National Report Shows Drop in Cancer Mortality
In May 2019, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Cancer Society, and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) released a report detailing the decreasing cancer mortality rates in the United States. It’s a welcome trend among the cancer community, highlighting past efforts in prevention, screening, and early detection—along with improving rates of treatment success.
Gut Microbiome Diversity May Improve Response to Melanoma Immunotherapy
A high-fiber diet leading to higher gut microbiome diversity may improve response to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in patients with melanoma, according to the results of a new study presented at the 2019 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.
Liquid Biopsy Equivalent to Tissue for NSCLC
With faster and equally accurate results, liquid biopsy may be an option for identifying guideline-recommended targeted therapies for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to findings presented at the 2019 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.
Opioid, Cancer, AIDS, and Biomedical Research Are Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request Priorities
Each year, federal agency leaders submit their budget proposals to the U.S. Congress for review. Often, the committee of jurisdiction will request formal testimony from an agency, which provides an opportunity for the department to speak directly to the elected officials who have the authority to fund programs and projects of interest.
What Does the Research Say About Oncology Nursing Certification?
To measure the value of oncology nursing certification, scientists must look at the intrinsic, qualitative outcomes associated with nurses achieving certification in practice. The research for oncology nursing certification has largely focused on perceived benefits for nurses, their colleagues, and their institutions. Data suggest that certified oncology nurses feel validated in their knowledge, report personal satisfaction for undertaking and completing the certification process, and say that it enhanced their professional credibility.
Kentucky Illustrates Success of Medicaid Expansion
The state of Kentucky has seen some of the most success in reducing its uninsured rate thanks to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion that took effect on January 1, 2014. The results of a new study, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, showed that as the number of insured individuals rose, so too did important cancer screening rates.
Tachycardia Tied to Higher Mortality in Patients With Cancer
Rates of all-cause mortality in patients with cancer increase in the presence of unexplained sinus tachycardia, the results of a new study show. Researchers presented the findings at the Advancing Cardiovascular Care of the Oncology Patient conference held January 2019 in Washington, DC.
Guidelines Insufficient for Prostate Cancer Germline Genetic Testing
According to researchers, only 43.8% of positive genetic variants detected in men with prostate cancer had corresponding recommendations for germline testing in National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines. The findings were published in JAMA Oncology.
Nurses Present Research on Improving Symptom-Related Patient Outcomes
Fast, safe, and effective care is a goal in all oncology treatment settings. During a session on Friday, April 12, 2019, at the ONS 44th Annual Congress in Anaheim, CA, Lisa Pittman, RN, MSN, MHA, NEA-BC, OCN®, of Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, IL, Kerry Fuller, RN, BSN, OCN®, of Greenville Health System Cancer Institute in South Carolina, Cameron Carr, ADN, RN, of Duke Raleigh Hospital in North Carolina, and Lisa Ciafre, RN, MSN, of Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute in Pittsburgh, PA, shared their work on preventing infections, improving recovery after surgery, and reducing response times to hypersensitivity reactions.
New Research Findings Will Help Improve Quality of Life for Cancer Survivors
Thanks to new treatments and technologies, the number of U.S. cancer survivors has increased to 16.9 million as of January 2019. During a session on Friday, April 12, 2019, at the ONS 44th Annual Congress in Anaheim, CA, several healthcare professionals presented new research to support the ever-growing population of cancer survivors.
Microfluidic Device May Pave Way for More Liquid Cancer Biopsies
Researchers have developed a device that can separate various cell types in patient blood samples based on the cell size, which may one day enable rapid, inexpensive liquid biopsies to help clinicians detect cancer and develop targeted treatment plans. Findings from the research that led to the device are reported in Microsystems and Nanoengineering.
