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.
CMS Promotes Plans to Build a System for Patient Safety
Across disciplines, all healthcare providers take a practice oath that supports the principle of nonmaleficence (“first, do no harm”)—and so does the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), several agency leaders wrote in a March 2023 blog post. The authors called for increased awareness of patient safety and highlighted ways CMS is taking action.
FDA Approves Omidubicel-onlv to Reduce Time to Neutrophil Recovery and Infection in Patients With Hematologic Malignancies
On April 17, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved omidubicel-onlv (Omisirge®) for use in adult and pediatric patients aged 12 years and older with hematologic malignancies receiving umbilical cord blood transplantation following myeloablative conditioning to reduce the time to neutrophil recovery and the incidence of infection.
Around the Globe, Oncology Nurses Are Doing What They Can to Make a Difference
Cancer knows no boundaries, geographic borders included. Although the United States has made incredible progress in reducing both incidence and mortality rates, the truth remains that cancer’s global burden is much greater. More than 70% of the world’s total new annual cases of cancer will occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America, and many patients in those countries lack access to quality cancer care.
FDA Recommends Stopping Use of Certain Owens and Minor Halyard Surgical N95 Respirators, Surgical Masks, and Pediatric Face Masks Because of Risk of Protection Failure
On April 12, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety communication to healthcare providers, institutions, and consumers recommending that they do not use certain surgical N95 respirators manufactured by Owens and Minor Halyard and that they use certain surgical masks and pediatric face masks from Owens and Minor Halyard with caution. The recommendation comes after the masks failed fluid resistance performance tests.
Task Force Recommends Patient Navigation Services Increase Certain Cancer Screening to Advance Health Equity
Patient navigation services must increase breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening for disadvantaged racial and ethnic populations and people with lower incomes, the Community Preventive Services Task Force recommended. Patient navigation services, coupled with timely and appropriate follow-up care and treatment, could improve health equity for these groups, in some cases reducing cancer mortality and incidence, the task force added.
Add Meaning to Your Communication With This Key Element
Meaningful communication involves more than just words traded between people. By asking open-ended questions, affirming a person’s strengths, offering reflections, and providing a summary of the conversation, you can engage others in meaningful conversation.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Enfortumab Vedotin-Ejfv With Pembrolizumab for Locally Advanced or Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma
On April 3, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to enfortumab vedotin-ejfv (Padcev®) with pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) for patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who are ineligible for cisplatin-containing chemotherapy.
FDA Proposes Guidelines and Restrictions for Blood Donations
Taking into consideration the history of HIV/AIDS and upholding COVID-19–related guidelines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed adjusting blood donor eligibility from time-based deferrals to assessing donor eligibility using gender-inclusive, individual risk-based questions to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted HIV.
Advance Care Planning
Advance care planning (ACP) is an integral part of treatment planning that supports patients at any age or stage of health in understanding and sharing their personal values, life goals, and preferences regarding future medical care. ACP is individualized to each patient’s unique circumstances, with more support and specific decision-making provided as the planning progresses. It’s particularly important for patients with cancer, but communication challenges can delay ACP initiation.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Retifanlimab-Dlwr for Metastatic or Recurrent Locally Advanced Merkel Cell Carcinoma
On March 22, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to retifanlimab-dlwr (Zynyz®) for adult patients with metastatic or recurrent locally advanced Merkel cell carcinoma.
FDA Updates Mammography Regulations to Promote Better Screenings and Communication for Patients
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated its mammography regulations in March 2023 to require institutions to notify patients about their breast density. The updated regulations strengthen FDA’s oversight and enforcement of institutions and help healthcare providers better categorize and assess mammograms.
FDA Approves Dabrafenib With Trametinib for Pediatric Patients With Low-Grade Glioma and a BRAF V600E Variant
On March 16, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved dabrafenib (Tafinlar®) with trametinib (Mekinist®) for pediatric patients aged one year and older with low-grade glioma (LGG) that have a BRAF V600E variant who require systemic therapy. FDA also approved new oral formulations of both drugs for patients who cannot swallow pills. It is the first FDA approval of a systemic therapy for first-line treatment of pediatric patients with LGG that have a BRAF V600E variant.
Thousands of Fraudulent Nursing Diplomas Distributed in Fake Nursing License Scheme
More than two dozen people were charged for alleged participation in a wire fraud scheme that created an illegal licensing and employment shortcut for nursing candidates following an investigation launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and law enforcement in January 2023.
FDA Expands Early Breast Cancer Indication for Abemaciclib With Endocrine Therapy
On March 3, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved abemaciclib (Verzenio®) in combination with endocrine therapy (tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor) for the adjuvant treatment of adult patients with hormone receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, node-positive, early breast cancer who are at high risk for recurrence.
Gamification Helps Oncology Nurses Retain Their Cancer Knowledge and Best Practices
Whether it’s through conferences, podcasts, or journals and other articles, an oncology nurse’s quest for continuing their cancer care learning is ever extensive. Innovative educational methods like gamification can keep training fresh and encourage teamwork.
