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palliative care
global cancer care

Irene Higginson, MD, on Palliative and End-of-Life Care: An International Perspective

Irene Higginson, MD, of Cicely Saunders International, discusses the goals of psychosocial palliative care for patients around the world with advanced cancer.

palliative care

Wendy Lichtenthal, PhD, and David Kissane, MD, on Models of Family-Centered Care During Palliative Care and Bereavement

Wendy Lichtenthal, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and David Kissane, MD, of Monash University, discuss the importance of and challenges with attending to the whole family during palliative care.

palliative care
symptom management

Eduardo Bruera, MD, on Cachexia Assessment and Management State of the Art

Eduardo Bruera, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses exciting developments in the assessment and management of cachexia, as well as a number of emerging pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions (Abstract 67).

pain management
palliative care
symptom management
integrative oncology

Lorenzo Cohen, MD, on Acupuncture and Other Nondrug Pain Management Techniques

Lorenzo Cohen, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses nonpharmacologic approaches to symptom control. Techniques such as acupuncture for managing pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, or yoga and meditation to help improve quality of life, can be safely...

palliative care

Judith Vick, MD Candidate, and Rachelle E. Bernacki, MD, on A New Clinical Tool: The “Surprise Question”

Judith Vick, MD Candidate, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Rachelle E. Bernacki, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discuss a tool that could help clinicians identify seriously ill patients who would benefit from conversations about their goals and values (Abstract 8).

palliative care

Diane Portman, MD, on Integrating Palliative Care in Cancer Treatment

Diane Portman, MD, of Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses clinical pathways that embed palliative care along the spectrum of care for a variety of cancer disease states.

palliative care

Anthony L. Back, MD, on Improving Communication Between Patient and Provider

Anthony L. Back, MD, of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, summarizes a general session on best practices and novel tools for enhancing communication between patients and oncology providers (Abstracts 8,9, 39).

palliative care

Vicki Jackson, MD, MPH, on Effective Care Integration and the Comanagement Model

Vicki Jackson, MD, MPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital, summarizes her keynote lecture (plenary talk).

symptom management
palliative care

Lawrence H. Einhorn, MD, on CINV Clinical Trial Results: The Alliance A221301 Study

Lawrence H. Einhorn, MD, of Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, discusses the encouraging study findings on olanzapine for prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy (Abstract 176).

palliative care

Kathleen Foley, MD, on Palliative Care in Low-Resource Settings

Kathleen Foley, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the challenges of integrating palliative care in areas without sufficient resources or health-care infrastructure.

palliative care

Kathleen Elizabeth Bickel, MD, MPhil, on Defining High-Quality Palliative Care in Oncology Practice

Kathleen Elizabeth Bickel, MD, MPhil, of the White River Junction VA Medical Center, discusses the ASCO/AAHPM Guidance Statement, which will help oncology providers enhance their delivery of palliative care (Abstract 108).

palliative care

Lawrence H. Einhorn, MD, on Palliative Radiation for Advanced Cancer and Symptomatic Bone Metastases

Lawrence H. Einhorn, MD, of Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, discusses the ways in which a dedicated palliative radiation consult service can improve the quality of palliative cancer care (Abstract 110).

palliative care

Ralph J. Hauke, MD: Toward Improved Quality of Life

Ralph J. Hauke, MD, of Nebraska Cancer Specialists, discusses the application of scientific analysis and research to palliative care issues, which will allow better prognostication, implementation of measures, and improved quality of life.

palliative care

Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, on Depression and Cancer Care

Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, of City of Hope, discusses two papers that look at an important issue from different perspectives: depression and anxiety among family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer, and the link between oncologists’ dispositional affect and depressive symptoms in their...

palliative care

Jennifer S. Temel, MD's Expert Perspective: Palliative Care in 2015

As Steering Committee Chair of this year’s symposium, Jennifer S. Temel, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the goals and highlights of the meeting.

palliative care
symptom management
lung cancer

Amelie Harle, MD, on Aprepitant for Cough in Lung Cancer

Amelie Harle, MD, of the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, discusses a clinical trial––the first of its kind—designed to assess the efficacy of an antitussive in patients with lung cancer (Abstract 2).

palliative care

Eric Roeland, MD: Toward Better Treatment for Cachexia

Given the challenges of recruiting patients for palliative care studies, Eric Roeland, MD, of the University of California, San Diego, discusses a way to increase the participation of those with cachexia, with the hope of improving treatment (Abstract 67).

palliative care
symptom management

Charles L. Loprinzi, MD, on Olanzapine for Prevention of CINV

Charles L. Loprinzi, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, discusses olanzapine for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy (Abstract 176).

palliative care
colorectal cancer

One in Seven Colorectal Cancer Patients Diagnosed Before Recommended Screening Age

Nearly 15% of patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer were younger than 50, the age at which screening recommendations begin. The study by researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center also found that younger patients were more likely to have advanced disease. The authors ...

palliative care
pancreatic cancer

2016 GI Symposium: Irinotecan Liposome Injection in Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer: Updated Results of the Phase III NAPOLI-1 Study

Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc, announced that an updated overall survival analysis of the phase III NAPOLI-1 study of irinotecan liposome injection (Onivyde) in combination with fluorouracil (5-FU) and leucovorin achieved a substantial improvement in 12-month overall survival compared to 5-FU and...

palliative care
solid tumors

2016 GI Symposium: New Regimen for Locally Advanced Rectal Cancer as Effective as, but Less Toxic Than, Chemoradiation

Findings from a Polish phase III study point to an additional treatment option for patients with advanced rectal cancer. Patients who received short-course (5-day) radiation followed by consolidation chemotherapy before surgery achieved  outcomes similar to those of patients treated with...

palliative care

New Target Identified for Reducing Metastasis

A protein that is constantly expressed by cancer cells and quiescent in healthy cells appears to be a solid target for reducing cancer's ability to spread, scientists reported. The WASF3 protein enables cancer cell invasion, and by interrupting its relationship with another protein, CYFIP1, which...

palliative care
issues in oncology
palliative care

Palliative Care Initiated in the Emergency Department Associated With Improved Quality of Life

A palliative care consultation initiated in the emergency department for patients with advanced cancer was associated with improved quality of life and did not seem to shorten survival, according to an article published by Grudzen et al in JAMA Oncology. Visits to the emergency department are...

palliative care
skin cancer
issues in oncology

Blood Test That Monitors ctDNA Better Than the Standard in Tracking Metastatic Melanoma

Physicians treating patients with metastatic melanoma may soon have a superior tool in their efforts to closely track the disease. A new study shows that a blood test that monitors blood levels of DNA fragments from dead cancer cells does a better job than the current standard test at tracking the...

palliative care
prostate cancer

GU Symposium 2016: Even After Antiandrogen Therapy, Docetaxel Remains Useful in Prostate Cancer

A study presented at the 2016 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium showed that 40% of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer treated with docetaxel following abiraterone (Zytiga) had at least a 50% reduction in prostate-specific antigen (PSA), demonstrating the activity of...

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 ...

palliative care

ASCO Cosponsors Inaugural Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium

In October, ASCO will cosponsor the inaugural Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium with the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), and the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC). The Symposium is...

palliative care

Explore Cancer Care That Best Supports Patients and Families at the Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium

Palliative care is essential to good cancer care, but it is a topic that can raise red flags because of the common misperception that it is reserved for those in the terminal stage of the disease. In truth, palliative care is highly necessary for all patients with cancer, and when it is integrated...

palliative care

Cancer Care Incomplete Without Palliative Care Integration

ASCO recognizes that an array of efforts are needed to fully integrate palliative care into the cancer care continuum, and the Society is committed to facilitating the integration of palliative cancer care into existing health-care systems worldwide in order to realize the vision of comprehensive...

palliative care

Palliative Care in the Middle East

While some seek peace in the Middle East through political means, others are looking to help patients with cancer find peace through palliative care. This endeavor is bringing oncology professionals together across the region’s national borders and cultural boundaries to implement solutions and...

palliative care

Helping Patients Understand Palliative Care

The booklet Palliative Care: Improving Quality of Life for Patients and Families is one of the latest additions to the ASCO Answers collection of patient education materials developed by ASCO for people with cancer and their caregivers. These materials provide oncologist-approved information in a...

integrative oncology
palliative care

ASCO University® Offers Resources for Palliative and Team-Based Care

ASCO University®, ASCO’s eLearning center, offers an array of courses and programs relevant to palliative care and multidisciplinary team–based cancer care. Below are descriptions of just a few of these offerings. Pain Management Released in March 2015, ASCO University’s “Pain Management Program”...

symptom management
palliative care
pain management

Samuel Chao, MD, on Improving the Consistency of Radiation Oncology Processes

Samuel Chao, MD, of Cleveland Clinic, discusses the QMAP program and data-driven management, which offer ways to improve consistency and drive quality in radiation oncology departments (Abstract 39).

palliative care
pain management
symptom management

Alysa M. Fairchild, MD, on Preventing Radiation-Induced Pain Flare

Alysa M. Fairchild, MD, of the Cross Cancer Institute and the University of Alberta, discusses her study on the use of dexamethasone to reduce pain flare in patients receiving palliative radiotherapy for bone metastases (Abstract LBA6663).

palliative care

More Than One-Third of Patients With Metastatic Cancer Continue to Work

A new analysis indicated that many patients continue working after being diagnosed with metastatic cancer, but a heavy burden of symptoms may prevent them from doing so. Published by Tevaarwerk et al in Cancer, the study illustrates the need to treat difficult symptoms so that patients can maintain ...

palliative care
breast cancer
issues in oncology

SABCS 2015: Phase III BELLE-2 Trial Meets Primary Endpoint of Progression-Free Survival

Among women with locally advanced or metastatic hormone receptor–positive breast cancer that was resistant to hormone therapy, those who had mutated PIK3CA detected in their blood benefited from a combination of the investigational PI3K inhibitor buparlisib and fulvestrant (Faslodex),...

