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health-care policy
issues in oncology

Over 40 Medical Organizations Call for an End to the Government Shutdown

Forty-six medical advocacy organization and professional societies have called on President Donald Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to end the government shutdown and, in...

issues in oncology

Oncologist Survey on Knowledge About LGBTQ Patients With Cancer

In a national survey of oncologists reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Schabath et al found that whereas oncologists tended to have limited knowledge regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) patient health and cancer needs, they indicated high interest ...

issues in oncology

Analysis of Proportion of Cancer Cases Attributable to Excess Body Weight Across U.S. States

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Islami et al assessed the population attributable fraction (PAF)—the proportion of a given outcome attributable to a given risk factor—of incident cancer cases associated with excess body weight among individual U.S. states during 2011 to 2015. The...

palliative care
issues in oncology

Impact of Survival Predictions on Aggressive End-of-Life Care Among Patients With Metastatic Cancer

In a single-institution study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Sborov et al found that inaccurate prediction of life expectancy can be associated with greater likelihood of aggressive end-of-life care among patients with metastatic cancer receiving palliative radiation therapy. Study...

issues in oncology

Comorbidities and Cancer Clinical Trial Enrollment

Patients diagnosed with cancer who also have other illnesses or conditions, such as hypertension, asthma, or a prior cancer, are less likely to talk with their health-care provider about a cancer clinical trial, are less likely to be offered to join a clinical trial, and are ultimately less likely...

hepatobiliary cancer
issues in oncology

Role of Donor Race in Liver Transplant Outcomes in African American Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Among African American adults undergoing liver transplant to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, patients whose organ donor was also African American lived significantly longer than those with a racially unmatched donor, report authors of a new study using national data. Their findings were published...

breast cancer
gynecologic cancer
issues in oncology

BRCA Exchange: Resource Aggregates Data on BRCA Variants

A global resource that includes data on thousands of inherited variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes is available to the public. The BRCA Exchange was created through the BRCA Challenge, a long-term demonstration project initiated by the Global Alliance for Genomics and...

issues in oncology
global cancer care

Patient Navigation Program Reduces Time to Treatment in Patients With Cancer

Global Cancer Institute recently announced the results of its Patient Navigation Program in Mexico City. The average time to referral before the program’s inception was 5 months, but the implementation of patient navigators reduced that average to 7 days. These findings were published by ...

issues in oncology
symptom management

Incidence of Acute Kidney Injury in Patients Receiving Systemic Therapy for Cancer

In a Canadian population–based cohort study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Kitchlu et al found that acute kidney injury (AKI) is common in patients receiving systemic therapy for newly diagnosed cancer and has increased in incidence in recent years. Study Details...

issues in oncology

27% Drop in Overall U.S. Cancer Mortality Rate From 1991 to 2016

A steady 25-year decline has resulted in a 27% drop in the overall cancer death rate in the United States between 1991 and 2016. The data come from “Cancer Statistics, 2019,” the American Cancer Society’s annual report on cancer rates and trends. The report was published in CA: A...

issues in oncology

Unplanned Hospitalizations in the Year After Cancer Diagnosis

In a California population–based cohort study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Whitney et al found that 67% of hospitalizations in the year after cancer diagnosis were unplanned, with 67% of such hospitalizations originating in the emergency department. The study involved data...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Gleason 6 Score May Underestimate Prostate Cancer Mortality Risk in Black Men

Black men diagnosed with prostate cancer classified as low risk may actually have a more aggressive form of the disease that is more likely to be fatal than in nonblack men placed in the same prognostic category, according to results from a new study published as a research letter by Mahal et al in ...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

2018 Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Survey Report Covers Disease Stage at Diagnosis and More

Nearly three-quarters of patients with young-onset colorectal cancer are diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease, a significantly higher percentage than has been reported for their more mature peers, according to a report from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. The findings of...

issues in oncology

Quality of Life and Patient- and Clinician-Reported Cumulative Toxicity

New research has found that quality of life for people with cancer is reduced by an accumulation of low-level toxicities just as much as it is from high-level adverse events. Additionally, patient-reported outcomes were more likely to reflect the impact on a patient’s physical well-being than ...

sarcoma
issues in oncology

Regionalization of Surgery for Retroperitoneal Sarcoma Surgery to High-Volume Hospitals

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Villano et al found that regionalization of retroperitoneal sarcoma surgery—recognized as a complex cancer surgery—to high-volume hospitals has been slower than that observed for similarly complex pancreatic cancer surgery over...

issues in oncology
cost of care

New Study Examines Orphan Drug Exclusivity and Pricing

A new report commissioned by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and published by the IQVIA Institute demonstrates that the 7-year market exclusivity granted to drugs designated under the Orphan Drug Act of 1983 for rare diseases is working as intended. In nearly every case, orphan...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

