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supportive care
issues in oncology

No Differences in Patient-Reported Outcomes or Resource Use With Early vs Delayed Initiation of Palliative Care Intervention

In the ENABLE III study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Bakitas et al found that early vs delayed initiation of a palliative care intervention did not result in improved patient-reported outcomes or resource use. Early initiation was associated with better 1-year survival. Study...

supportive care
issues in oncology

Reduced Family Caregiver Depression With Early vs Delayed Palliative Care Intervention for Caregivers

In the ENABLE III study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Dionne-Odom et al found that early vs delayed use of a palliative care intervention for family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer reduced caregiver depression scores and caregiver stress burden. No differences in...

colorectal cancer
supportive care

Study Compares Incidence and Severity of Treatment-Related Neuropathy in Patients With Colorectal Cancer vs Other Cancers

Patients with colorectal cancer experience significantly higher rates of numbness/tingling but comparable neuropathic pain relative to patients with other cancers, according to a study by Lewis et al in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. In addition, numbness/tingling was more likely to be ...

supportive care

Addition of Aprepitant to Ondansetron Effective in Preventing Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting in Pediatric Patients

In a phase III trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Kang et al found that adding aprepitant to ondansetron with or without dexamethasone was effective in preventing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in pediatric patients receiving moderately or highly emetogenic chemotherapy. Study...

pancreatic cancer
supportive care
palliative care

Palliative Care Consultation Associated With Less Aggressive End-of-Life Care in Advanced Pancreas Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Jang et al found that palliative care consultation was associated with decreased use of chemotherapy near death and lower risks of ICU admission, multiple emergency department visits, and multiple hospitalizations near death in...

leukemia
supportive care
issues in oncology

Inherited Gene Variation Leaves Young Leukemia Patients at Risk for Peripheral Neuropathy

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have identified the first genetic variation that is associated with an increased risk and severity of peripheral neuropathy following treatment with a widely used anticancer drug. Investigators also found evidence of how it may be possible to...

hepatobiliary cancer
supportive care

Urea-Based Cream Prevents Sorafenib-Associated Hand-Foot Skin Reactions in Chinese Patients With Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma

In a Chinese study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ren et al found that prophylactic use of urea-based cream reduced the incidence of sorafenib (Nexavar)–associated hand-foot skin reactions in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Urea-based creams are used to treat...

palliative care
supportive care

Meaning-Centered Group Psychotherapy Improves Psychological Well-Being in Patients With Advanced Cancer

In a randomized trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Breitbart et al found that meaning-centered group psychotherapy significantly improved psychological well-being compared with supportive group psychotherapy in patients with advanced or terminal cancer. Meaning-centered group...

palliative care
supportive care
palliative care

Study Identifies Eight Signs Associated With Impending Death in Cancer Patients

Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have identified eight highly specific physical and cognitive signs associated with imminent death in cancer patients. The findings, published by Hui et al in Cancer, could offer clinicians the ability to better communicate with...

breast cancer
supportive care
issues in oncology

Women Who Undergo Delayed Breast Reconstruction May Experience More Cancer‑Related Distress Than Women Who Undergo Mastectomy Alone

In women who have undergone mastectomy, those who underwent delayed breast reconstruction experienced greater cancer-related distress over the long term compared with women who underwent mastectomy alone, according to a prospective study by Metcalfe et al in the Journal of Surgical Oncology. For...

supportive care

ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update 2014: No Change to 2013 Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment Guideline

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Lyman et al, an ASCO update committee recommended no changes to the 2013 clinical practice guideline for venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis and treatment after review of 53 new publications in the area that became available between...

supportive care

Anamorelin Increases Lean Body Mass in Patients With Cancer Cachexia

In an integrated analysis of two phase II trials reported in The Lancet Oncology, Garcia et al found that treatment with anamorelin, an oral ghrelin-receptor agonist with appetite-enhancing and anabolic activity, produced a gain in lean body mass in patients with cancer anorexia-cachexia syndrome. ...

supportive care
issues in oncology

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Improves Insomnia After Cancer Treatment With No Difference in Combination With Placebo or Armodafinil

In a study reported in Journal of Clinical Oncology, Roscoe et al found that cognitive behavioral therapy combined with placebo or the wakefulness-promoting agent armodafinil (Nuvigil) had similar beneficial effects on insomnia and sleep quality in cancer survivors. Study Details In the study, 96 ...

