Learn How to Read a Somatic Biomarker Testing Report
Join ONS member Suzanne Mahon, RN, AOCN®, AGN-BC, FAAN, professor at Saint Louis University in Missouri and member of the St. Louis ONS Chapter, as she demonstrates how to examine and explore somatic biomarker testing reports. Understanding these reports is critical when providing patient education, and Mahon’s tips and tricks when identifying report components and their importance are helpful tools for oncology nurses to consider in their practice.
FDA Safety Communication Provides Recommendations for Certain O&M Halyard Surgical N95 Respirators, Surgical Masks, and Pediatric Face Masks
On September 29, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an updated safety communication to consumers, healthcare providers, and facilities about certain surgical N95 respirators and masks manufactured by Owens and Minor (O&M) Halyard. FDA updated its recommendations for the products based on new data and information from O&M Halyard.
FDA Approves Bosutinib for Pediatric Patients With Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
On September 26, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved bosutinib (Bosulif®) for pediatric patients aged 1 year and older with chronic phase Ph+ chronic myelogenous leukemia that is newly diagnosed or resistant or intolerant to prior therapy. FDA also approved a new 50 mg and 100 mg capsule dosage form.
Novartis Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of One Lot of Cyclosporine Oral Solution
On September 11, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Novartis’s voluntary nationwide recall at the consumer level of one lot of its Sandimmune® Oral Solution (cyclosporine oral solution, USP), 100 mg/ml, in the United States because of observations of crystals in some bottles that could result in incorrect dosing. No other cyclosporine oral solution formulations are affected.
Genetic Disorder Reference Sheet: Neurofibromatosis Type 1
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is an autosomal dominant condition that stems from a pathogenic variant in the NF1 gene, which regulates the production of the tumor-suppressing neurofibromin protein. NF1 disorder is characterized by pigmentation changes (e.g., café au lait spots; see image), cutaneous neurofibromas, malignant nerve sheath tumors, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and intellectual disorders. Signs and symptoms vary widely, but NF1 disorders occur in 1 in about 3,000–4,000 people. Almost half of the cases are de novo.
How Our Personal Biases Affect Our Well-Being and Patient-Centered Care
As oncology nurses, our personal biases can affect not only our own brains and cognitive functioning but also the mental health of those we interact with. We all have biases, or preconceived notions or ideas about particular people, groups, or circumstances. They frequently result from prior experiences, cultural and societal influences, and societal conditioning.
Oncology Drug Reference Sheet: Pirobrutinib
In clinical trials, pirobrutinib (Jaypirca™) was effective in restoring BTK inhibition in patients that experienced progression after previously receiving a covalent BTK inhibitor. Pirobrutinib became the first-available noncovalent (reversible) BTK inhibitor in January 2023 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted it accelerated approval.
Learn How to Conduct Mock Code Simulations
Join ONS member Ashley Barill, BSN, OCN®, nurse supervisor at WVU Medicine in Morgantown, WV, as she explains how she and her team train using mock code simulations in an outpatient infusion center in this video. Mock code simulations can help oncology nurses and other healthcare professionals prepare for emergencies, and Barill’s tips and resources are helpful tools when conducting those simulations.
FDA Approves Melphalan as a Liver-Directed Treatment for Uveal Melanoma
On August 14, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved melphalan (Hepzato™) for injection or hepatic delivery system (Hepzato Kit) containing melphalan as a liver-directed treatment for adult patients with uveal melanoma with unresectable hepatic metastases affecting less than 50% of the liver and no extrahepatic disease, or extrahepatic disease limited to the bone, lymph nodes, subcutaneous tissues, or lung that is amenable to resection or radiation.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Elranatamab-Bcmm for Multiple Myeloma
On August 14, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to elranatamab-bcmm (Elrexfio™), a bispecific B-cell maturation antigen-directed CD3 T-cell engager, for adults with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least four prior lines of therapy, including a proteasome inhibitor, an immunomodulatory agent, and an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody.
FDA Approves Niraparib and Abiraterone Acetate Plus Prednisone for BRCA-Variant Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
On August 11, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the fixed dose combination of niraparib and abiraterone acetate (Akeega™) plus prednisone for adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious BRCA variant metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, as determined by an FDA-approved test.
Baxter Healthcare Corporation Recalls SIGMA Spectrum Infusion Pumps and IQ Infusion Systems With Dose IQ Safety Software, Issues Corrected Software
On August 1, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported Baxter Healthcare Corporation’s June 15, 2023, recall of SIGMA Spectrum infusion pumps with master drug library (version 8) and Spectrum IQ infusion systems with dose IQ safety software (version 9) because of false alarms for upstream occlusion after pump software upgrades to version v8.01.01 and v9.02.01, respectively. FDA identified it as a class I recall, the most serious type of recall, where use of the devices may cause serious injuries or death.
