in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Heart failure...

issues in oncology

Nivolumab or Ipilimumab Treatment May Increase Risk of Developing Autoimmune Joint and Tissue Disease

Case reports on 13 patients with cancer suggest that patients taking the immunotherapeutics ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo) may be at higher-than-normal risk of developing autoimmune joint and tissue diseases, including inflammatory arthritis, according to a preliminary study by Johns...

solid tumors
issues in oncology

Adherence to Cancer Prevention Guidelines on Diet and Physical Activity May Reduce Cancer Risk and Mortality

According to the American Cancer Society’s 2016 Cancer Facts & Figures, behaviors such as poor diet choices, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and unhealthy body weight account for about 20% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States and likely could be prevented with...

lymphoma
issues in oncology

Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation Offers Safe, Effective Option for Patients With HIV-Associated Lymphoma

A phase II, multicenter trial published by Alvarnas et al in Blood challenges the generally held belief that individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and aggressive lymphoma are not candidates for standard treatment. According to the researchers, people with HIV-associated lymphoma who...

issues in oncology

Patient Navigators Improve Comprehensive Cancer Center Screening Rates

A clinical trial conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has found that the use of patient navigators—individuals who assist patients in receiving health care services—may improve comprehensive cancer screening rates among patient populations not likely to...

issues in oncology

Report Finds Families of Cancer Survivors Challenged by Intense, Episodic Caregiving Experiences

A new report shows that people caring for a loved one with cancer often have more intense, episodic caregiver responsibilities than those caring for someone with other health needs. The report, from the National Alliance for Caregiving in partnership with the National Cancer Institute and the...

issues in oncology

Lifestyle Pattern May Be Associated With Cancer Risk in White Adults

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Song and Giovannucci found that a “healthy lifestyle pattern” was associated with a reduced risk for carcinomas among white adults. Study Details The study included data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up...

issues in oncology

SNMMI 2016: CT-Based Lean Body Mass Calculations Improve Accuracy of PET for Patients With Cancer

Patients with cancer often experience significant fluctuations in weight and lean body mass. Neglecting to account for these changes can prevent clinicians from obtaining precise data from molecular imaging, but a new method of measuring lean body mass takes changes in individual body...

issues in oncology

ASCO 2016: Hispanic and Black Young Adults With Cancer May Be More Likely to Die of Their Disease

Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black cancer patients between ages 15 and 29 may be more likely than same-aged white patients to die of their disease, according to a University of Colorado Cancer Center study presented by Colton et al at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting (Abstract 6557). The finding is...

lymphoma
issues in oncology

European Study Suggests No Benefit of GnRH in Preserving Ovarian Function and Fertility in Young Women With Lymphoma

In long-term follow-up of a European trial reported by Demeestere et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist treatment during chemotherapy in young women with lymphoma was not associated with reduced premature ovarian failure or an improved pregnancy...

issues in oncology

Study Finds Poor Understanding of Illness in Patients With Advanced Cancer

Few patients with advanced cancer and a short life expectancy have an accurate understanding of their illness, according to a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Epstein et al. Study Details The study involved 178 patients from 9 U.S. cancer centers who had advanced cancers...

lymphoma
issues in oncology

ASCO 2016: Cancer Diagnosed More Often in Patients With Primary Immunodeficiency Disease

Primary immunodeficiency disorders are a group of more than 300 single gene defects that affect the role of the immune system and prevent it from functioning properly. When Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) researchers evaluated the overall and site-specific incidence of cancer among patients...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Global Economic Crisis May Be Linked to Increased Cancer Mortality

The global economic crisis has been associated with increased unemployment and reduced public-sector expenditure on health care. In a study reported in The Lancet, Maruthappu et al found that the global economic crisis beginning in 2008 was also associated with a large excess in cancer mortality...

hematologic malignancies
issues in oncology

Four-Biomarker Panel Identified for Chronic Graft-vs-Host Disease

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Yu et al identified a four-biomarker panel that was predictive of chronic graft-vs-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. Discovery Cohort In the study, a quantitative proteomics approach was used to compare...