Facing Death: Having the Difficult Conversation With Your Patients

Michael Becker, a former CEO for two biotechnology companies, discusses his terminal head and neck cancer diagnosis and his message for oncologists: be proactive and, at the appropriate time, talk with your patients about death and dying. For more information about Michael Becker’s blog and his HPV vaccine advocacy, visit mdbcancerjourney.com. To read about Michael Becker's advocacy efforts to increase vaccination rates for human papillomavirus-related cancers, see his Patient's Corner column "HPV-Related Cancers Like Mine Are Avoidable, So Why Aren't More Kids Being Vaccinated?" published in the May 10, 2018 issue of The ASCO Post.

issues in oncology

Association Between Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Cancer Risk

New research published by Song et al in Arthritis Research & Therapy evaluated the link between lupus and cancer risk, supporting the data from earlier studies. The newer study indicates an association between systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and increased risk for several cancers (blood,...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Increased Risk for Breast Cancer After Childbirth May Last More Than 2 Decades

Although parity—time since most recent birth— is recognized as a protective factor against breast cancer, an analysis of data from 15 prospective cohort studies to assess breast cancer risk in relation to recent childbirth has found that compared to women of the same age who had never...

issues in oncology

ASCO and ESMO Publish Joint Assessment of Their Value Frameworks

To better understand the performance characteristics of ASCO’s Value Framework Net Health Benefit Score version 2 (ASCO-NHB v2) and the European Society for Medical Oncology’s (ESMO’s) Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale version 1.1 (ESMO-MCBS v1.1), ASCO and ESMO undertook a...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Does Tailored Lifestyle Feedback Given During Colorectal Cancer Screening Improve Disease-Preventive Behaviors?

A program that provided individually tailored lifestyle recommendations for patients undergoing screening for colorectal cancer helped encourage healthy behavior, according to results published by Knudsen et al in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. “It is well known that...

issues in oncology
symptom management

Apixaban Thromboprophylaxis in Patients With Cancer

In the Canadian phase III AVERT trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Carrier et al found that the oral factor Xa inhibitor apixaban reduced the risk of venous thromboembolism vs placebo among intermediate- to high-risk ambulatory patients with cancer starting chemotherapy but was...

leukemia
issues in oncology

Reducing Infections in Patients With AML Receiving Induction and Reinduction Chemotherapy

In a report in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Morris et al described an initiative that has been successful in reducing the incidence of invasive fungal infections in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) receiving induction and reinduction therapy at the University of Virginia Health...

issues in oncology

Vitamin D Supplementation and Cancer Risk

In a trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine by Manson et al, vitamin D supplementation was found to have no benefit in reducing risk of invasive cancer vs placebo over 5 years of follow-up. Study Details The trial was a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, with a two-by-two...

issues in oncology

ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research Applaud NCI’s Expansion of Clinical Trial Eligibility Criteria

ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) applaud the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) recent revision of its clinical trial protocol template to broaden eligibility criteria for cancer clinical trials. The protocol template was expanded to help increase the opportunity for ...

breast cancer
solid tumors
leukemia
lung cancer
lymphoma
multiple myeloma
issues in oncology
immunotherapy

FDA Pipeline: New Priority Reviews, Designations, and Clearances, Plus Statements on Genetic Testing and Class Labeling

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued the following new approvals and designations: Priority Review for Atezolizumab in Combination With Chemotherapy for the Initial Treatment of Extensive-Stage SCLC The FDA accepted a supplemental biologics license application...

issues in oncology
breast cancer

Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, and Rachel A. Freedman, MD, MPH, on Over- and Undertreatment: Getting It Right

Reshma Jagsi, MD, DPhil, of the University of Michigan, and Rachel A. Freedman, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discuss the twin challenges of overtreating people with cancer and the missed opportunities and dangers of undertreatment.

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Kathy S. Albain, MD, on Breast Cancer, Ethnicity, and Clinical Outcomes: Results From the TAILORx Trial

Kathy S. Albain, MD, of Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, discusses study findings on race, ethnicity, and patient outcomes in hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative, node-negative breast cancer (Abstract GS4-07).

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Roberto A. Leon-Ferre, MD, on Decreasing Hot Flashes: Results From an ACCRU Trial

Roberto A. Leon-Ferre, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, discusses study findings on the effectiveness of oxybutynin in decreasing the frequency and severity of hot flashes (Abstract GS6-01).

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Laura S. Dominici, MD, on Young Women With Breast Cancer: Local Therapy and Quality of Life

Laura S. Dominici, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the lower quality-of-life scores seen after unilateral or bilateral mastectomy compared with breast-conserving surgery in women younger than age 40 who are treated for breast cancer (Abstract GS6-05).

