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issues in oncology
cost of care

U.S. Spending on Antineoplastic Agents

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Hong et al found that the U.S. health-care system increased spending on antineoplastic agents from $26.8 billion in 2011 to $42.1 billion in 2016. The study was a retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of IQVIA (formerly QuintilesIMS)...

leukemia
issues in oncology

Lack of Clinical Trial Participation and Shorter Duration of Therapy Linked to Disease Relapse in AYAs With Leukemia

Despite survival gains for children diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), adolescents and young adults (AYAs)—those between the ages of 15 and 39—diagnosed with the disease have seen only modest improvements in survival. A study by Wolfson et al in Cancer Epidemiology,...

colorectal cancer
issues in oncology

Sex-Linked Differences in Cancer May Identify Specific Genetic Drivers, Predict Responses to Treatment

Analysis of male- and female-derived tumor samples revealed differences in prognostic biomarkers, genes that drive cancer, and in regulation of key pathways that may predict responses to treatment, according to results published in two studies in Cancer Research, one by Li et al and the other...

issues in oncology

Management of Clostridium difficile Infection in Children and Adolescents With Cancer and Pediatric HSCT Recipients

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Diorio et al, an international panel has released a clinical practice guideline on prevention and treatment of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in children and adolescents with cancer and pediatric hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Risk of Late Venous Thromboembolism in Survivors of Childhood Cancer

In a report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Madenci et al found that survivors of childhood cancer are at increased risk of late venous thromboembolism, with several factors increasing such risk. The study involved data from a...

lymphoma
issues in oncology

Ovarian Function After Response-Adapted Treatment in Younger Women With Advanced Hodgkin Lymphoma

In a secondary analysis of the UK phase III RATHL trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Anderson et al found that ovarian function recovery was affected by age and type of response-adapted therapy in women receiving treatment for advanced Hodgkin lymphoma. The analysis included 67 eligible...

issues in oncology

Monika K. Krzyzanowska, MD, MPH, on Quality Improvement: Avoiding the Pitfalls

Monika K. Krzyzanowska, MD, MPH, of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, summarized the Keynote Lecture, including the points that clinicians should carefully plan their quality improvement projects, understand the barriers to quality, and ensure their efforts are sustainable.

issues in oncology
solid tumors

Lalan S. Wilfong, MD, on Metastatic Solid Tumors: Limiting Low-Value Care

Lalan S. Wilfong, MD, of Texas Oncology, discusses reducing the use of a white blood cell growth factor treatment in advanced and incurable solid tumors for patients treated at a community oncology practice.

issues in oncology
symptom management
pain management

Angela M. Stover, PhD, on Patient-Reported Symptoms: Results From the STAR and PRO-TECT Trials

Angela M. Stover, PhD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, discusses study findings on ways to alert clinicians when patients signal symptoms such as pain or diarrhea that may be cause for concern (Abstract 158).

issues in oncology

Simron Singh, MD, MPH, on Patient-Centered Care: Measuring Experience

Simron Singh, MD, MPH, of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, discusses initial results of his data on a new patient experience measurement strategy used at Cancer Care Ontario.

issues in oncology
pain management

Jay B. Shah, MD, on Reducing Opioid Use After Urologic Oncology Surgery

Jay B. Shah, MD, of Stanford University, discusses the role that surgeons can play as gatekeepers to the opioid epidemic, including the view that complex cancer operations can be performed with little to no opioid use (Abstract 269).

issues in oncology
cost of care

Aaron Lyss, MBA, on Getting the Highest-Value Quality Intervention

Aaron Lyss, MBA, of Tennessee Oncology, discusses ways that clinicians and patients can employ the most cost- and treatment-effective measures, clinical trials, and incident learning systems.

issues in oncology
pain management
legislation

Fumiko Ladd Chino, MD, on Opioid-Associated Deaths in Patients With Cancer

Fumiko Ladd Chino, MD, of Duke University, discusses results from a population study she conducted of the opioid epidemic over the past 10 years and why these medications for cancer pain should continue to be excluded from restrictive-prescribing laws (Abstract 230).

issues in oncology
cost of care

Douglas W. Blayney, MD, on Quality Care: Better, Safer, Cheaper

Douglas W. Blayney, MD, of Stanford University, and winner of the Joseph V. Simone Award for Excellence, summarizes his talk on the expense of cancer care and how we can reduce costs while maintaining safety and high value for people with cancer.

issues in oncology

Neeraj K. Arora, PhD, on Patient-Centered Care in Clinical Practice

Neeraj K. Arora, PhD, of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), discusses his work at PCORI and the central role that patients play in improving care and outcomes. To learn more, visit https://www.pcori.org/.

leukemia
issues in oncology
cost of care

Cost-Effectiveness Models for Tisagenlecleucel in Relapsed or Refractory Pediatric B-Cell ALL

As reported by Lin et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, cost-effectiveness modeling of treatment with the anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) in relapsed or refractory pediatric B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) showed that price reduction...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Health Resource Utilization and CNS Metastases in EGFR-Mutant Advanced NSCLC

