Multiple Myeloma Survivors Still Experience Symptoms and Psychological Concerns
Survival from multiple myeloma (MM) has improved, and more attention is required for symptom burden and psychological impact in the long-term management of this disease. Researchers assessed the incidence of self-reported pain, depression, financial and family burden, and impairment of performance status, as well as determined the correlation of total distress with survival. Joshua R. Richter, MD, at the John Theurer Cancer Center in Hackensack, NJ, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting.
Physical Activity Level Before and After Cancer Diagnosis Impacts Survival for Lymphoma
Researchers assessed the impact of physical activity levels before and after cancer diagnosis on overall survival (OS) and lymphoma-specific survival (LSS) outcomes in patients with lymphoma. They found that higher levels of physical activity during adult life and within three years of diagnosis improve survival. Priyanka Pophali, MD, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting.
Better Symptom Management Is Needed for Patients With CML
Patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) often experience symptoms and treatment-related adverse events (AEs) that are chronic and may require care from an interdisciplinary team. A study sought to assess symptom burden, palliative care needs, and experiences with healthcare team communication in this patient population. Alexandra K. Zaleta, PhD, at the Research and Training Institute, Cancer Support Community in Philadelphia, PA, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting.
Factors Predict 30-Day Hospital Readmissions for Patients With Hematologic Malignancies
Data are limited on repeated unplanned hospital readmissions among patients with hematologic malignancies, so researchers analyzed baseline characteristics of patients with one or more 30-day unplanned readmissions, as well as factors related to these readmissions. Girish Kunapareddy, MD, at the Taussig Cancer Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting.
Patients With CLL Report Worse QoL and Other Factors
Researchers assessed how patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) describe quality of life (QoL) compared to other U.S. populations, as well as the effects on daily living, finances, and professional and family relationships. Joanne S. Buzaglo, PhD, at the Research and Training Institute, Cancer Support Community in Philadelphia, PA, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting.
Activity Tracker Data Correlates With Patient-Reported Outcomes
Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are an important part of patient management but may be burdensome for patients to track. Wearable activity monitors provide objective, continuous activity data that may correlate with PROs, and researchers assessed the use of this technology in a study. Carrie A. Thompson, MD, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting.
Factors Related to Palliative Care Use in Patients with Hematologic Malignancies
No data exist on current trends and practice patterns for palliative care use among patients with cancer, particularly those with hematologic malignancies. Sikander Ailawadhi, MD, at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, discussed their findings on these trends at the ASH Annual Meeting.
Disease Factors Influence Treatment Decisions More Than Comorbidities in Patients With Follicular Lymphoma
Data from U.S. Lymphocare suggest that older patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) are more commonly treated with watchful waiting or single-agent rituximab and found no difference in outcomes by treatment groups, but comorbidity was not studied. Researchers aimed to describe patient features, comorbidity use of positron-emission tomography (PET) staging, management choices, and the impact of polypharmacy on outcomes of patients with FL aged 70 years or older. Prathima Reddy, MD, at CHI Franciscan Hospital in Federal Way, WA, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting.
Study Assesses Ibrutinib’s Impact on Major Hemorrhage in Patients With B-Cell Malignancies
Ibrutinib is a first-in-class, once-daily inhibitor of Bruton tyrosine kinase that is approved for various B-cell malignancies. However, the drug is associated with increased rates of low-grade hemorrhage and sometimes serious hemorrhage, which is listed as a warning in the prescribing information. Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL), and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) are at an increased risk for major hemorrhage (MH) compared to the general population.
Autoimmune and Infectious Diseases Are Increased in DLBCL Survivors Compared to Other Cancer Survivors
Many lymphoma treatments are known to affect the immune system, so researchers assessed whether survivors of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) have an altered risk of developing autoimmune and infectious diseases compared to other cancer survivors. Tanaya Shree, MD, PhD, at Stanford University Medical Center in California, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting.