A growing literature base supports the use of medical cannabis in cancer care and symptom management, and as of April 2023, 42 states, including 3 territories and the District of Columbia, allow for medical use. As more patients use or seek to use medical cannabis during their cancer trajectory, oncology nurses are looking to the latest research behind medical cannabis, how cannabis can impact their patients’ treatment plans and symptom management, and legislation in the state in which they practice.
FDA Approves Quizartinib for Newly Diagnosed Acute Myeloid Leukemia
On July 20, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved quizartinib (Vanflyta®) in combination with standard cytarabine and anthracycline induction and cytarabine consolidation and as maintenance monotherapy following consolidation chemotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia that are FLT3 internal tandem duplication-positive, as detected by an FDA-approved test. FDA also approved the LeukoStrat CDx FLT3 variant assay as a companion diagnostic for quizartinib.
Oncology Nurses Lead Interprofessional Team to Drastically Increase Cancer Screenings in Rural Patients
Remote educational outreach involving oncology nurse–developed videos and follow-up navigator phone calls increased breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening adherence compared to usual care in females obtaining community care in rural Ohio and Indiana locations, according to study findings published in JAMA Network Open.
Respect Patients’ Religious Hair Wraps or Coverings When Taking Accurate Height and Weight Measurements
Patients who follow various religious practices may wear head coverings that can affect their height or weight measurements. Accurate height and weight measurements are essential for weight-based medication dosing to prevent inadvertent over- or underdosing.
Nurse Cosponsors Resolution on Telehealth in the U.S. House of Representatives
A geriatric nurse practitioner who served as a Navy helicopter pilot in the Persian Gulf through two deployments, U.S. Representative Jen Kiggans (R-VA) introduced new legislation that would allow more providers to use telehealth services, expanding access and reducing barriers for their patients.
Learn How to Read a Germline Genomic Testing Report
Join ONS member Suzanne Mahon, RN, AOCN®, AGN-BC, FAAN, professor at Saint Louis University in Missouri and member of the St. Louis ONS Chapter, as she demonstrates how to examine and explore germline genomic testing reports. Understanding these reports is critical when providing patient education, and Mahon’s tips and tricks when identifying report components and their importance are helpful tools for oncology nurses to consider in their practice.
Oncology Nurses Teach Correctional Facility Nurses to Safely Administer Chemo
A combination of intensive chemotherapy immunotherapy administration education and shorter training on oncology symptom management can prepare correctional facility nurses to safely care for patients with cancer in the community, according to presenters in an oral abstract session at the 48th Annual ONS Congress® in April 2023.
Veterans and Cancer
Veterans and active service members of the U.S. armed forces have dedicated their lives to the safety and freedom of their country. However, that honorable service may place them at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and cancer.
Oncology Drug Reference Sheet: Teclistamab-Cqyv
With an estimated duration of response rate of 90.6% at six months and 66.5% at nine months in the agent’s clinical trials, in October 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to teclistamab-cqyv (Tecvayli™) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least four previous lines of therapy.
FDA Approves Talazoparib With Enzalutamide for HRR Gene–Variant Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
On June 20, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved talazoparib (Talzenna®) with enzalutamide for homologous recombination repair gene–variant metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Glofitamab-Gxbm for Selected Relapsed or Refractory Large B-Cell Lymphomas
On June 15, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to glofitamab-gxbm (Columvi™) for relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified, or large B-cell lymphoma arising from follicular lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy.
The Harvard Drug Group, LLC, Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Dronabinol Capsules, USP, 2.5 mg, and Ziprasidone Hydrochloride Capsules, 20 mg, Because of Label Mix-Up
On June 14, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that the Harvard Drug Group, LLC, conducting business as Major Pharmaceuticals and Rugby Laboratories, issued a voluntary recall of a single lot of dronabinol capsules, USP, 2.5 mg, and ziprasidone hydrochloride capsules, 20 mg, after receiving a report that some unit dose cartons labeled as ziprasidone hydrochloride capsules, 20 mg, contained blister packages labeled as and containing dronabinol capsules, USP, 2.5 mg.
Oncology APRNs’ Role in Communicating With Older Adults With Cancer
Prepare for the silver tsunami—experts predict that the number of older adults with cancer, those aged 65 and older, will double by 2035. Oncology APRNs have a pivotal role in their care, understanding patients’ values and preferences to facilitate informed decision-making. But communication can be difficult when patients have comorbid geriatric syndromes such as cognitive deficits, delirium, and depression.