palliative care
leukemia

ASH 2015: Combination Therapy With Idelalisib Improves Progression-Free Survival vs Bendamustine/Rituximab Alone in Relapsed/Refractory CLL

In a phase III study to be presented by Zelenetz et al at the 57th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, idelalisib (Zydelig) plus bendamustine (Treanda) and rituximab (Rituxan), or BR, proved superior to BR alone in patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)...

palliative care
prostate cancer

Study Shows Abiraterone Acetate Is Useful Even in the Most Aggressive Prostate Cancers

In 1,048 prostate cancer patients previously treated with docetaxel, and 996 metastatic, castration-resistant patients, treatment with the androgen-lowering drug abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) led to longer overall disease control, even when a very high Gleason score indicated especially aggressive...

palliative care
breast cancer
issues in oncology
issues in oncology
issues in oncology
issues in oncology

Researchers Develop Mathematical Model to Forecast Metastatic Breast Cancer Survival Rates

University of Southern California (USC) researchers have developed a mathematical model to forecast metastatic breast cancer survival rates using techniques usually reserved for weather prediction, financial forecasting, and surfing the Web. For decades, medical schools have taught doctors that...

palliative care
issues in oncology
prostate cancer

Two Studies Find Protein May Inhibit Prostate Cancer Bone Metastasis

Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), in collaboration with researchers from University of California Merced and Davis, have found that a secreted protein predominantly expressed in bone inhibits prostate cancer metastasis to bone. Their research was published recently by...

palliative care
lung cancer
issues in oncology

FDA Approves Osimertinib for EGFR T790M Mutation–Positive Non–Small Cell Lung Cancer After Progression on Prior EGFR-Blocking Therapy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval for an oral medication to treat patients with advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Osimertinib (Tagrisso) is now approved for patients whose tumors have a specific epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation ...

palliative care
breast cancer
survivorship

ABC3: Experts Create New Consensus Guidelines for Advanced Breast Cancer Treatment

Although advanced breast cancer is incurable, there are some patients who have just a few small metastases who would respond well to systemic treatments such as chemotherapy and hormone therapy. In new guidelines agreed on by participants at the Advanced Breast Cancer Third International Consensus...

palliative care
supportive care

ASTRO 2015: Patients With Bone Metastases Undergoing Radiation Therapy for Symptom Control Have Lower Pain Flare Rates With Steroid Use

The steroid dexamethasone reduces radiation-induced pain flare in cancer patients with painful bone metastases, according to research presented by Chow et al (Abstract LBA1) October 18, 2015 at the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s (ASTRO’s) 57th Annual Meeting in San Antonio,...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology
palliative care

Aggressive End-of-Life Care More Frequent Among Black Than White Men With End-Stage Prostate Cancer

A study to examine racial disparities in end-of-life care among black and white patients dying of prostate cancer found that “significant racial disparities in end-of-life care" do exist. “Although diagnostic and therapeutic interventions are less frequent in black patients with...

palliative care
supportive care
palliative care

Clergy Religious Beliefs Are Associated With Greater ICU Care in Congregants’ Final Days

A survey exploring the relationship between spiritual support and end-of-life care by evaluating clergy members’ opinions and experiences related to care provided to congregants at the end of their life has found that a majority of clergy endorse religious beliefs regarding their...

palliative care
supportive care
palliative care

Palliative Care 2015: Collaboration Between Radiation Oncologists and Palliative Care Specialists Improves Care for Patients With Advanced Cancer

An innovative service model that partners radiation oncology with palliative care leads to better results for patients, according to a new analysis. The model of care, established at Mount Sinai Medical Center, is one of only a handful in the country. The study (Abstract 110) will be presented at...

supportive care
palliative care

Palliative Care 2015: Study Finds the Answer to One Question Can Help Identify Patients Nearing the End of Life

Determining the answer to a simple question, “Would you be surprised if this patient died within the next year?” can be an important tool to help predict which patients with cancer may be in their final year of life, according to the findings from a study by Vick et al. The tool, known...

palliative care

New Agent Targeting Epigenetic Modifications Shows Activity in Advanced Cancer

In a dose-escalation phase I study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Reid et al found that RRx-001, a representative of a new class of compounds called dinitroazetidines (sourced from the aerospace industry) that act on the tumor microenvironment, had activity in advanced cancers and a promising...

palliative care
skin cancer

Combining Interleukin-2 With Imiquimod and Topical Retinoid Therapy May Be Effective Against Cutaneous Metastatic Melanoma

A novel combination therapy appears to be effective in treating patients with melanoma skin metastases, according to new research from the University of California (UC) Davis. Led by Emanual Maverakis, MD, of the UC Davis Department of Dermatology, the research found that interleukin-2...

palliative care
issues in oncology
issues in oncology
palliative care

Study Shows Palliative Chemotherapy in Patients With End-Stage Cancer Did Not Improve Quality of Life and May Be Harmful

Although palliative chemotherapy is used to improve quality of life for patients with end-stage cancer, a study evaluating its use found that palliative chemotherapy did not improve quality of life near death for patients with a moderate or poor performance status and that it worsened quality of...

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