Study Compares Adverse Event Profile for CPX-351 and Conventional 7+3 for AML
CPX-351 is a dual-drug liposomal encapsulation of cytarabine and daunorubicin that delivers a synergistic drug ratio. In a randomized, phase III study, researchers evaluated induction therapy with CPX-351 versus conventional cytarabine/daunorubicin (referred to as 7+3 regimen) in adults aged 60–75 years with newly diagnosed, treatment-related acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or AML with myelodysplasia-related changes. Bruno C Medeiros, MD, at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, discussed the findings at the ASH Annual Meeting.
Exercise Is Beneficial in Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and possibly cancer recurrence, and its occurrence is higher in breast cancer survivors than age-matched postmenopausal women. Now, a study on exercise has found that aerobic and resistance exercise intervention reduced metabolic syndrome in sedentary, overweight, and obese Hispanic breast cancer survivors. U.S. researchers presented their findings during a poster session on Friday, December 8, at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Disparities Remain in Breast Cancer Mortality Based on Health Insurance Status
Significantly higher rates of death are found in Medicaid and uninsured hospital admissions when compared to Medicare-enrolled admissions with breast cancer, suggesting that insurance status “appears to play a crucial role in patient outcomes.” Researchers with Drexel University in Philadelphia presented their findings on Friday, December 8, during a poster session at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Younger Age Equates to Unfavorable Subtypes, Higher Stage, and Worse Survival in BC
Patients with breast cancer who are younger than 40 years are likely to have unfavorable subtypes, higher stage, and lower overall survival and disease-free survival (DFS) as compared to their older counterparts, according to researchers at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY. They presented their findings on Friday, December 8, during the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Serum Vitamin D Linked to Inability to Achieve Pathologic Complete Response
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with the inability to reach pathologic complete response (pCR) in patients with breast cancer undergoing neoadjuvant systemic chemotherapy (NAC), and a trend for worse survival was seen in patients with triple negative tumors. Results from an analysis were presented on Thursday, December 7, during a poster session at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS).
Factors Increase Risk for Fibrosis After Whole Breast Radiation Therapy in Lateral Position
Whole breast radiation therapy in isocentric lateral decubitus position is well tolerated with good cosmesis and low rates of fibrosis, said a group that had previously confirmed the efficacy and safety of the technique. Researchers from the Institut Curie in Paris presented their results during a poster session on Thursday, December 7, at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Enrichment of Mucin Gene Family Shown in Breast Cancer Diagnosed During Pregnancy
The first study on the mutational landscape of breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy (BCP) using whole-genome sequencing found that BCP is associated with a higher number of putative driver mutations, including mutations in mucin genes. Researchers presented their findings on Thursday, December 7, during a poster session at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
Combination Checkpoint Inhibition/Epigenetic Modulation Improves Survival in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Models
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have found that adding the histone deacetylase inhibitor entinostat (ENT) to checkpoint inhibition decreases tumor burden and improves survival in human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer models. The findings were reported during the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on Wednesday, December 6.
Blocking ER-Coregulator Signaling Enhances Palbociclib Therapy in ER-Positive Breast Cancer
The novel combination of estrogen receptor (ER) coregulator binding modulator (ERX-11) and palbociclib may delay, or even overcome, endocrine therapy resistance in women with ER-positive advanced breast cancer, according to a group of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) Healthcare System. They reported their findings during the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on Wednesday, December 6.
Extended Adjuvant Bisphosphonate Treatment Does Not Improve DFS, OS in Early-Stage Breast Cancer
Women with high-risk, early-stage breast cancer see no improvement in disease-free survival (DFS) or overall survival (OS) after five years of adjuvant bisphosphonate treatment compared with just two years of treatment, according to SUCCESS A, a phase III study. European researchers presented these findings during the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on Wednesday, December 6.
Blood Test May Detect Tumor-Derived DNA in Early-Stage Cancers
Researchers have developed a test that detects tiny amounts of cancer-specific DNA in the blood and used it to accurately identify more than half of 138 people with early-stage colorectal, breast, lung, or ovarian cancers. The findings were published in Science Translational Medicine.