supportive care
issues in oncology

Management of Cancer Pain Has Improved but Remains Inadequate

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Greco et al updated a 2008 systematic review on cancer pain management. Improvements were seen between 2008 and 2013, but approximately one-third of patients still do not receive pain medication adequate for reported pain intensity. Changes...

breast cancer
supportive care
survivorship

Low-Level Laser Therapy May Reduce Limb Volume and Pain in Patients With Breast Cancer–Related Lymphedema

In a meta-analysis of patients with breast cancer–related lymphedema, low-level laser therapy was associated with reduced limb volume and pain levels, according to a report by Smoot et al in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship. However, the investigators noted that regarding pain management,...

breast cancer
supportive care

Exercise Improves Aromatase Inhibitor–Induced Arthralgia in Breast Cancer Survivors

In the HOPE study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Irwin et al found that a program of aerobic exercise and strength training produced significant improvement in aromatase inhibitor–associated arthralgia in breast cancer survivors. Study Details In the study, 121 women with...

supportive care

FDA Approves Denosumab for the Treatment of Hypercalcemia of Malignancy Refractory to Bisphosphonate Therapy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new indication for denosumab (Xgeva) for the treatment of hypercalcemia of malignancy refractory to bisphosphonate therapy. Denosumab was approved and granted Orphan Drug designation by the FDA, which is reserved for drugs that are intended for...

supportive care

FDA Approves Extended-Release, Single-Entity Hydrocodone Product With Abuse-Deterrent Properties

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved hydrocodone bitartrate (Hysingla ER), an extended-release opioid analgesic to treat pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. The product...

supportive care
issues in oncology
issues in oncology
palliative care

End-of-Life Discussions Are Associated With Longer Survival and Higher Quality of Life

A review of advance care planning and end-of-life communication practices among physicians by the American College of Physicians has found that implementing early discussions about goals of care with seriously ill patients results in better quality of life, reduced use of life-sustaining treatments ...

supportive care
issues in oncology

Absence of Residual Thrombosis After 6 Months of Low–Molecular Weight Heparin Indicates Low Risk for Recurrent Cancer-Related Deep-Vein Thrombosis

In an Italian study (Cancer-DACUS) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Napolitano et al found that patients with no residual vein thrombosis after 6 months of low–molecular weight heparin for a first episode of cancer-related deep-vein thrombosis of the lower limbs had low risk for...

supportive care
issues in oncology

Survey Finds High Rates of Burnout Among Palliative Care Physicians, With Over 50% Predicted to Leave the Field in 10 Years

Physician burnout in palliative care is higher—over 62%—than the burnout rate reported in medical oncology—45%—according to a large survey of over 1,200 hospice and palliative care clinicians. The factors contributing to professional burnout severity included younger age,...

supportive care

Oral Rivaroxaban Has Efficacy Similar to Enoxaparin Plus Vitamin K Antagonist in Preventing Recurrent Venous Thromboembolism

In a subgroup analysis of the pooled results of the EINSTEIN-DVT and EINSTEIN-PE trials reported in The Lancet Haematology, Prins et al found that the recurrence rate for venous thromboembolism in cancer patients receiving anticoagulant therapy with oral rivaroxaban (Xarelto) was similar to that in ...

supportive care

‘Smart Technology’ System for Home Hospice Symptom Management and Care Helps Both Patients With Cancer and Family Caregivers

Early findings from a study of 319 families suggest that use of an innovative, telephone-based symptom monitoring and coaching system during home hospice care leads to significantly decreased patient symptoms in the final weeks of life. The findings will be presented at the 2014 Palliative Care in...

supportive care

Partnership Between Medical Oncologists and Palliative Care Specialists Improves Outcomes at an Inpatient Oncology Unit

First evaluation of a pioneering “co-rounding” partnership between medical oncologists and palliative care specialists at Duke University Medical Center shows improvements in both health system–related and patient-related outcomes. The first year of the new partnership—set...

supportive care
issues in oncology

Having Dependent Children Motivates Parents With Advanced Cancer to Pursue More Aggressive, Life-Extending Treatments

Findings from a pilot study of 42 parents with advanced cancer indicate that parental status is an important factor in treatment decision-making. When asked how having children influences their treatment decisions, the majority of parents (64%) responded that being a parent motivates them to pursue ...