Research Sheds Light on the Complexities of Shared Decision Making
Making a treatment decision for a cancer diagnosis is a very complex and challenging event for patients. This is particularly evident among men with prostate cancer. Because so many treatment options exist, often without a single best therapeutic or medical outcome, many men with prostate cancer may have challenges when making a treatment decision. Most patients rely on their providers to help them better understand their diagnosis, available treatments, impact, and side effects from treatment, but patients will ultimately seek external information to inform their decision-making process.
Obesity-Related Cancer Incidence Increases in Young Adults
A new study showed that incidence rates are increasing for 6 of the 12 obesity-related cancers in U.S. young adults and that, over time, the increases are occurring in progressively younger ages and successively younger generations. The findings were published in Lancet Public Health.
Ancestry Analysis Identifies Genetic Cause for Increased Multiple Myeloma in African Americans
Three cytogenetic subtypes are particularly responsible for the increased incidence of multiple myeloma in people of African descent, according to the results of a study published in Blood Cancer Journal.
Understand the Evidence for Exercise in Gynecologic Cancer-Related Fatigue
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women and the seventh most common overall. Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) has an estimated prevalence of 50%–90% in all patients and has been reported to affect 17%–33% of women with gynecologic cancers for as long as three to eight years after diagnosis. Many national guidelines from organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine, American Cancer Society, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and ONS all recommend exercise to improve fatigue in patients with cancer. But no research has synthesized the evidence for exercise as an intervention for fatigue specifically in patients with gynecologic cancers.
What Does the Research Say About Genetic Testing and Underserved Populations?
Underserved communities largely have low rates of cancer genetic testing. Although the reasons vary, they can include lack of referrals, no or underinsurance, prohibitive cost, lack of trust, lack of knowledge, discrimination issues, or competing health needs.
Ending HIV Epidemic a Priority for Trump Administration
In a statement during the 2019 State of the Union address, President Trump proposed ending the HIV epidemic by reducing new infections by 75% in the next five years and 90% in the next decade. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar hailed Trump’s statement as an important public health initiative.
Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduced by Nearly 1 Million From 2014–2017
According to an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) analysis, the number of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) reported in the United States dropped by 910,000 (13%) from 2014–2017.
FDA Approves Trastuzumab and Hyaluronidase-oysk Injection for Subcutaneous Use
On February 28, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a trastuzumab and hyaluronidase-oysk injection, for subcutaneous use (Herceptin Hylecta). The drug is a combination of trastuzumab, a HER2/neu receptor antagonist, and hyaluronidase, an endoglycosidase, for the treatment of HER2‑overexpressing breast cancer.
Open Hysterectomy Has Better Outcomes Than Minimally Invasive Surgery in Cervical Cancer
Women with early-stage cervical cancer have higher recurrence rates and worse overall survival with minimally invasive radical hysterectomy than abdominal radical hysterectomy, according to the results of two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Trump Promises $500 Million Increase to Pediatric Cancer Research
Pediatric cancers have more than an 80% overall cure rate, and that, at first glance, seems like something to celebrate. However, in terms of lives lost to different pediatric cancers, the American Cancer Society estimated that more than 1,100 children under the age of 15 will die from their disease in 2019—roughly one in five children diagnosed. Although survival rates are improving in cancers like acute lymphocytic leukemia and Hodgkin lymphoma, other childhood cancer types haven’t seen increased survival since the early 2000s.
Shorter EBRT for Early Prostate Cancer Has Similar Outcomes
Patients receiving hypofractionated external-beam radiation therapy (EBRT) for early-stage prostate cancer experienced similar outcomes and toxicities as those receiving standard radiation at lower doses over a longer period of time, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and American Urological Association say in a new clinical guideline.
NHLBI Advances Kidney Cancer Therapies
Although the National Cancer Institute on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus bears the bulk of research dollars for new discoveries and treatments, other campus institutes engage in cancer research and support. Researchers from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) are conducting a new study investigating novel immunotherapy treatments for metastatic kidney cancer.