Aggressive Treatment Needed for Locoregional Recurrence in Patients With Breast Cancer
Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY, suggested that for women with locoregional recurrence (LRR) of breast cancer, contralateral axillary metastases should be treated aggressively for cure after excluding distant metastases. Challenges of and best practices for managing LRR was discussed at an education session during the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on Tuesday, December 5.
Patients’ Out-of-Pocket Cancer Costs Are Higher Than Expected
Despite having healthcare coverage, a third of patients with cancer end up paying more out of pocket than they expected for their cancer treatments, a new study found. The results were published in JAMA Oncology.
FDA Approves Vemurafenib for Erdheim-Chester Disease
On November 6, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted regular approval to vemurafenib (Zelboraf®) for the treatment of patients with Erdheim-Chester Disease with BRAF V600 mutation.
What the Next Phase of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative Means for Oncology Nurses
In one bold declaration during his final State of the Union Address in 2016, President Barack Obama raised our hopes to a singular goal—ending cancer as we know it—as he announced the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, now called the Biden Cancer Initiative. Grounded in real research with tangible results, the intent was not even that daring: it was more realistic. Eradicating cancer, now understood to be many different aspects of the same disease, in five years was unlikely, but rather the goal was to achieve in five years what previously would take a decade.
Researchers Map More Than 760 Cancer-Dependent Genes
In an effort to build a comprehensive catalog of genetic causes of cancer, researchers from Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Broad Institute as well as Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified more than 760 genes that cells from multiple types of cancer depend on for growth and survival. The findings were published in Cell.
Protein May Explain Chemo Resistance in Patients With BRCA2 Mutations
Researchers have discovered a protein that may lead to a new way to prevent resistance and improve outcomes for patients whose cancers have a BRCA2 mutation. The findings were reported in Molecular Cell.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Copanlisib for Relapsed Follicular Lymphoma
On September 14, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to copanlisib for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed follicular lymphoma who have received at least two prior systemic therapies.
Exercise's Role in Cancer Care
Until the 1980s, the value of exercise was unrecognized in the oncology setting. It was widely believed that patients with cancer undergoing cytotoxic treatments needed to rest and avoid exercise. But a 1989 study conducted by Winningham and Mac Vicar, both oncology nurses at the Ohio State University, dispelled this notion. The trial involved 45 women receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for operable breast cancer and showed that a 10-week interval-based, aerobic exercise was not only safe but also significantly improved body composition, aerobic capacity, and patient-reported nausea.
Governors Push Senators for 2018 ACA Funding; NCI Requests Input on Bioethics in Cancer Research; Congress Braces for Full September Agenda
Summer 2017 saw several attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), none of which were successful. Now that the dust has started to settle—and Congress is slowly moving on to other issues—many are still dealing with the uncertainty left in the wake of the nation’s healthcare debate. This includes many concerned governors who are lobbying for funds to address their states’ current needs.
How Do You Find Clinical Trials Through the NCI’s Advanced Clinical Trials Search?
As part of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative and in collaboration with the Presidential Innovation Fellows, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed and launched a new website in 2016. It provides user-friendly access to the repository of abstracts of cancer clinical trials that NCI supported.
Oncology Nurses Drive Change In Cancer Care With Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are responsible for discovering new treatments for cancer as well as the continued evolution of standards of care in clinical practice. Nationally, less than 5% of all eligible adult patients with cancer enroll in clinical trials. Additionally, it takes a drug an average of six to eight years from when it is first introduced in trials to become fully available to all patients who could benefit from it.
How Are Patients Randomized to Cancer Clinical Trials?
Before any new treatment or approach is used with people in clinical trials, researchers work to understand its effects on cancer cells in the lab and in animals. Researchers design cancer clinical trials to test new ways to treat, detect, diagnose, and prevent cancer, and manage symptoms of cancer and side effects from treatment.
