State Cancer Registries Studies Find Nearly All Patients With Cancer Recovered From COVID-19
Many patients are delaying their recommended cancer screenings because of fear of death from COVID-19 coronavirus infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, those fears may not align with real-world outcomes, the agency said, when it reported July 2021 study findings from Arkansas and North Carolina.
This Is Why Red Meat Increases Colorectal Cancer Risk
Frequent red and processed meat consumption leaves a specific pattern of DNA damage in colorectal cells that contributes to the formation of tumors, researchers reported in study findings published in Cancer Discovery.
Patient-Advocacy-Provider Partnerships and Networks Support Rare Cancer Research
My area of research focus is adults with primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors, which represent less than 2% of all diagnosed cancers. Because of the cancers’ rarity, access to diagnosed patients for research initiatives is limited. My team’s program, NCI-CONNECT, a part of the Rare Tumor Patient Engagement Network supported by the Cancer Moonshot, is advancing our understanding of adults with rare CNS cancers by establishing patient-advocacy-provider partnerships and networks to improve care and treatment approaches.
A Body of Evidence Helps Nurses Manage CAR T-Cell Therapy Toxicities
When chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies were first approved for cancer in 2017, nurses didn’t have years of clinical practice experience with the treatment to understand its full scope of nursing implications yet. Now that nearly five years have passed—and new CAR T-cell therapies have been approved, bringing the total number of treatments to five as well—oncology nurses and nurse scientists have built a robust knowledge base.
Follow the Evidence When Using Scalp Cooling for Cancer Alopecia
Scalp cooling, also known as cryotherapy, may reduce the risk of chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA) in patients with cancer, but how do you know if the therapy is right for your patients? According to speakers at an ONS BridgeTM virtual conference session on September 9, 2021, start with the evidence.
Rare Cancer Advocacy Programs Help Patients Discover Resources and Make Connections
A cancer diagnosis can be difficult for any patient to receive, but a rare cancer diagnosis can put additional stress on a patient and their family. They may feel isolated and struggle to find accurate information on their diagnosis, which may be minimal because of limited funding and research. Rare cancer advocacy groups and programs offer critical patient support and empowerment, raise awareness, and initiate research for treatments.
Hope in Rare Cancers: Care Is Complex, but Oncology Nurses Are Making a Difference
As individual diseases, cancer diagnoses like pheochromocytoma (cancer of the adrenal gland), neuroendocrine cancers, and malignant mixed Mullerian tumors (also called carcinosarcomas) are rare, but collectively they’re more common than breast, colon, lung, or prostate cancer.
Researchers Study Innate Immunity Throughout History to Determine New Methods of Cancer Treatment
Evolution may be the key to understanding immunity—or at least the National Institutes of Health (NIH) thinks so. Studies of the history of human life could uncover discoveries that have implications for all types of disease, including cancer.
Researchers Tie More Cancers, Mortality to NF1 Disorders
The genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is linked to the development of and mortality for more types of cancer than previously identified, researchers reported in results from a new study. They published the findings in JAMA Network Open.
Lung, Melanoma, and Overall Cancer Death Rates Decline, According to 2021 Report
Cancer mortality for all racial and ethnic groups in the United States continues to decline, with death rates for lung cancer and melanoma decreasing faster than others, according to findings that the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) published in their July 2021 Annual Report to the Nation on the status of cancer.
New Form of CAR T Cells May Target Genetic Alteration Common to All Cancers
Scientists created a new cancer immunotherapy approach that uses a new type of CAR T cells to stimulate an immune response against cells that are missing one gene copy. They reported their findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
What Is CRISPR?
Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) is a commonly seen term for readers of science news and literature across a variety of industries. But reading the word often doesn’t automatically translate to understanding it and its implications. Here’s what oncology nurses need to know about CRISPR.
FDA Grants Regular Approval to Pembrolizumab and Lenvatinib for Advanced Endometrial Carcinoma
On July 21, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) in combination with lenvatinib (Lenvima®) for patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma that is not microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR), who have disease progression following prior systemic therapy in any setting, and are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation.
National Cancer Act Turns 50
Fifty years ago, President Richard Nixon delivered his third State of the Union address to the U.S. Congress, boldly outlining audacious goals with major federal funding attached. Seeking $100 million for what he deemed “the war on cancer,” Nixon pledged his commitment to invest federal resources in the fight against cancer.
The Evidence Is Building for ACE Inhibitors in Anthracycline-Associated Cardiotoxicity
Cardiac toxicities are associated with many types of cancer therapies, with both length of and time since treatment increasing a patient’s risk for the adverse event. Anthracycline chemotherapies are among the oldest agents still used for a variety of cancer diagnoses, and as cancer survivorship continues to grow, more patients are presenting with late-onset cardiac complications.