Epigenetic Cervical Cancer Test May Be More Accurate Than Pap or HPV Tests
An S5 methylation test detected 100% of grade 2 cervical intraepithelial neoplasms or worse, compared to a 50% detection rate for Pap or human papillomavirus (HPV) tests, according to the results of a recent study reported in the International Journal of Cancer.
Oncology Nurses Are Vital to Tobacco Control and Smoking Cessation Efforts Worldwide
The World Health Organization indicated that tobacco use is the most preventable cause of cancer worldwide. Globally, more than 7 million people die each year from causes associated with tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. Despite recent trends that show falling rates for U.S.-based smokers, much work still must be done. Oncology nurses around the world can make a difference by engaging in prevention and treatment tactics, working with policymakers, and educating their communities and patients about tobacco control.
BRCA Is Not the Only Common Mutation for Breast and Ovarian Cancer
Multigene testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer has increased the detection predisposition genes beyond BRCA1 and BRCA2, according to study findings presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on December 7, 2018.
What Is Metformin’s Impact on Pancreatic Cancer Risk?
Metformin is one of the oldest and most reliable pharmacologic treatments for type-2 diabetes and had, in the past, been suggested as a potential pancreatic cancer risk reducer in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Although more recent versions of the guidelines have removed that language, our team was curious about the possible link between metformin and pancreatic cancer risk.
Patient Stress Linked to More Advanced Leukemia
Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who experience more stress also have more cancer cells in their blood and elevated levels of three other advanced disease markers, according to results of a study published in Cancer. It is the first study to link stress with biologic disease markers in patients with CLL.
Fitness Trackers Provide Helpful Postsurgical Data on Patients With Cancer
With the ubiquity of smartphones and, more recently, smart watches and fitness trackers, the potential to use these devices to monitor and assist patients with cancer has never been greater. Being able to monitor and respond to patient data through fitness trackers could help healthcare professionals provide swift, accurate interventions in the future. Our proof-of-concept study, “Wireless Monitoring Program of Patient-Centered Outcomes and Recovery Before and After Major Abdominal Cancer Surgery,” explored the feasibility and acceptability of using technology, including fitness monitors, to efficiently monitor patient-generated health data by answering the following questions:
Circulating Tumor Cells Predict Survival
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are identified in 20%–25% of patients with nonmetastatic breast cancer, and recent research suggests that detection of CTCs at five-year follow-up may predict late recurrence for nonmetastatic, estrogen receptor-positive (ER+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2–) breast cancer. In a study presented at the , researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that the presence of CTCs in patients with nonmetastatic breast cancer was associated with shortened relapse-free survival (RFS), regardless of the subtype.
HPV 9-Valent Vaccine Approved for People Aged 27–45
In October 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the approved use of the human papillomavirus (HPV) 9-valent vaccine to include women and men aged 27–45 years. Previously, the vaccine had been approved for males and females aged 9–26 years, but the expanded approval was granted after the application had undergone priority review.
Manage Afatinib’s Adverse Events to Keep Patients on Treatment
Ongoing therapy with afatinib—an oral, irreversible ErbB family blocker—for as long as it is effective and tolerable is considered first-line treatment for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in patients with EGFR mutations. In their article in the October 2018 issue of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, Edwards, Adan, Lalla, Lacouture, O’Brien, and Sequist discussed the most common adverse events (AEs) associated with afatinib and their real-life experiences managing them in clinical practice to keep patients on therapy.
Trastuzumab Remains Standard HER2+ Breast Cancer Therapy Despite Cardiac Risks
Trastuzumab can improve disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer. Although some studies suggest that short-term treatment (less than one year) may reduce cardiac toxicity and cost without compromising outcomes, the results of a new study presented at the disagree.
Socioeconomic Factors Predict Survival in Nonmetastatic Breast Cancer
Racial and regional disparities impact the incidence of, mortality from, and survival from breast cancer, but the role of other socioeconomic factors is unclear. Researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, conducted a large study and found that marital status, insurance status, median household income, and residence also contribute to survival from nonmetastatic breast cancer. They presented the findings at the .
