Gene-Editing Tool May Better Deliver CAR T-Cell Immunotherapy
In mouse experiments, researchers have found that immune T cells that have been genetically engineered to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) using a new tool called CRISPR were more effective than CAR T cells that were engineered with conventional methods. The findings were reported in Nature.
Annual State-of-Cancer Report Encouraging for Patients, Providers
The latest edition of the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2014, confirms that death rates are decreasing for 11 of the 16 most common types of cancer in men and 13 of the 18 most common types in women.
How One Institution Improved Accrual to Cancer Clinical Trials
One of the key factors to a cancer clinical trial’s success is the ability to enroll an adequate number of patients in an appropriate timeframe. Identifying barriers to slow accrual and ways to address them can help researchers and nurse scientists make big steps in the fight against cancer in the era of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
Advisory Board Provides Input on Interventions to Help Older Adults Manage CINV
Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV) can lead to serious adverse events (AEs) for older adults that could result in hospitalizations. Older adults may be overwhelmed with the amount of information involved with diagnosis and treatment, may not believe their actions will have an impact on symptoms, and tend to adopt a “wait and see” approach to managing AEs. Educational initiatives that tailor symptom management to older adults are necessary to engage and prepare these patients to self-mange CINV at home.
Navigating Medical Marijuana Laws and Use in Treatment
Medical marijuana laws still vary across the United States, and barriers persist for patients and providers, including fear of addiction and side effects as well as safety, financial, and legal concerns. Carey Clark, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, of the University of Maine at Augusta, Jacquelyn Bainbridge, PharmD, FCCP, from the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, PhD, APRN-BC, AOCNP®, FAAN, chief clinical officer at the Oncology Nursing Society, discussed the latest in medical marijuana laws and usage during a session at the 42nd Annual Congress in Denver, CO.
FDA Expands Regorafenib Indications for Patients with HCC
On April 27, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the indications of regorafenib to include the treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have been previously treated with sorafenib.
Disease Symptoms Most Likely to Predict Recurrence of Early-Stage Melanoma
Patients and healthcare providers are most likely to detect recurrence of early-stage melanoma based on symptom reports rather than routine imaging tests, according to the results of a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
Bortezomib May Improve Outcomes in Multiple Myeloma
Adding bortezomib to combination therapy with lenalidomide and dexamethasone may improve progression-free and overall survival in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. The study findings were published in Lancet.
Annual Cancer Report Identifies Significant Increases in Survival
As part of its Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer for 1975-2014, a group of organizations and agencies identified significant increases in cancer survival in the United States, with survival rates more than doubling for eight cancers.
Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall; Biden Continues Work on Cancer Moonshot; GOP Looks to Revise Replacement Healthcare Plan; ONS Submits Letter of Support for New ICD-10 CM Code
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975–2014. According to the report, cancer death rates fell for 11 of the 16 most common cancers in men and 13 of the 16 most common cancers in women. Death rates fell for female breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancers, among others. The report also notes that incidences of cancer decreased in men but plateaued for women in the same time period.
Study Finds Increased Colorectal Cancer Rates in Younger Adults
Although overall rates of colorectal cancer have been falling since the 1970s and ‘80s, incidence of the disease has been increasing dramatically in patients younger than 50 years, according to the results of a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
FDA Approves Avelumab for Treatment of Patients With Metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma
On March 23, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to avelumab (Bavencio, EMD Serono, Inc.) for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). Avelumab is a programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) blocking human IgG1 lambda monoclonal antibody. This is the first FDA-approved product to treat this type of cancer.
Physical Activity, Psychological Care Reduce Cancer-Related Fatigue
Physical activity, by itself or in combination with psychological care, was found to be most successful at reducing cancer-related fatigue (CRF) in patients, according to a study published in JAMA. The researchers compared the efficacy of four different types of CRF treatments—exercise, the combination of exercise and psychological treatments, psychological treatments alone, and pharmaceutical treatments—to determine the most effective treatment for CRF.
Trump Budget Proposal Cuts Healthcare Spending, Research; GOP’s Healthcare Bill Faces Stiff Resistance
On March 15, 2017, the Trump administration released its first budget proposal, slashing federal spending in many areas of health care, education, environmental protection, and the sciences while increasing funding for defense and homeland security. The proposed budget would decrease spending for the Department of Health and Human Services by nearly 18%, which includes a 20% budget cut for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—a decrease of nearly $6 billion. This stands to impact a number of cancer-related research programs developing new treatments and drugs through NIH funding.
Ibrutinib May Improve GVHD Symptoms
Results from a new clinical trial have shown that the targeted therapy drug ibrutinib, a BTK inhibitor, can effectively treat graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a common complication from allogeneic stem cell transplants. The study findings were reported at the American Society of Hematology’s 2016 annual meeting.
Safety Procedures for Live-Virus Immunotherapeutic Cancer Vaccines
Therapeutic vaccines represent a new way of fighting tumors by stimulating a patient’s immune system to attack cancer cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has currently approved two of these types of vaccines: sipuleucel-T for metastatic prostate cancer and talimogene laherparepvec for metastatic melanoma. However, many other cancer vaccines are being investigated in clinical trials.
NCI Cancer Moonshot Funds Researchers
After the dust settled from the presidential election, Congress returned to Washington to complete some remaining legislative work before the new year. Among the newly approve legislation, the 21st Century Cures Act was passed, and it aims to have major implications for expanding oncology research in the coming months and years.
U.S. Cancer Mortality Rates Differ Across Country
Although U.S. cancer rates between 1980 and 2014 have fallen overall, there are parts of the country that have not seen a decrease. This information was reported in a new study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. The researchers found that cancer deaths fell 20 percent between 1980 and 2014, but that in some areas of the country the mortality rates increased.
Advancements in Immunotherapy, Genetics Lead ASCO’s Annual Progress Report
Every year, oncology research marches toward new, innovative treatments for patients with cancer. Cancer research is a cumulative process—building upon itself year after year—but, with time, major changes begin to make their way into practices across the country. Some of these advancements stand to change the face of cancer treatment for years to come. In a field of constant evolution, oncology nurses and their colleagues need to stay abreast of developments in science and technology as new knowledge is uncovered in the treatment of cancer.
ONS Member Meneses Named UAB’s 2016 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer
After more than 40 years as an oncology educator, researcher, and nurse, ONS member Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been named the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB’s) 2016 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. This is the highest honor given at the university, and Meneses is only the second nurse from UAB’s school of nursing to ever receive the honor.
CD36 Protein and Dietary Fat May Combine to Increase Cancer Metastasis
New research published in Nature may have identified one way cancer cells metastasize to spread and resist treatment. The study showed how a cancer protein interacts with dietary fat to facilitate metastasis and may pave the way for new cancer therapies.