gynecologic cancer
gynecologic cancer
issues in oncology
supportive care
issues in oncology

Single-Day Education Program Mitigates Psychosexual Side Effects of Risk-Reducing Salpingo-Oophorectomy

More women are undergoing salpingo-oophorectomy as a cancer prevention measure, but many are unaware of the potential sexual or psychological side effects of the procedure. A new study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute demonstrated that a half-day educational program can help ...

supportive care
issues in oncology

Adding Aprepitant to Granisetron/Dexamethasone Reduces Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting After High-Dose Melphalan Conditioning in Myeloma

In a phase III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Schmitt et al found that adding aprepitant to granisetron and dexamethasone significantly reduced chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in myeloma patients undergoing high-dose melphalan conditioning and autologous stem cell...

supportive care

FDA Approves Netupitant and Palonosetron Combination Capsule for Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today approved a combination of netupitant and palonosetron (Akynzeo) to treat nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy. The new drug, also known as NEPA, is a fixed-combination capsule comprised of two agents: oral palonosetron,...

breast cancer
supportive care

Acupuncture Provides Significant Quality-of-Life Improvements Among Breast Cancer Patients With Aromatase Inhibitor–Related Joint Pain

Use of electroacupuncture—a form of acupuncture where a small electric current is passed between pairs of acupuncture needles—produces significant improvements in fatigue, anxiety, and depression in as little as 8 weeks for early-stage breast cancer patients experiencing joint pain...

supportive care

African Americans More Likely Than Whites to Receive Analgesic With Toxic Metabolite for Cancer Pain

A study reported by Meghani et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that African American patients with cancer pain are more likely than white patients to receive morphine, with its known 3- and 6-glucuronide neurotoxic metabolites, despite their higher reported risk for chronic kidney...

supportive care
issues in oncology

Corticosteroids Improve Fatigue, Appetite Loss, and Patient Satisfaction but Not Pain in Opioid-Treated Advanced Cancer Patients, Small Study Shows

In a small Norwegian study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Paulsen et al found that methylprednisolone treatment improved fatigue, appetite loss, and patient satisfaction but not pain in patients with advanced cancer receiving opioid treatment for pain. Study Details In the study,...

supportive care
survivorship

No Clinical Outcome Benefit With Aerobic Training Program in Cancer Patients With Heart Failure

In a retrospective analysis in the HF-ACTION trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Jones et al found that a program of aerobic training did not reduce the rate of all-cause mortality or hospitalization in cancer patients with heart failure. Some evidence suggested that patients who...

lung cancer
supportive care

Blocking Tumor-Derived Protein Halts Cachexia in Preclinical Study

New research raises the prospect of more effective treatments for cachexia, a profound wasting of fat and muscle occurring in about half of all cancer patients, raising their risk of death, according to scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In a study reported in Nature, Spiegelman et al...

supportive care

Long-Term Central Venous Catheter Use Associated With Three- to Sixfold Increased Risk of Infection in Older Patients With Cancer

In a retrospective SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results)/Medicare data analysis reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Lipitz-Snyderman et al found that long-term central venous catheter use was associated with a three- to sixfold increase in risk of infection in older...

breast cancer
supportive care

HERA Trial 8-Year Follow-up Shows Low Rate of Trastuzumab-Associated Cardiac Dysfunction

In a study reported in Journal of Clinical Oncology, Azambuja et al found low rates of trastuzumab (Herceptin)-related cardiac dysfunction over a median of 8 years of follow-up in the HERceptin Adjuvant (HERA) trial. The majority of patients with cardiac dysfunction achieved acute recovery. Study...

supportive care
issues in oncology

ASCO 2014: Starting Palliative Care Support for Family Caregivers at the Time of Cancer Diagnosis Improves Quality of Life

Introducing a palliative care support program for caregivers of patients with advanced cancer at or near the time patients are diagnosed provides greater benefits than delayed palliative care services, according to results of the ENABLE III study reported at the 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago...

supportive care

MEK Inhibitor Use Associated With Bilateral Subfoveal Neurosensory Retinal Detachment

As reported in JAMA Ophthalmology, McCannel and colleagues identified three cases of subfoveal neurosensory retinal detachment among patients receiving MEK inhibitor therapy for metastatic cancer in clinical trials requiring ophthalmologic examination at their institution. In all cases, the toxic...