issues in oncology

Patricia J. Goldsmith on Patient Access and Engagement: Results of the CancerCare Report

Patricia J. Goldsmith, Chief Executive Officer of CancerCare, which provides free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer, discusses findings from six distinct surveys with input from more than 3,000 individuals at varying stages of their cancer experience.

palliative care
issues in oncology

ASCO 2016: Many Younger Cancer Patients Receive Aggressive End-of-Life Care Despite ASCO’s Choosing Wisely Campaign

An analysis of health claims data from 2007­–2014 on more than 28,000 patients under the age of 65 found that a large proportion of patients with advanced solid tumors received at least one form of aggressive care within the last 30 days of life. The study was presented by Chen et al at...

issues in oncology

Eric Roeland, MD, and Timothy E. Quill, MD, on the Debate Over Physician-Assisted Death

Eric Roeland, MD, of the University of California, San Diego, and Timothy E. Quill, MD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center, discuss the debate on whether physician-assisted death should be a legally available option at the end of life when neither palliative nor hospice care is satisfactory.

issues in oncology

Maria Clemence Schwaederle, PharmD, on Precision Medicine: Its Impact in Refractory Malignancies

Maria Clemence Schwaederle, PharmD, of the University of California, San Diego, discusses an analysis of 13,203 patients in phase I clinical trials, which showed that a personalized strategy led to improved response rate and progression-free survival (Abstract 11520).

issues in oncology

Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, on Progress of the Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology

Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, of The West Clinic, reports on progress of the now year-old ACCC initiative to speed adoption of immunotherapeutics in community practices.

cost of care
issues in oncology

Yousuf Zafar, MD, on the Financial Burden of Cancer Care

Yousuf Zafar, MD, of Duke Cancer Institute, summarizes his educational lecture on the financial toxicities of treatment and the need to focus on both short- and long-term interventions to reduce the burden on patients.

issues in oncology

ASCO Value Framework Update: A Statement by Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO

ASCO today published an updated framework for assessing the relative value of cancer therapies that have been compared in clinical trials. The framework, published by Schnipper et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, defines value as a combination of clinical benefit, side effects, and...

issues in oncology

Women With New-Onset Atrial Fibrillation May Be at Increased Risk for Malignant Cancer

Among nearly 35,000 initially healthy women who were followed for about 20 years, those with new-onset atrial fibrillation had an increased risk of cancer, according to a study published by Conen et al in JAMA Cardiology. Atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia, is associated with...

issues in oncology

Leisure-Time Physical Activity Reduces Risk of Multiple Cancer Types

In a study reported in JAMA Internal Medicine, Moore et al found that greater leisure-time physical activity was associated with a reduced risk for many types of cancer. Study Details The study used pooled data on 1.44 million adults from 12 prospective U.S. and European cohorts with...

breast cancer
solid tumors
issues in oncology

Racial Disparities in Early Supportive Medication Use and End-of-Life Care Among Medicare Patients With Stage IV Breast Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Check et al identified disparities in supportive medication use and end-of-life care between black and white Medicare patients with stage IV breast cancer. Study Details The study involved SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End...

issues in oncology

Survey Finds Most Americans Unlikely to Enroll in Clinical Trials

According to a new survey of more than 1,500 consumers and nearly 600 physicians conducted on behalf of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), only 35% of Americans indicated that they were “likely” to enroll in a clinical trial. Other studies have shown that only 4% of cancer...

issues in oncology
supportive care

Study Finds Many Terminal Patients Unaware of Their Impending Death

A sizable portion of patients with advanced cancer lack an understanding of their prognosis and impending death, according to a study by Epstein et al. However, those patients who had recent discussions of prognosis/life expectancy with their oncologists had a better understanding of the terminal...

issues in oncology

HIV-Infected Patients With Cancer May Be Likely to Receive Cancer Treatment

A study found that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with cancer in the United States appear to be less likely to receive cancer treatment, regardless of insurance and other existing health conditions. The study, by researchers at the University of Utah, the National Cancer...