In a single-center study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Chooback et al found that central nervous system (CNS)  metastases are frequent in patients with EGFR-mutant advanced non­–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and are associated with increased health resource...

issues in oncology
pain management

2018 Quality Care: New Approach Successfully Reduces Opioid Use After Urologic Oncology Surgery

In a study conducted by Stanford Health Care, researchers achieved a 46% reduction in opioid use among 443 patients with cancer who underwent a range of urologic surgeries without increasing their pain or anxiety. They achieved this reduction through a two-pillared approach: (1) maximizing the use...

breast cancer
issues in oncology
cost of care

2018 Quality Care: Nationwide Survey Reveals Patients With Metastatic Breast Cancer Face Major Financial Stress Due to Treatment Costs

A new nationwide analysis of more than 1,000 people living with metastatic breast cancer from 41 states reveals significant cancer-related financial burden known as financial toxicity, particularly for uninsured patients. The study will be presented by Wheeler et al at the upcoming 2018 ASCO...

issues in oncology
pain management

2018 Quality Care: Opioid Deaths Are 10 Times Less Likely to Occur in Patients With Cancer Compared to the General Population

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2016, over 42,000 Americans died from opioid overdose, making the epidemic a top public health concern. Although opioids are commonly used for cancer-associated pain, the risks for overdose in patients with cancer were unknown. A...

issues in oncology
cost of care

2018 Quality Care: Older Patients With Advanced Cancer Experiencing Financial Difficulties Have Worse Quality of Life and Mental Health

Older patients with advanced cancer experiencing financial toxicity due to the cost of their treatment have higher rates of severe anxiety and depression and poorer quality of life than patients who do not experience financial hardship. In addition, for those patients having financial difficulty,...

issues in oncology

New Benchmarking Tool for Measuring Implementation of Integrated Practice Units

New research by Wind et al in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network explores a new approach for benchmarking cancer centers based on how successfully their organizational structures allow them to implement integrated practice units (IPUs). These IPUs are defined ...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology
cost of care

Estimated Medicare Cost for Prostate Cancer Care in Older Men

Although national guidelines recommend against prostate cancer screening in men age 70 and older, researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center estimate that screening for and treating prostate cancer in men in this age group costs Medicare more than ...

issues in oncology

Risk of Second HPV-Associated Cancer Among Survivors of HPV-Associated Cancers

A retrospective study led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health found that survivors of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers have a high incidence of developing second ...

prostate cancer
issues in oncology

Researchers Identify Pitfall in PSMA PET Imaging Method

Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron-emission tomography (PET) imaging has become a popular method for determining the stage of a patient’s prostate cancer. However, researchers have identified a pitfall in this imaging technique and are cautioning medical professionals to be...

issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Uncommon Lethal Complications of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

In a systematic review and meta-analysis reported in JAMA Oncology, Wang et al identified frequency and types of fatal toxic effects in patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Study Details The study involved analysis of fatal immune checkpoint inhibitor–associated toxic...

issues in oncology

FDA Takes New Steps to Address Youth E-Cigarette Use

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a series of critical and historic enforcement actions related to the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes to children. In the largest coordinated enforcement effort in the its history, the agency issued more than 1,300 warning...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Survey Shows Increased Public Awareness of Lung Cancer Over Past Decade

Survey results released by the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) show that general awareness about lung cancer has improved significantly over the past decade, with 94% of the public reporting familiarity with lung cancer. Despite this change in overall perspective, findings also indicate that lung cancer ...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

AACR Releases Annual Cancer Progress Report

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) has released its annual Cancer Progress Report highlighting how federally funded research discoveries are fueling the development of new and even more effective ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat cancer. Key advances outlined...

issues in oncology

Bleeding in Patients Treated With Anticoagulants and Potential Cancers

Bleeding in patients treated with anticoagulants may indicate an increased probability of cancer, according to late-breaking results from the COMPASS trial presented at the 2018 European Society of Cardiology Congress. Principal investigator John Eikelboom, MD, of the Population Health Research...

lung cancer
issues in oncology
survivorship

Small Study Shows Chemotherapy May Lead to Early Menopause in Young Women With Lung Cancer

A new study suggests chemotherapy may cause acute amenorrhea, leading to early menopause in women with lung cancer. The study is the first to comment on amenorrhea rates in women younger than 50, concluding that women with lung cancer who desire future fertility should be educated about risks and...