breast cancer
supportive care

Greater Risk of Pretreatment Cognitive Impairment in Older Breast Cancer Patients With More Advanced Disease and Greater Comorbidity

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Mandelblatt and colleagues attempted to determine whether cognitive impairment is present in older patients with breast cancer prior to systemic therapy. They found that although there were no global differences in cognitive function between...

supportive care

FDA Approves Palonosetron Hydrochloride to Prevent Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting in Pediatric Patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved palonosetron hydrochloride (Aloxi) injection for the prevention of acute nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of emetogenic cancer chemotherapy, including highly emetogenic cancer chemotherapy, in children aged 1...

breast cancer
supportive care

Proactive Patient-Centered Program May Reduce the Risk of Lymphedema in Survivors of Breast Cancer

A patient-centered educational and behavioral program focusing on self-care strategies appears to be an effective way to reduce the risk of lymphedema in survivors of breast cancer, according to the results of a prospective study by Fu et al at New York University. These findings, reported in the...

supportive care
issues in oncology
issues in oncology

Frequent but Nontargeted Use of Pharmacologic Thromboprophylaxis in Hospitalized Patients With Cancer

Retrospective studies have shown that pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis is underutilized in hospitalized patients with cancer, who are believed to be at high risk of venous thromboembolism. In a prospective cross-sectional study reported in Journal of Clinical Oncology, Zwicker et al found that...

supportive care

Magnetic Resonance–Guided Focused Ultrasound Reduces Pain From Bone Metastases

Few options are available to treat pain from bone metastases in patients refractory to drug and radiation therapy. In a phase III study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Hurwitz et al found significant pain relief using magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound...

lung cancer
supportive care

Modafinil Not Better Than Placebo for Fatigue in Lung Cancer Patients

In a trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Spathis et al found that that the central nervous system (CNS) stimulant modafinil had no effect on fatigue compared with placebo in patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Fatigue improved in both groups during the...

head and neck cancer
supportive care

Doxepin Rinse Reduces Radiotherapy-Associated Oral Mucositis Pain in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

In a phase III double-blind crossover trial (North Central Cancer Treatment Group [NCCTG] N09C6, Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology cooperative group) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Leenstra et al found that oral doxepin hydrochloride rinse significantly reduced...

hematologic malignancies
supportive care

Addition of Tigecycline to Empiric Therapy Improves Success Rate in Febrile Neutropenic Patients With Hematologic Malignancy

Antibiotic monotherapy is considered standard in empiric therapy in febrile neutropenic cancer patients, but the approach may be insufficient given the increase in infections due to multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Tigecycline (Tygacil), the first in a new class of glycylcycline antibiotics, has ...

supportive care

ASCO Releases Adapted Guideline on Screening, Assessment, and Management of Fatigue in Adult Survivors of Cancer

A majority of cancer patients experience some level of fatigue during their course of treatment, and approximately 30% contend with persistent fatigue for years after treatment. Fatigue is among the most common and distressing long-term effects of cancer treatment and significantly affects patient...

supportive care

ASCO Issues Adapted Guideline on Screening, Assessment, and Care of Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms in Adults With Cancer

ASCO has adapted the Pan-Canadian Practice Guideline on Screening, Assessment, and Care of Psychosocial Distress (Depression, Anxiety) in Adults With Cancer for use in the screening, assessment, and care of anxiety and depressive symptoms in adults with cancer. The adapted guideline, reported in...

supportive care

ASCO Releases Guideline on Prevention and Management of Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Survivors of Adult Cancers

The American Society of Clinical Oncology has released a clinical practice guideline on prevention and treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in adult cancer patients, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The overall incidence of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy ...

solid tumors
supportive care

Consumptive Hypothyroidism in GIST Associated With Increased D3 Expression

In a report in The New England Journal of Medicine, Maynard et al discuss identification of consumptive hypothyroidism due to overexpression of thyroid hormone–inactivating enzyme type 3 iodothyronine deiodinase (D3) in a patient with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and subsequent...

lung cancer
supportive care

Experts Call for More Awareness of Sexual Dysfunction in Lung Cancer Patients

Many lung cancer patients suffer difficulties with sexual expression and intimacy, yet for too long the topic has been ignored by doctors and researchers, experts said at the 4th European Lung Cancer Conference (ELCC) in Geneva, Switzerland. Researchers have estimated that sexual dysfunction...