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global cancer care
supportive care

Bradley J. Zebrack, PhD, and Ursula Sansom-Daly, PhD, on Global Psychosocial Standards of Care for Adolescents and Young Adults With Cancer

Bradley J. Zebrack, PhD, of the University of Michigan School of Social Work, and Ursula Sansom-Daly, PhD, of the University of New South Wales, talk about providing supportive care services that meet the unique needs of adolescents and young adults with cancer.

issues in oncology
supportive care
geriatric oncology

Deconditioning in Older Adults With Cancer: A Cascade to Dependency

It is estimated that nearly half of adults over age 80 living in the community are frail despite apparent functional well-being.1 Frailty is recognized as a clinical syndrome in which three or more of the following criteria are present: unintentional weight loss, self-reported exhaustion, weakness, ...

supportive care

Uridine Triacetate Granules for Fluorouracil or Capecitabine Overdose or Early Severe Toxicity

In the Clinic provides overviews of novel oncology agents, addressing indications, mechanisms, administration recommendations, safety profiles, and other essential information needed for the appropriate clinical use of these drugs. On December 11, 2015, uridine triacetate (Vistogard) was...

breast cancer
supportive care
survivorship

Risk Factors for Lymphedema in Patients Treated for Breast Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ferguson et al found that cellulitis in the affected arm, but not blood draws, injections, trauma to the affected arm, or air travel, was associated with an increased risk of lymphedema in women treated for breast cancer. Study Details In...

breast cancer
supportive care

No Association Seen Between New or Worsening Aromatase Inhibitor–Related Musculoskeletal or Vasomotor Symptoms and Relapse-Free Survival

Retrospective analyses of the ATAC, TEAM, and BIG 1-98 adjuvant endocrine therapy trials in breast cancer have suggested that treatment-emergent endocrine symptoms may be associated with superior survival outcomes. However, in a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Stearns et al...

breast cancer
supportive care

Telephone and In-Person Counseling for Weight Loss Effective in Women Treated for Breast Cancer

In the LEAN (Lifestyle, Exercise, and Nutrition) study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Harrigan et al found that telephone and in-person weight loss counseling was effective in reducing weight and C-reactive protein level in overweight or obese women treated for breast cancer. In the ...

palliative care
supportive care
issues in oncology

Italian Study Shows Low-Dose Morphine Better Than Weak Opioids in Relieving Moderate Cancer Pain

In an Italian trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Bandieri et al found that low-dose morphine provided better and more rapid pain relief than weak opioids in patients with moderate cancer pain. Study Details In the open-label 28-day trial, 240 adults with moderate cancer pain from ...

supportive care
cost of care

Palliative Care Offers Greater Cost Savings for Cancer Patients With Multiple Chronic Conditions

Patients with incurable cancer and numerous other serious health conditions who consulted with a palliative care team within 2 days of hospitalization had significant savings in hospital costs, according to a new study led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Published by...

cns cancers
supportive care

Memantine Provides Modest Improvement in Cognition after Cranial Irradiation

Memantine, a drug used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, slowed cognitive decline in patients with brain cancer treated with whole-brain radiation therapy in a phase III trial reported at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), held recently in Boston. Cognitive ...

supportive care

Fixed-dose Apixaban Reduces Risk of Recurrent Venous Thromboembolism

Venous thromboembolism is a frequent problem in cancer patients, and approximately 20% of all patients who develop the disease have a recurrence. Extending treatment with two fixed doses of the investigational agent apixaban, a factor Xa inhibitor without laboratory monitoring, may provide a...

supportive care

Tumor Grade Is Associated with Risk for Venous Thromboembolism

Recent data suggest that risk for venous thromboembolism is associated with biologic aggressiveness of cancer. Findings in the Vienna Cancer and Thrombosis Study, recently reported by Ahlbrecht and colleagues in Journal of Clinical Oncology, indicate that patients with higher-grade tumors are at...

supportive care

Cisplatin Linked to Significantly Increased Risk of Venous Thromboembolism

Patients with advanced solid tumors treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy had a significantly increased risk of venous thromboembolic events, according to a meta-analysis of 38 randomized phase II and III trials evaluating cisplatin-based vs non–cisplatin-based chemotherapy. The trials involved ...

supportive care

Pilot Study Seeks to Offer Social Support to Patients with Mesothelioma 

Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) reported that group therapy sessions may help patients cope with mesothelioma. Their two-part pilot study, which began recruitment in May 2011, is examining the emotional burden of the cancer and offers discussion groups as a source of...

issues in oncology
supportive care
symptom management

Automated Telephone Monitoring Reduces Chemotherapy-related Symptoms 

The use of an automated computer-based telephone monitoring system to assess symptoms during outpatient chemotherapy—and provide intervention where appropriate by a nurse practitioner—substantially reduced the number of days with symptoms in a study reported at the 18th Annual Conference of the...

supportive care

Patients with Cancer Can Have Cachexia-related Poor Prognostic Factors Regardless of Overall Weight 

“Patients with cancer who are cachexic by the conventional criterion (involuntary weight loss) and by two additional criteria (muscle depletion and low muscle attenuation) share a poor prognosis, regardless of overall body weight,” concluded a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Researchers ...