Tumor Heterogeneity May Affect Outcomes in Patients With DCIS
Intratumor heterogeneity can lead to cancer progression, and tumors with the highest levels of heterogeneity may be more likely to progress. Researchers compared mutational loads from separate areas of pure ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) to genetic heterogeneity in DCIS lesions that coexist with invasive cancer and presented the findings at the .
Geriatric Assessment in Hematology Scale Classifies Frailty Phenotype
Researchers in Spain developed the Geriatric Assessment in Hematology (GAH) scale to classify patients as robust (those with strength or vigorous health) or frail (those with a poorer prognosis). The tool is validated for use in myelodysplastic syndromes, acute myeloid leukemia, multiple myeloma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Researchers assessed its use and validity among patients with lymphoma. Raul Cordoba, MD, PhD, of Fundacion Jimenez Diaz University Hospital in Madrid, Spain, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting on December 3, 2018.
Mobile Health Technology Provides Symptom Management Information for Pediatric BMT Recipients
Improved monitoring of pediatric patients undergoing blood and marrow transplant (BMT) may result in better precision symptom management strategies. Mobile health and wearable technologies may aid in such efforts by providing data on complex symptom patterns, trajectories, and interactions. Researchers conducted a pilot study and found that integrating mobile health technology into care was feasible, although they had concerns about compliance. Nirmish Shah, MD, of Duke University School of Medicine in Raleigh, NC, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting on December 3, 2018.
Study Provides Guidance for Transfusion Practices in Patients With Leukemia Who Experience ICH
Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is a common complication in patients with acute leukemia and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Information on platelet transfusion practice in patients following ICH is limited, so researchers assessed clinical features and outcomes to better guide transfusion practices after ICH. Shannon Nixon, NP, of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at the University of Toronto, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting on December 3, 2018.
Long-Term Lymphoma Survivors Describe Unmet Needs in Cancer Care
Although patients with Hodgkin lymphoma can experience long-term survival, they may face difficulty in coping with treatment-related adverse outcomes. Researchers assessed the needs of lymphoma survivors and their caregivers and identified unmet patient-oriented research needs: quality of life after treatment, messaging and communication between the scientific community and patients, and emotional well-being. Jackelyn B. Payne, MPH, BS, BA, of Stony Brook University in New York, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting on December 2, 2018.
Hematology Training Is Suboptimal for APPs
Advanced practice providers (APPs) may have limited subspecialty training options for hematology, and postgraduate fellowships focused on education in both malignant and nonmalignant hematologic disorders appear to be lacking for APPs. Yi L. Hwa, DNP, of the division of hematology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, discussed the findings of a research team’s web-based needs assessment survey that found significant gaps in subspecialty hematology training for APPs at the ASH Annual Meeting on December 1, 2018.
WHO Cautions About Inactivity Pandemic and Disease Risk
No improvement in worldwide exercise levels has been seen since 2001, and, in fact, inactivity has worsened, data in a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicated. The findings were published in Lancet Global Health.
Research Shows That Telephone Triage Is a Vital Part of Patient Experience
The field of telehealth encompasses many efforts in oncology practice and research. When focusing specifically on telephone triage, we examine patient-initiated requests, such as speaking directly with their nurses on the phone, reporting side effects, or seeking answers to questions about plan of care and treatment. This provides oncology nurses with an opportunity for assessment and intervention. Although many current research efforts focus on proactive phone calls nurses make to their patients, it is also important to understand the impact of incoming calls on patient care and workflow.
Recent NSAID Use May Improve Ovarian Cancer Survival
Researchers have found that use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) after diagnosis appears to improve survival for patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. The study results were published in Lancet Oncology.
Action Plan May Reduce CLABSIs in Hospitalized Patients With Cancer
Despite being preventable, central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) result in thousands of deaths each year and cost the U.S. healthcare system billions of dollars. Infection is a common problem in patients with cancer, particularly those receiving chemotherapy and radiation.