Adherence to Nutritional and Physical Activity Guidelines Improves Survival in Patients With Colon Cancer
The American Cancer Society (ACS) has guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer survivors that focus on healthy body weight, physical activity, and a diet high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. To assess how adherence to those guidelines impacts disease-free survival (DFS), relapse-free survival (RFS), or overall survival (OS), researchers conducted a prospective study of 992 patients with stage III colon cancer who enrolled in an adjuvant chemotherapy clinical trial between 1991 and 2001. The researchers presented the study at the ASCO Annual Meeting.
Less Sleep May Increase Risk of Death From Prostate Cancer
Men younger than 65 years who sleep less than six hours per night have an increased risk of death from prostate cancer, according to the results of a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 2017 annual meeting.
How NCI Is Training the Future Cancer Research Workforce
To ensure that future cancer research is of the highest quality, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is committed to developing the best scientific minds. NCI training and funding opportunities cover a broad spectrum of disciplines for individuals at various stages in their careers, ranging from high school and graduate students to scientists, clinicians, and healthcare professionals.
Combination Treatment Improves Survival for Advanced Melanoma
A combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab improved overall survival when compared to either drug alone, according to results from a recent study reported at the American Association for Cancer Research 2017 annual meeting.
More Women Undergo BRCA Testing, but Not High-Risk Patients
BRCA gene testing is on the rise for women who do not meet the referral requirements based on family history, researchers reported in study findings published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. At the same time, many high-risk women do not obtain the test and remain unidentified.
FDA Approves ALA Optical Imaging Agent for Gliomas
On June 6, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved aminolevulinic acid hydrochloride, known as ALA HCl (Gleolan, NX Development Corp.) as an optical imaging agent indicated in patients with gliomas (suspected World Health Organization Grades III or IV on preoperative imaging) as an adjunct for the visualization of malignant tissue during surgery.
Members Meet to Lead ONS Into the Future
As Oncology Nursing Month, May saw celebrations at the ONS 42nd Annual Congress and in our workplaces. Nurses on ONS staff enjoyed recognition and celebration of their commitment to our mission and you. They partner closely with members who volunteer their time and expertise in developing initiatives and priorities for ONS. I would like to describe a few of those initiatives and work groups that have met at the national office in the first six months of 2017.
Adverse Events Influence Patient-Reported Quality-of-Life Scores
Researchers conducted a single-center, cross-sectional study to examine the relationship between patient-reported quality-of-life (QOL), adverse events (AEs), and treatment characteristics (including tumor type, drug class, number of cycles, and treatment intent). The study’s findings were presented at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting.
Patient-Provider Communication on Immunotherapy Can Be Improved
Guidelines regarding healthcare provider communication about immunotherapy do not currently exist. Researchers sought to determine patient and provider preferences for this type of information and to identify barriers to communication about immunotherapy. The study’s findings were presented at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting.
Discussion About Goals of Care May Improve Patient Understanding
Discussing goals of care with patients with advanced cancer can provide better information on the disease, treatment options, and prognosis, as well as elicit patient values. A randomized, controlled trial tested a coaching model to improve healthcare providers’ communication on goals of care. The study’s findings were presented at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting.
Patients Are Equally Satisfied With Phone Calls and In-Person Consultations Before Chemotherapy
Previous research has indicated that patient satisfaction is linked to time spent with a physician. However, long wait times and organizational issues in an outpatient setting may increase the need for alternative care models. In a study presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting, researchers assessed the use of phone calls instead of a face-to-face consultation prior to chemotherapy (CT) and the effect on patient satisfaction and quality of life.
Researchers Identify Factors Associated With Readmission for Patients With Metastatic Cancer
Hospital readmission rates may be avoidable in some patients with metastatic disease. Researchers assessed patient factors more likely to be associated with increased readmissions, such as demographics, comorbidities, hospital type, payer, and discharge disposition, in a study presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting.
Location of Discharge Affects Quality of Life and Symptom Burden for Those With Advanced Cancer
Patients with advanced-stage cancer experience frequent hospitalizations, followed by post-discharge transitions of care that can influence patient quality of life. A study presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting sought to examine predictors of discharge location for these patients.