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Factors in Endocrine Deficiency in Pediatric and Young Adult Patients Receiving Radiotherapy for Brain Tumors

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vatner et al identified factors associated with an increased risk of endocrine deficiency in pediatric and young adult patients receiving radiation therapy for brain tumors, including hypothalamus and pituitary radiation dose. Study Details ...

issues in oncology

Statement From FDA Commissioner on Support for Exempting Coffee From California’s Cancer Warning Law

Scott Gottlieb, MD, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, recently issued the following statement: “Ensuring that food is safe and truthfully labeled is one of our fundamental responsibilities at the FDA. Consumers deserve accurate information about the food they eat and how ...

issues in oncology

Sex-Based Approaches to Oncology in the Era of Precision Oncology: Upcoming ESMO Workshop

Sex-based approaches to studying and treating disease have remained largely unexplored in medical oncology, despite the field’s growing interest in precision medicine and accumulating evidence that sex is a major factor in disease risk and response to treatment. At an upcoming European...

issues in oncology

Cancer May Be Linked to Poor Prognosis in Patients With Broken Heart Syndrome

Cancer may be linked to an increased risk of death and prehospitalization in patients with broken heart syndrome, according to research presented by Santoro et al at the 2018 European Society of Cardiology Congress. Study author Francesco Santoro, MD, of the University of Foggia, Italy, said, ...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Medical Groups Release Letter on Proposed Changes to Medicare Physician Payment Rule

The American Medical Association and about 150 medical groups sent the following letter to Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), regarding the administration’s proposals included in the 2019 Medicare physician payment rule. The full text of...

gynecologic cancer
head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

HPV Vaccine Completion Up 5% From 2016 to 2017

The number of adolescents who are up to date on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination—meaning they started and completed the HPV vaccine series—increased 5 percentage points from 2016 to 2017, according to results from a national survey published by Walker et al in Morbidity and...

issues in oncology

New Software Aims to Predict Patients’ Resistance to Cancer Treatment

New computer software may be used to predict how cancers may respond to a new drug—before it has ever been given to patients. Researchers hope that this new tool could transform the discovery of cancer drugs by predicting how tumors become resistant to treatment before it first becomes...

cns cancers
issues in oncology

Memory Issues in Children With Medulloblastoma Undergoing Radiation Therapy

Children with certain types of brain tumors who undergo radiation treatment are less likely to recall the specifics of events they experienced after radiation than to remember pretreatment happenings, according to a Baylor University study comparing them to children with healthy brains. These...

issues in oncology

First Large-Scale Survey of Advanced Practice Providers in Oncology Shows Growing Role for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

Advanced practice providers (APPs) have increasingly become integral members of the oncology care delivery team, according to the first large-scale study of nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) in oncology published by Bruinooge et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice....

issues in oncology

New ESMO Tumor DNA Scale Helps Match Patients to Optimal Targeted Treatments

A new scale for tumor DNA mutations called ESCAT (European Society for Medical Oncology [ESMO] Scale for Clinical Actionability of Molecular Targets) is aiming to simplify and standardize choices for targeted cancer treatment. Information about the development and use of the scale in practice was...

issues in oncology

Outcomes for Rural Patients With Cancer Enrolled in Clinical Trials

The disparity in survival rates between rural and urban patients is reduced when patients in both settings are enrolled in clinical trials, SWOG study results show. The study results were published in JAMA Network Open by a team led by Joseph Unger, PhD, a SWOG biostatistician...

issues in oncology
survivorship

Impact of Doctor-Patient Communication on Outcomes in Cancer Survivors

A new study from the American Cancer Society has found that patients with cancer who reported greater satisfaction in the way their provider communicated with them received more efficient care, with fewer office visits and better health outcomes. These findings were published by Rai et al in...

breast cancer
gynecologic cancer
issues in oncology

BRCA Testing in Medically Underserved Women in Southeastern United States

Medically underserved women in the Southeast region of the United States diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer may have not received genetic testing that could have helped them and their relatives make important decisions about their health, according to new research from Vanderbilt-Ingram ...

lung cancer
issues in oncology

Small Study Looks at Physician-Patient Discussions About Lung Cancer Screening

National guidelines advise doctors to discuss the benefits and harms of lung cancer screening with high-risk patients. A small study (n = 14) by researchers from the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center reported there is a gap between what guidelines...

breast cancer
issues in oncology

Cardiac Monitoring in Patients With Breast Cancer

Although heart failure is an uncommon complication of breast cancer treatment, the risk may be higher in patients treated with certain types of chemotherapy and lower in younger patients, according to a study published by Henry et al in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. Researchers studied 16,456...

issues in oncology

Assay Uses Big Data to Predict Responses to Immunotherapy

In the age of big data, cancer researchers are discovering new ways to monitor the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatments. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy developed a new way to use bioinformatics as a gathering tool to determine how ...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

ASCO Statement: Step Therapy Creates Barriers to Care for Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries With Cancer

Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, ASCO President, released the following statement today: “ASCO strongly opposes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to allow Medicare Advantage plans to employ step therapy across physician-administered and self-administered...

issues in oncology

ASCO and Friends Submit Recommendations to FDA Aimed at Reducing Barriers to Clinical Trial Participation

ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) have submitted recommended language to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for five guidance documents on ways to broaden eligibility criteria for cancer clinical trials. The recommendations are part of an ASCO...

leukemia
issues in oncology
immunotherapy

Guidelines for Pediatric CAR T-Cell Therapy Developed

Almost 1 year after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and...

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