LGBTQ+ Patients With Cancer Need Education Tailored to Their Identity
More than two-thirds of patients who identify as LGBTQ+ lack at least one vital health education resource tailored to their identity, researchers reported in study findings presented at the 15th American Association for Cancer Research Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved. Additionally, nearly three-quarters of those patients desire posttreatment plans that include LGBTQ+ specific information.
Transform LGBTQ+ Cancer Care With These Evidence-Based Nursing Strategies
Less than 20% of National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program practices routinely report collecting sexual orientation and gender identity data, limiting the available evidence to support recommendations for oncology nursing care of a vulnerable LGBTQ+ population that faces biases, stigma, cultural insensitivity, inequities, and disparities. In a 2022 Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing article, ONS member Georgina T. Rodgers, BSN, RN, OCN®, NE-BC, and colleagues evaluated the latest studies to identify best practices and care considerations for LGBTQ+ patients with cancer.
Motivate Your Patients to Make Healthy Choices With This Communication Approach
The physical and emotional side effects of cancer treatments can force patients to make undesired lifestyle changes. After treatment ends, their friends and family may expect them to resume their former roles and activities, yet long-term effects can leave patients discouraged. When compared with healthy peers, cancer survivors experience higher levels of pain, depression, and anxiety, which can decrease their motivation to make healthy choices. Culture, coping style, and socioeconomic status may further compound the issue.
FDA Approves Olaparib Plus Abiraterone and Prednisone or Prednisolone for BRCA-Variant, Metastatic, Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer
On May 31, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved olaparib (Lynparza®) plus abiraterone and prednisone or prednisolone for adult patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious BRCA variant, metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer, as determined by an FDA-approved companion diagnostic test.
Transgender Patient Populations
Transgender individuals often experience poor health outcomes, particularly when it comes to cancer. Compared with cisgender individuals, transgender individuals may be diagnosed with cancer at later stages, be less likely to receive treatment, and have worse survival for many cancer types. The disparities extend to survivorship, where transgender people report significant unmet needs, including lack of coordination between gender-affirming care and cancer care, oncology clinician understanding of transgender patient care needs, and transgender-specific resources.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Updates Cancer Screening Recommendations
Because of insufficient evidence, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF’s) 2023 skin cancer recommendations advise that “the balance of benefits and harms for visual skin examination by a clinician to screen for skin cancer in asymptomatic adolescents and adults cannot be determined.” For breast cancer, the USPSTF’s 2023 recommendation stated that all women should get screened every other year, starting at age 40.
APRNs Develop Institutional Bladder Irrigation Guideline That Dramatically Reduces CAUTI Rates
Implementing intermittent bladder irrigation guidelines reduces catheter-associated urinary tract infection rates by more than 80%, ONS member Christine Wallace, MSN, APRN-CNS, said during a podium presentation at the 48th Annual ONS Congress® in April 2023.
Genetic Disorder Reference Sheet: FH Tumor Predisposition Syndrome
Fumarate hydratase deficiency occurs in individuals who have homozygous pathogenic variants in the tumor suppressor FH gene. The condition results in poor feeding, failure to thrive, hypotonia, lethargy, and seizures. Development is severely delayed, and individuals are often nonverbal, unable to walk, and die in early childhood.
ICU Medical Recalls Replacement Batteries for Plum Infusion Systems Because Diminished Battery Life Can Affect Infusion Delivery
On May 22, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported ICU Medical’s recall of replacement batteries for its Plum 360™, Plum A+™, and Plum A+3 infusion systems because of a manufacturing defect that can substantially diminish how long the batteries can run the system. FDA identified it as a class I recall, the most serious type of recall, where use may cause serious injuries or death.
AYA Champions Clinic Fills Gaps in Care and Addresses Unmet Needs
Nearly all adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with cancer who use the services of a population-specific clinic would recommend it to other AYAs with cancer, researchers reported during a session at the 48th Annual ONS Congress® in April 2023. They said that more than 90,000 AYAs aged 15–39 are diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States, a critical life stage in which cancer can deeply affect individuals’ social, developmental, educational, professional, and financial growth, making services like specialized clinics critical to an AYA patient population.
Oncology Drug Reference Sheet: Mosunetuzumab-Axgb
In an open-label, multicenter, multicohort study that included 90 patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma who had received at least two prior lines of systemic therapy, 60% of patients receiving treatment with mosunetuzumab-axgb achieved a complete response and 80% had an overall response. On December 22, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted mosunetuzumab-axgb accelerated approval based on those findings.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Epcoritamab-Bysp for Relapsed or Refractory Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and High-Grade B-Cell Lymphoma
On May 19, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to epcoritamab-bysp (Epkinly®) for relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, including DLBCL arising from indolent lymphoma, and high-grade B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy.
