Palbociclib Plus Letrozole Improves Survival in Advanced Breast Cancer
A study presented at the 2016 ASCO annual meeting confirmed findings that led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of palbociclib in combination with letrozole for first-line treatment in women with estrogen receptor -positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer.
October 11, 2016
Patient assistance programs
Help Your Patients Navigate the Financial Challenges of Cancer
Every nurse has been in a situation where he or she is staring at a discharge document, thinking, “This patient will need an immense amount of outside support to adhere to this treatment plan.”
October 04, 2016
Genetics & genomics
Thyroid Cancer Treatment’s Changing Landscape Brings New Hope to Patients
Until 2011, no effective therapeutic options existed for advanced thyroid cancer. However, thanks to clinical studies that have improved the understanding of thyroid cancer’s molecular basis, four kinase inhibitors were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
September 27, 2016
An Oncology Nursing Overview of New Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
Immunotherapy has led to many new cancer treatments over the past several years and continues to offer increased options and better survival for patients. Oncology nurses need to have an understanding of how these therapies work and how to best manage patients’ side effects.
September 13, 2016
MABp1 May Be Effective for Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
A new immunotherapy drug, MABp1, is the first to target interleukin-1 alpha and may be effective in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The study results were presented at the World Congress of Gastrointestinal Cancer in Barcelona, Spain.
September 13, 2016
Does the Sequence of Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Agents Matter?
Sequencing of cancer treatment regimens is based on multiple factors, including the pharmacokinetic properties of the agents in the regimen and their effectiveness based on cell-cycle specificity. Because of potential interactions and effects, some regimens have critically important administration sequencing.
August 18, 2016
How Can Radiotherapy and Immunotherapy Combine for the Future of Cancer Care?
Conventional radiation therapies typically use x-rays to deliver radiation treatments to patients with cancer. However, centers around the United States are focusing more on the promise of proton therapy, as well as researching the links between radiation treatments and immunotherapy.
August 02, 2016
Alpha, Beta, and Beyond: How Radiation Therapy Is Evolving in Cancer Care
The field of radiation therapy has come a long way since the introduction of x-rays in 1896. Radiation therapy is now used in nearly 50% of all cancer cases and contributes to 40% of curative treatment. With recent advancements, radiation therapy has grown by leaps and bounds.
August 02, 2016
Immunotherapy Is Changing the Future of Cancer Care
Today, the focus of many groundbreaking cancer therapies has turned inward—to the body’s own immune system. Although using the immune system to fight cancer isn’t a new theory, huge advances in the field of immunotherapy have started to change the landscape of cancer treatment as we know it.
June 01, 2016
What Oncology Nurses Need to Know About the Newest Targeted Therapies
Oncology immunotherapy options have greatly expanded recently, and it is important for oncology nurses to understand what the therapies are, how they work, and who should be receiving them. Rowena Schwartz, PharmD, BCOP, the vice president of clinical content and services at McKesson Specialty Health, discussed the latest treatment information during a session at the 41st Annual Congress in San Antonio, TX.
April 25, 2016
Oncology health literacy
Patient Education Needs With Pazopanib Therapy for Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Few therapies are effective for treating advanced soft tissue sarcoma, so pazopanib quickly became a commonly prescribed therapy once it was approved for STS in April 2012. Although pazopanib is safe and effective, patients must be educated about its administration and side effects.
March 08, 2016
Antiemetics for Nausea and Vomiting Simplified
As oncology nurses, we must have a solid understanding of and a certain comfort level with the use of antiemetics. It seems easy to get stuck in a routine that revolves around one or two drugs for all of our patients. However, antiemetic regimens need to be just as individualized for patients as their chemotherapy regimens.
July 14, 2015
Understand Medication Adherence to Oral Oncology Agents
More than half of new cancer treatment regimens involve an oral route of administration because oral drugs are more manageable and convenient for patients. However, oral medications pose challenges with regard to patient adherence.