supportive care
palliative care

Older Patients and Those with Comorbidities Are Less Likely to Receive Palliative Radiotherapy 

Older patients and those with comorbid conditions are less likely to receive palliative radiotherapy, according to an analysis of data from 51,610 patients with stage IV breast, prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer. The study also found that black patients with prostate cancer were 20% less likely...

supportive care

Once-daily Moxifloxacin for Low-risk Patients with Febrile Neutropenia 

Once-daily oral moxifloxacin works at least as well as twice-daily oral ciprofloxacin plus amoxicillin–clavulanic acid when it comes to treating febrile neutropenia in patients who are at low risk for complications, according to a randomized, double-blind trial reported in the Journal of Clinical...

issues in oncology
supportive care

FDA Clears Multicenter Trial of Treatment for Hair Loss Related to Chemotherapy

The FDA has approved initiation of a multicenter trial of the DigniCap System, a scalp-cooling device for chemotherapy-related hair loss. The trial is the second and final phase of study for the DigniCap System. A pilot study previously conducted by researchers at the University of California San...

supportive care

Venous Thromboembolism in Patients with Cancer: Real-world Challenges for the Practicing Oncologist 

The close association between cancer and thrombosis has been recognized now for more than 150 years.1 Not only is it now known that patients with cancer are at substantially increased risk of developing venous thromboembolism, even prior to the diagnosis of cancer, but the association between...

supportive care

Updated ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline for Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis and Treatment 

ASCO has released a new evidence-based clinical practice guideline for venous thromboembolism prophylaxis and treatment, updating the 2007 practice guideline.1 The update is based on a systematic review of literature published from December 2007 to December 2012. An Update Committee reviewed...

supportive care

FDA Issues Warning on Rare but Serious Skin Reactions with Acetaminophen

The FDA recently issued a warning that acetaminophen has been associated with a risk of rare but serious skin reactions.  These skin reactions, known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and acute generalized exanthematous pustulosis, can be fatal.  Serious Adverse Reactions...

supportive care

Professional Societies Endorse 2015 Standard for Cancer Center Accreditation by Commission on Cancer 

In 2015, the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) Commission on Cancer (CoC) will require cancer centers to implement screening programs for psychosocial distress as a new criterion for accreditation. The American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) recently announced recommendations to support a...

survivorship
supportive care

'Clear and Consistent Protective Effect of Marriage' Found in Patients With 10 Most Clinically Significant Cancers  

A clear and consistent protective effect of marriage among patients harboring one of the 10 most clinically significant malignancies affecting Americans” was found in a study analyzing Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEE) data for 734,889 patients diagnosed with lung, colorectal,...

supportive care

Yoga Improves Sleep Quality in Patients With Cancer Suffering From Sleep Disruption

It is estimated that 30% to 90% of patients with cancer experience impairment of sleep quality post-treatment, and such impairment can be severe enough to increase morbidity and mortality. Preliminary evidence indicates that yoga may improve sleep in cancer patients. In a study reported in the...

supportive care

Improving Fertility Options for Patients With Cancer

Seven years ago, Teresa K. Woodruff, PhD, coined the term “oncofertility” to describe the melding of two medical specialties, oncology and reproductive endocrinology, with the goal of maximizing the reproductive potential of patients with cancer. Today, with Dr. Woodruff’s establishment of the...

supportive care

Cancer Patients Are at Increased Risk of Complications From the Flu and Should Receive Flu Shots, but Not the Nasal Spray

Widespread influenza activity continues to be reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with a recent increase in flu-related hospitalizations.1,2 Patients with cancer are at increased risk from flu complications and should receive the flu shot, but not the flu nasal spray...

breast cancer
supportive care

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Plus Hypnosis Controls Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Radiotherapy

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology,1 Guy H. ­Montgomery, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, and colleagues found that an intervention consisting of cognitive-behavioral therapy plus hypnosis produced better control of fatigue than supportive meetings with...

supportive care

Music Therapy Yields Positive Effects on Coping Skills, Social Integration, and Family Environment for Young Patients With Cancer

A collaborative multisite study has found that teens and young adults undergoing stem cell transplantation as part of cancer treatment gain coping skills and resilience-related outcomes when participating with a board-certified music therapist in a therapeutic music protocol that includes writing...

supportive care

Two Behavioral Interventions Help Cancer Patients Struggling With Sleep Issues, Penn Medicine Study Finds

Patients with cancer who are struggling with sleep troubles, due in part to pain or side effects of treatment, can count on two behavioral interventions for relief—cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia and mindfulness-based stress reduction—Penn Medicine researchers reported in a recent study...

supportive care
issues in oncology

Accidental Extravasation of Chemotherapy

Accidental extravasation of chemotherapy is a rare but feared complication of cancer treatment. Risk factors for extravasation include medication-related factors (such as the vesicant properties of the compound, or the volume, concentration, and duration of the infusion), patient-related factors...

supportive care
survivorship

Maximizing the Benefits of Exercise in Patients With Cancer

Many nonpharmacologic therapies increase both physical and emotional strength during cancer treatment as well as throughout survivorship. These therapies include the mind-body practices of meditation, self-hypnosis, guided imagery, and breath awareness, touch therapies including massage and...