Two Oncology Nurses Implement Process to Allow Patients to Disconnect Pumps From the Comfort of Their Own Homes
The explosion of telehealth transitioned many aspects of cancer care to patients and caregivers as home-based options. However, as with any shift in procedure, disconnecting their own pumps requires additional preparation and processes. Two oncology nurses share how they set up systems to support safe home care for pump disconnection.
When Delirium Is Recognized and Addressed Early, Patient Outcomes Improve
An “acute state of confusion resulting from organic brain dysfunction,” delirium is a medical emergency that can be highly distressing to both patients and caregivers. Approximately 2.6 million older adults experience delirium each year.
NCPD Podcasts Increase Oncology Nurses’ Confidence and Competence in Managing Toxicities
Listening to educational podcasts improves oncology nurse learners’ knowledge of managing treatment-related adverse events by 11%–27% and safety by 24%, researchers reported during a podium presentation at the 48th Annual ONS Congress® in April 2023.
Advancements in Childhood Cancer Move Toward Personalized Treatments
Personalizing cancer treatments through targeted drugs and customized doses can make strides in care for pediatric patients with cancer, cancer specialists said in the National Institutes of Health's News in Health.
Nurse-Pharmacist Collaboration Improves HSCT Patient Outcomes
Collaborative, interprofessional care for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients improves time to electrolyte repletion; reduces cardiac adverse events, oral mucositis severity, and bloodstream infections; and improves use of patient-controlled anesthesia, researchers reported in study findings presented at the 48th Annual ONS Congress® in April 2023.
As Institutions Establish Oral Agent Workflows, Savvy Educators Help Nurses Apply Them to Practice
Oncology nursing is a hands-on practice, and nurses’ learning must be hands-on, too. Allowing your colleagues to try out what you teach further solidifies their foundational knowledge and new concepts. With the use of oral oncolytic agents exploding in oncology care, we must adapt and learn the ins and outs of these agents. As a unit educator at The University of Kansas Cancer Center in Westwood, I help nursing staff understand my cancer center’s oral agent refill process.
The Oncology Nurse’s Role in Oral Anticancer Therapies
The expansion of oral chemotherapy agents since 2000 has transformed the treatment landscape. More than 150 novel oral anticancer medications are currently U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved, with new agents continuously in the pipeline. When caring for patients who are taking oral therapies, oncology nurses and pharmacists can work together to handle drug refills, deliver patient education, and manage the entire treatment cycle—including adverse events.
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Specific Lots of Fentanyl Buccal Tablets CII Because of Labeling Error
On April 27, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., issued a voluntary recall of certain lots of fentanyl buccal tablets, a schedule II substance, to the consumer level because safety updates were omitted in the lots’ product insert/medication guide. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., manufactured and labeled the product lots exclusively for Mayne Pharma, Inc.
The Case of the Biomarker Database Discoveries
Macy is a 57-year-old patient with a history of hormone receptor–positive invasive ductal carcinoma of the right breast, diagnosed in 2017. She achieved complete remission after chemotherapy with anthracycline plus paclitaxel followed by bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction in 2018.
Most Cancer Screening Guidelines Don’t Disclose Potential Harms
For nearly 2,500 years, nonmaleficence, or “do no harm,” has been a fundamental tenet of medical ethics. Yet none of today’s U.S. breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, or prostate cancer screening guidelines report all of the harms associated with screening tests, researchers said in study results published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Oncology Drug Reference Sheet: Nadofaragene Firadenovec-Vncg
Under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) fast-track approval process, nadofaragene firadenovec-vncg (Adstiladrin®) became the first gene therapy approved for the treatment of high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Approximately 75% of newly diagnosed bladder cancers are classified as non-muscle invasive. Bacillus Calmette Guérin has been used as first-line therapy for more than 20 years, but eventually 30%–50% of patients stop responding, and nadofaragene firadenovec-vncg offers a new treatment option. FDA’s December 2022 approval was based on complete response (CR) and duration of response from Study CS-003, which demonstrated a 46% CR for at least one year.
FDA Approves Polatuzumab Vedotin-piiq for Previously Untreated Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, Not Otherwise Specified, and High-Grade B-Cell Lymphoma
On April 19, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved polatuzumab vedotin-piiq (Polivy®) with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and prednisone for adult patients who have previously untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified, or high-grade B-cell lymphoma and who have an International Prognostic Index score of 2 or greater.