April 25, 2015
Outpatient Oncology Drug Series: Doxorubicin Is the Infamous Red Devil
Doxorubicin is a cytotoxic chemotherapy drug and an antitumor antibiotic in the anthracycline group. You’ll see this drug quite a lot In the outpatient setting, and most commonly, you’ll use it to treat patients with breast cancer.
April 10, 2015
Outpatient Oncology Drug Series: Don't Forget Leucovorin Calcium, the Superhero Sidekick
I think it's helpful to be able to educate your patients on the reasons for receiving each individual drug in a combination regimen. Although leucovorin is not a chemotherapy agent or generally used as a stand-alone drug, it certainly is important. Leucovorin has a specific function, and you should be able to explain its purpose.
March 16, 2015
When Should Appetite Stimulants Be Discussed With Patients With Unintended Weight Loss From Cancer Treatment?
Unintended weight loss and anorexia in patients with cancer is associated with decreased performance status, reduced response and tolerance to treatment, decreased survival, and reduced quality of life.
January 20, 2015
Outpatient Oncology Drug Series: Paclitaxel Packs a Punch
Oncology nursing is a field in which you are challenged on a regular basis to expand your knowledge because of the constantly changing field of treatments being used. Whether you are new or seasoned, it can be difficult to stay on top of the numerous agents used for varying diagnoses.
December 12, 2014
The Case of the Cannabis Conundrum
Derek is a 20-year-old patient with relapsed acute myeloid leukemia. He will be receiving a bone marrow transplant in the next six days. When discussing Derek’s home medications, he says to the nurse, “I smoke a lot of pot because it helps me feel better about all of this.” Upon further discussion, Derek reveals he started smoking marijuana to relieve nausea. What would you do?
December 02, 2014
Manage Immune-Related Adverse Events Associated With Cancer Immunotherapies
The FDA approved two new immunomodulatory agents, sipuleucel-T and ipilimumab, in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Sipuleucel-T was approved to treat metastatic prostate cancer, and ipilimumab was approved for advanced or metastatic melanoma.
September 09, 2014
Genetics & genomics
Get a Cheat Sheet on Personalized Medicine, Genomics, and Pharmacogenomics in Oncology
Since the concepts of inheritance, genetics, and medical genetics were introduced, researchers have found that many factors other than the presence or absence of a single gene predict disease.
August 12, 2014
Oncology drug research
FDA Approves Ramucirumab for Gastric or Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma
On April 21, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved ramucirumab for use as a single agent for the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic, gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma with disease progression on or after prior treatment with fluoropyrimidine- or platinum-containing chemotherapy.
April 22, 2014
No Ordinary Pill
Oral agents are changing oncology treatment, and along with it, who’s responsible for the safety of those treatments. “With oral agents, the onus is now primarily on patients and their caregivers,” says ONS member Kathy Leifeste. This is quite a shift from the nurse-administered IV chemotherapy and biotherapy we’ve grown accustomed to.
March 01, 2014
ASH Recommends Wise Choices for Five Hematologic Tests and Treatments
A new list of evidence-based recommendations from the American Society of Hematology helps patients and providers understand which hematology-related tests and treatments pose significant harm and cost if overused and therefore should be avoided.
February 18, 2014
The Names of Targeted Therapies Give Clues to How They Work
I was reading through the program of my granddaughter's dance recital and noticed that there was not a single common name in the first three groups of young dancers. It was as if their parents purposefully decided to come up with the most unique names possible. This is not the case with the family names of targeted cancer drugs.
December 31, 2013
Access to cancer care
Help Rural HCT Recipients Overcome Barriers to Post-Treatment Care
For patients with hematologic malignancies and genetic immune disorders, HCT is a potentially curative treatment. However, because the therapy is so specialized, only select cancer centers with the appropriate expertise, resources, and experiences offer it.
September 10, 2013
FDA Approves Dabrafenib for Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma
On May 29, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved dabrafenib (Tafinlar™ capsule, GlaxoSmithKline), for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma with BRAF V600E mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test.
May 30, 2013