supportive care
survivorship

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 the course of their 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...

supportive care

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

Detection of depression is suboptimal, and its severity is underestimated in the general population, but it is known psychiatric disorders are more common in patients with cancer than in those with any other chronic illness. Although studies in cancer patients have yielded varying figures, it is...

supportive care

Cancer Patients at High Recurrence Risk for Venous Thromboembolism Should Be Considered for Secondary Prophylaxis

The risk of recurrence of venous thromboembolism in cancer patients can be stratified. “In particular, patients with brain, lung, stage IV pancreatic or ovarian cancer, myeloproliferative or myelodysplastic disorders, [other] stage IV cancer, cancer stage progression or leg paresis have the highest ...

issues in oncology
supportive care

NCCN Roundtable: When a Parent Has Cancer

Attendees at this year’s annual conference of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) not only got up to date on the Guidelines but left with a better understanding of how children deal with a parent’s cancer, and how oncology providers can best help. Panelists for the NCCN roundtable...

supportive care

Dignity, Personhood, and the Culture of Medicine

Cancer patients need more than good health care: they need health caring, according to palliative care specialist Harvey M. Chochinov, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba and Director of the Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit, CancerCare Manitoba....

head and neck cancer
supportive care

Mucositis Remains a Challenge in Head and Neck Cancer

Chemoradiotherapy for head and neck cancer requires intensive supportive care by a knowledgeable and proactive multidisciplinary team, according to Avraham Eisbruch, MD, Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “Aggressive chemoradiotherapy has improved the cure...

supportive care
survivorship

Expert Consensus Recommends Echocardiograph as Cornerstone to Protecting Cancer Patients’ Heart Health

Patients with cancer and survivors of cancer are living longer than ever before as a result of significant advances made over the past decade. Importantly, however, cardiovascular complications of their cancer treatment may present a life-threatening issue after their cancer treatment has ended....

supportive care

One in Three People With Cancer Has Anxiety or Other Mental Health Challenges

Researchers in Germany report that nearly a third of more than 2,100 patients with cancer interviewed at inpatient and outpatient care centers experienced a clinically meaningful level of mental or emotional distress that meets the strict diagnostic criteria for mental disorders including anxiety...

supportive care

Improving Treatment of Depression in Patients With Cancer: The SMaRT Oncology-2 Trial

Clinical depression is highly prevalent, associated with significant morbidity, often underrecognized, and inadequately treated in cancer patients.  Professor Michael Sharpe and Jane Walker, PhD, and their colleagues’ seminal work on enhancing treatment of depression in cancer patients using a...

supportive care

Integrated Collaborative Care Program Highly Successful in Treating Major Depression in Patients With Cancer

In the Scottish SMaRT Oncology-2 study reported in The Lancet, Michael Sharpe, MD, and Jane Walker, PhD, of University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and colleagues found that an integrated collaborative treatment program for depression (“depression care for people with cancer”) was associated with...

supportive care

Life-Threatening Dermatologic Toxicity

A variety of life-threatening dermatologic adverse events may occur in association with cancer drug therapies. Here, we discuss the recognition and management of three types of such toxicities: type I hypersensitivity/anaphylaxis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis, and drug rash...

supportive care

CancerCare® Awarded $1.5 Million Grant From Susan G. Komen®

CancerCare, a leading national nonprofit organization providing free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer, has received a $1.5 million grant to assist people diagnosed with breast cancer. The grant will support a CancerCare program in partnership with Susan G. Komen called...

supportive care

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

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has 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,...

supportive care

Fixed-Combination Netupitant/Palonosetron for Prevention of Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

In the Clinic provides overviews of novel oncology agents, addressing indications, mechanisms, administration recommendations, safety profiles, and other essential information needed for the appropriate clinical use of these drugs.   On October 10, 2014, oral fixed-combination netupitant and...

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 at the 2014 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2014 Congress and published recently in The Lancet Haematology, Martin H. Prins, MD, of Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht,...

supportive care
palliative care

Experts Stress the Need for Integrating Palliative Care Into Standard Oncology Care

The overriding consensus from the 2014 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium: Patient-Centered Care Across the Cancer Continuum held in Boston was that achieving optimal high-quality cancer care requires both state-of-the-art cancer therapy and the integration of palliative care principles...

survivorship
supportive care

New ASCO Survivorship Care Plan Template Is Simpler, Faster for Health-Care Providers

ASCO has issued a new template for health-care professionals to use when providing a survivorship care plan to patients who have completed curative cancer therapy. The survivorship care plan contains important information about treatment the patient received, the patient’s need for future checkups...

supportive care
lung cancer
symptom management

Appetite-Enhancing Agent Helps Patients Treated for NSCLC Gain Weight and Lean Body Mass and Feel Better

People have an image of stage III or IV lung cancer patients getting chemotherapy or chemoradiation, and they look terrible; they are losing weight. The fact is, when they respond, they can gain weight,” according to Philip Bonomi, MD, MS. He is the lead author of a phase III study showing that the ...

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...