Single-Chain Diabodies May Target Variants in Both Solid and Liquid Tumors
Lab-developed antibodies using a single-chain diabody format can target TP53 or RAS variants in solid tumors and T-cell receptor variants in blood cancers, researchers reported in study findings published in Science, Science Immunology, and Science Translational Medicine, respectively.
The Time Is Now to Address Racial Disparities in Oncology Symptom Science
Although cancer mortality in the United States has decreased in most populations, non-Whites still have a disproportionately higher risk, and recent events have raised awareness of racial healthcare disparities. During a session on April 29, 2021, for the ONS 46th Annual Congress™, Margaret Quinn Rosenzweig, PhD, FNP-BC, AOCNP®, FAAN, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Susan G. Dorsey, PhD, RN, FAAN, of the University of Maryland School of Nursing, and Angela Starkweather, PhD, ACNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, of the University of Connecticut School of Nursing and School of Medicine, explored the application of the symptom science model to address the needs of underrepresented patients.
How to Overcome Underrepresentation in Oncology Clinical Trials and Research Studies
For the findings to be usable, healthcare research clinical trials must accrue participants that accurately represent the general population to which the study applies. But that’s easier said than done. During a session on April 27, 2021, for the 46th Annual ONS Congress™, two oncology nurse scientists shared strategies that other researchers can use to overcome disparities in clinical trial study populations.
What We Learned When Adjusting Protocols to Conduct Remote Oncology Research
When the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic pushed oncology research to a remote, virtual format, the sudden adjustment was, in many ways, more convenient and more effective, but it also posed several challenges. During a presentation on April 27, 2021, for the 46th Annual ONS Congress™, two nurse researchers shared the lessons they learned when they adjusted their research protocols.
PhD-DNP Collaboration Offers Opportunities to Translate Scientific Research into Practice
Combining the research and education components of a PhD program with the clinical practice components of a doctor of nurse practice (DNP) program completes the evidence-to-practice spectrum. It improves evidence-based care and provides outcomes to fuel future research and education. On April 20, 2021, speakers at the 46th Annual ONS Congress™ explained how their institutions created collaborative models that are now a standard component of DNP and PhD programs.
NCI Uses Federal Funds to Increase Grant Paylines for Emerging Nurse Researchers
When the U.S. Congress passed the FY 2021 funding bill at the end of 2020, it recommitted its dedication to cancer research by increasing the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) budget by $120 million.
Research Validates Tools to Increase Screening in Communities of Color
Reduced adherence to recommended screening and prevention relates to a lack of knowledge and barriers like inadequate insurance, low engagement with primary care, time constraints, and misconceptions about risks of screening or their individual risk of developing cancer. We must do a better job of educating people about cancer screening and linking them to affordable or free services.
Did the Cancer Moonshot Initiative Make 10 Years of Cancer Research Progress in 5 Years?
When the Obama administration announced the National Cancer Moonshot in January 2016, its goal was to invest $1 billion in cancer research to make a decade’s worth of discoveries in just five years. The funding was distributed across the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Defense, and Department of Veterans Affairs to propel the Moonshot forward.
Fear of Recurrence May Actually Contribute to Cancer Recurrence
Stress, such as fear and worry about cancer coming back or many other life burdens and concerns, may activate dormant cancer cells remaining in the body to form tumors again, researchers reported in Science Translational Medicine.
U.S. Sees Another Record-Breaking Decrease in Cancer Deaths, but Disparities Remain
Cancer-related mortality fell by 2.4% from 2017–2018, the largest-ever one-year drop in cancer deaths and a continuation of the downward trend the United States has seen since 1991, the American Cancer Society (ACS) reported in Cancer Facts and Figures, 2021.
NCI Gives a Midpoint Progress Update on the Cancer Moonshot
During his final State of the Union address in January 2016, former President Barack Obama appointed Joe Biden the lead on a new initiative: the National Cancer Moonshot. The goal was to find treatments, cures, and more understanding about cancer—a decade’s worth of progress in just five years.
How Can Innovation and Opportunity Guide a Career in Nursing Research?
“Nursing is at the forefront of symptom management, and nurse-designed interventions lead the way,” Gwen Wyatt, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAPOS, recipient of the 2020 ONS Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award, said in a session at the inaugural ONS BridgeTM virtual conference in September 2020. She shared lessons from her career journey and told nurses that ONS can help them get their ideas “off the drawing board.”
FDA Approves Crizotinib for Children and Young Adults With Relapsed or Refractory, Systemic ALK-Positive Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
On January 14, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved crizotinib (Xalkori®) for pediatric patients aged one year or older and young adults with relapsed or refractory, systemic anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) that is anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) positive. The safety and efficacy of crizotinib have not been established in older adults with relapsed or refractory, systemic ALK-positive ALCL.