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Shoshana M. Rosenberg, ScD, on Quality of Life and the Impact of Breast Cancer Surgery

Shoshana M. Rosenberg, ScD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses her study findings on the lower quality of life associated with mastectomy, and the need for intervention and timely referrals to supportive resources, especially for underserved populations (Abstract GS6-04).

breast cancer
issues in oncology

SABCS 2018: Surgical Choice May Impact Long-Term Quality of Life in Young Adults With Breast Cancer

A study by Dominici et al investigated the long-term quality of life outcomes in young breast cancer survivors across three surgical strategies: breast-conserving surgery, unilateral mastectomy, and bilateral mastectomy. The researchers found that patients who underwent mastectomy had lower breast...

issues in oncology
symptom management

Alok A. Khorana, MD, on Reducing VTE Associated With Systemic Cancer Therapy: Results From the CASSINI Trial

Alok A. Khorana, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, discusses study findings on rivaroxaban thromboprophylaxis in high-risk ambulatory patients, which showed a reduction in venous thromboembolism and related death (Abstract LBA1).

palliative care
issues in oncology

Factors Affecting Use of Outpatient Specialty Palliative Care Clinics Among Patients With Advanced Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Yu et al identified factors affecting use of outpatient specialty palliative care (OSPC) among patients with advanced cancer in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Hillman Cancer Center Network (UPMC-HCCN). Study Details The...

issues in oncology

Norman E. Sharpless, MD: Director of the National Cancer Institute: Articulating a Vision

Norman E. Sharpless, MD, Director of the National Cancer Institute, discusses his vision for the NCI in four key areas––big data, clinical trials, workforce development, and basic science––and how this vision affects the hematology community.

issues in oncology

Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and Cancer Risk

In a trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine by Manson et al, marine n-3 (omega-3) fatty acid supplementation was found to have no benefit in reducing the risk for invasive cancer vs placebo over 5 years of follow-up. Higher intake of n-3 fatty acids has been associated with a reduced ...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Many Patients Do Not Receive Surveillance Colonoscopies Following a Diagnosis of High-Risk Adenomas

A population-based study examining patient receipt of a surveillance colonoscopy 3 years after the removal of high-risk adeonomatous polyps has found that the procedure was underutilized and varied by health-care system, patient age, and number of adenomas found. Strategies to improve adherence to...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Dissemination of Misleading Information on Prostate Cancer on Social Media

YouTube videos on prostate cancer often offer misleading or biased medical information that poses potential health risks to patients, an analysis of the social media platform published by Loeb et al in European Urology showed. For the latest analysis, researchers, which included social...

issues in oncology

2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey Shows Increase in E-Cigarette Use Among Youth

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) showing that more than 3.6 million middle and high school students were current (past 30 day) e-cigarette users in...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Cardiovascular Toxicities Associated With Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Treatment

In a pharmacovigilance study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Salem et al found that immune checkpoint inhibitors can cause “severe and disabling inflammatory cardiovascular immune-related adverse events” that need to be considered in patient care and clinical trial design. Study...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Discontinuation of Follow-up Care Among Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer

In a study using linked Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare data reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Quyyumi et al found that 21% of women with early-stage breast cancer discontinued follow-up care within 5 years after diagnosis. Study Details The study involved...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Undertreatment of High-Risk Prostate Cancer in Latino Men

New research by Lichtensztajn et al in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network examined disparities in care for Latino men with prostate cancer. A team of researchers from UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Stanford Cancer Institute, and...

issues in oncology

Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, MPH, PhD, on Suicide Among Male Patients With Cancer: Study Findings

Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, MPH, PhD, of St. Louis University, discusses study findings on married cancer survivors with advanced stage disease who were less likely to die by suicide, highlighting the value of supportive care in cancer survivorship (Abstract 181).

issues in oncology
immunotherapy
symptom management

Allison S. Betof Warner, MD, PhD, on Managing Immune-Related Adverse Events: Incorporating Guidelines

Allison S. Betof Warner, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the rationale for immunotherapy and combination treatments, identifying the agents that lead to toxicities, and ways to manage them.

issues in oncology
pain management

Charles von Gunten, MD, PhD, on Protecting Opioid Access for Patients in Need

Charles von Gunten, MD, PhD, of OhioHealth, discusses the critical need for opioids to manage cancer pain as well as the myth of addiction, which may impede best care.

issues in oncology
palliative care

Mary E. Johnson on Holding Vigil With Dying Loved Ones

Mary E. Johnson, author of Stay With Me Awhile, discusses her play, a compilation of vigil stories from across cultures and religions, and the profound impact the performances have had on audience members.

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, on Quality of Life in the Era of Immunotherapy

Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, of City of Hope, discusses the many advances in immunotherapy and the drugs’ effect on patients’ quality of life, including psychological well-being.

issues in oncology
survivorship

ACS Report Looks at Ways to Improve Outcomes for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers

Growing numbers of cancer survivors, provider shortages, rising health-care costs, and socioeconomic disparities in health outcomes have created an urgent need to provide coordinated, comprehensive, personalized care for cancer survivors. A new report from the American Cancer Society (ACS) creates...

breast cancer
issues in oncology
survivorship

Adverse Mental Health Outcomes in Breast Cancer Survivors

In a systematic review of the literature reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Carreira et al found that most evidence strongly supports increased risk of anxiety, depression, neurocognitive dysfunction, and other forms of psychological issues in survivors of breast...

issues in oncology
cost of care

Financial Toxicity Experienced by Adults With Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Knight et al found that 26% of patients with cancer acknowledged ‘financial toxicity’—treatment-related financial harm—with respect to cancer care, and that this toxicity was associated with consequences such as...

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