Oncology Drug Reference Sheet: Futibatinib
Patients with rare cancers like intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma seldom have many additional treatment options if their tumors become resistant to first-line therapy: From August 1, 2021–July 31, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved only five new agents or indications for rare tumors. On September 30, 2022, FDA added one more, giving futibatinib (Lytgobi™) accelerated approval for adult patients with previously treated, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma harboring fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 gene fusions or other rearrangements. The approval was based on the drug’s 42% overall response rate and median duration of response of 9.7 months.
Tip Sheet Helps Nurses Confront Systemic Racism by Providing Equitable Hair Care
Maintaining a patient’s personal grooming during an inpatient stay is an important aspect of holistic nursing care, but nurses and hospitals alike may fall short when it comes to textured hair care, nurses reported in the American Journal of Nursing.
Nurse-Led Bone Marrow Biopsy Clinics Truncate Time for Testing, Treatment
Patients with suspected hematologic cancers complete the bone marrow biopsy processes and begin treatment more than one month sooner when the procedures are shifted from interventional radiology to a dedicated, nurse-led bone marrow biopsy clinic, researchers reported in a poster presentation at the Association of VA Hematology/Oncology meeting.
Postdischarge ICI Patient Education Eliminates Hospital Readmissions
None of the patients who were admitted for an immune checkpoint inhibitor–related toxicity but received structured teaching at discharge were subsequently readmitted within 30 days, compared to nearly 50% of patients who did not receive teaching, ONS member Michelle L. Rohlfs, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, AOCNP®, reported in study findings published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing.
FDA Grants Regular Approval to Dostarlimab-Gxly for dMMR Endometrial Cancer
On February 9, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved dostarlimab-gxly (Jemperli®) for adult patients with mismatch repair deficient recurrent or advanced endometrial cancer, as determined by an FDA-approved test, that has progressed on or following a prior platinum-containing regimen in any setting and are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation.
Smiths Medical Recalls More Than 19 Million CADD System Administration Sets and Cassette Reservoirs Because of Medication Delivery Issues
On February 2, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported Smiths Medical’s recall of its CADD™ infusion system administration sets and cassette reservoirs because of tubing occlusions that may under- or not deliver medication and false no disposable attached alarms that may prevent pump use. FDA identified it as a class I recall, the most serious type of recall, where use may cause serious injuries or death.
How Nurses and Administrators Can Respond to the Prevalence of Violence in Health Care
As a clinician in inpatient cardiovascular and acute care nursing and as a healthcare administrator, like many of my colleagues across the nation, I have encountered many violent situations in the workplace. Healthcare workers account for 73% of all violence-related nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, and nurses bear the brunt of that statistic, with 44% reporting physical violence and 68% reporting verbal. In fact, in 2022, more than two nurses were assaulted every hour. The rate of violence-related injuries is higher in health care than in all other occupational settings. But data often reflects reported incidents of violence. Its true prevalence is likely much higher because workers may believe that violence is part of the job and don’t report events, and not all events cause an injury.
Violence in Nursing
Across all nursing specialties and settings, 60% of nurses reported experiencing an incident of workplace bullying and incivility and 29% confronted at least one incident of violence in 2022, according to the American Nurses Foundation 2022 Workplace Survey report. And it’s escalating—violence against hospital employees and healthcare professionals has increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, with 44% of nurses reporting having experienced physical violence and 67% verbal abuse between February and June 2020 alone.
Biden-Harris Administration’s COVID-19 Winter Preparedness Plan Improves Resource Availability
To try to get ahead of a feared increase of COVID-19 cases over the winter, the Biden-Harris administration released a COVID-19 winter preparedness plan in December 2022 that focuses on making vaccinations, testing, and other resources easily accessible.
Use Motivational Interviewing to Tailor Your Conversations to Your Patients’ Unique Needs
People encounter significant changes after being diagnosed with cancer. Oncology nurses can help patients and caregivers adapt by using motivational interviewing–based communication strategies.
FDA Approves Elacestrant for ER-Positive, HER2-Negative, ESR1-Variant Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancer
On January 27, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved elacestrant (Orserdu®) for postmenopausal women or adult men with estrogen receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, ESR1-variant advanced or metastatic breast cancer with disease progression following at least one line of endocrine therapy.
Focus on COVID-19 Prevention Intensifies for Patients With Cancer as FDA Removes Emergency Use Authorization for Evushield
On January 26, 2023 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration removed its emergency use authorization of tixagevimab/cilgavimab (Evushield) for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection after exposure to the virus. FDA said it made the decision because the agent is not effective in preventing infections from the current variants that are responsible for 90% of today’s infections and because the risks of the drug’s side effects do not outweigh the benefits.
FDA Approves Pembrolizumab as Adjuvant Treatment for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
On January 26, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) for adjuvant treatment following resection and platinum-based chemotherapy of patients with stage IB (T2a ≥ 4 cm), II, or IIIA non-small cell lung cancer.