Genomics Provides Insight on Exceptionally Responding Patients
Patients with cancer who experience unexpected and long-lasting treatment outcomes are considered exceptional responders, but researchers and clinicians had no insight as to why the patients did so well with treatment. Results of a new study now show that genomic characterizations of cancer can uncover genetic alterations that may contribute to the phenomenon, researchers reported in Cancer Cell.
How COVID-19 May Increase Access to and Reduce Disparities in Cancer Clinical Trials
To improve clinical trial availability, effectiveness, and diversity in the era of the COVID-19 coronavirus, National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded clinical trials should adjust their design to increase use of telemedicine and remote informed consent, among other strategies, several NCI department leaders wrote in a commentary in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
NCI Links Persistent Poverty to Increased Cancer Mortality
Where a person lives has the biggest impact on their healthcare accessibility and affordability. In a new study, researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) found strong correlation between persistent poverty and cancer mortality in the United States, NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) reported in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Naxitamab for High-Risk Neuroblastoma in Bone or Bone Marrow
On November 25, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to naxitamab (Danyelza®) in combination with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor for pediatric patients one year of age and older and adult patients with relapsed or refractory high-risk neuroblastoma in the bone or bone marrow who demonstrate a partial response, minor response, or stable disease to prior therapy.
What the Evidence Says for Cannabis in Cancer Care
An annual flowering herb native to East Asia, Cannabis sativa is cultivated around the world. It is used in traditional medicine as an analgesic, hypnotic, hallucinogenic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory. Preparations derived from its flowers, leaves, and hashish made from its resinous extract are taken orally, by smoking, or by vaporizing. Cannabis teas, tinctures, ointments, and oil-based extracts that can be mixed into food products are also popular.
Blocking Fatty Acid Storage May Induce Glioblastoma Apoptosis
Turning off an enzyme that glioblastoma cells use to store the fatty acids they feed on as energy for rapid cell division may offer a new treatment option for the deadly cancer, researchers reported in Cell Metabolism.
Medications That Affect Microbiome May Influence Checkpoint Inhibitory Response
Common classes of non-cancer medications that affect a patient’s microbiome are associated with increased or decreased survival with immune checkpoint inhibitor drugs, researchers reported in study findings published in BMC Cancer.
We Must Work to Achieve Health Equity in Cancer Research
The National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993 mandated appropriate inclusion of minorities in all NIH-funded research. Yet more than 20 years later, vast disparities still exist in cancer research, researchers reported in a session for the inaugural ONS Bridge™ virtual conference.
Innovation and Opportunity Lead to a Distinguished Career in Nursing Research
“Nursing is at the forefront of symptom management, and nurse-designed interventions lead the way,” Gwen Wyatt, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAPOS, recipient of the 2020 ONS Distinguished Nurse Researcher Award, said in a session at the inaugural ONS Bridge™ virtual conference. She shared lessons from her career journey and told nurses that ONS can help them get their ideas “off the drawing board.”
MicroRNA May Be Key Factor in High-Grade Ovarian Cancer Development
The miR-181a microRNA may turn off two genes and lead to the development of high-grade serous ovarian cancer, researchers reported in Nature Communications. The finding is significant because not much is known about how ovarian cancer develops and it’s difficult to detect in its earlier stages.
NCI-Partnered Global Research Initiative Confronts Tough Barriers to Cancer Progress
Since its inception in 2015, Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) Cancer Grand Challenges initiative has led an international research effort to address the toughest barriers to progress in oncology, investing more than $130 million into seven international, multidisciplinary teams—total of 73 researcher groups in nine countries.
Acknowledge and End Unequal Representation in Cancer Research and Improve Access to Care
Research influences care along every inch of the cancer continuum, from prevention to survivorship, enabling healthcare professionals and patients to share decisions that result in the most current and tailored care strategies. It’s a powerful tool that sets the groundwork for providing optimal health outcomes. However, we must work to eliminate unequal representation.
FDA Program Shares PROs From Cancer Clinical Trials
Cancer clinical trials often collect patient-reported outcome (PRO) data, but the information is generally used just for that trial. Recognizing the value of making it available to healthcare providers everywhere, in July 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched Project Patient Voice, a pilot program designed to share clinical trial PROs on an easy-to-access website.
Insulin Resistance May Explain Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer
Black women with breast cancer typically have a worse prognosis than white women, and the results of a new study suggest that insulin resistance may be a factor in the disparity. Findings from the study were reported in Breast Cancer Research.
Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Don’t Reflect Racial Diversity—And It’s Getting Worse Over Time
More than 96% of participants in prostate cancer clinical trials are non-Hispanic white men even though non-Hispanic black men represent 22% of prostate cancer diagnoses, researchers reported in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention. Even more critical, enrollment rates of black or African American men have been declining since 1995.