Management Strategies for Cutaneous Toxicity From EGFR Inhibitors
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted therapy is effective for several solid tumor malignancies, primarily non-small cell lung cancer with EGFR mutation and metastatic colorectal cancer. Although the agents spare patients from typical side effects seen with more conventional cytotoxic chemotherapies, such as nausea or vomiting, they do have a unique side-effect profile, including potentially dose-limiting cutaneous toxicity.
FDA Approves Tivozanib for Relapsed or Refractory Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma
On March 10, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved tivozanib (Fotivda®), a kinase inhibitor, for adult patients with relapsed or refractory advanced renal cell carcinoma following two or more prior systemic therapies. FDA approved the application three weeks ahead of its goal date.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Axicabtagene Ciloleucel for Relapsed or Refractory Follicular Lymphoma
On March 5, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta®) for adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy.
FDA Approves Lorlatinib for ALK-Positive Metastatic NSCLC
On March 3, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted regular approval to lorlatinib (Lorbrena®) for patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors are anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive, as detected by an FDA-approved test. FDA also approved the Ventana ALK (D5F3) CDx Assay as a companion diagnostic for lorlatinib.
Nursing Considerations for Colorectal Cancer Survivorship Care
As the third most common cancer among both men and women, colorectal cancer is a reality for the more than 1 million people in the United States who are living with or have a history of the disease. Advancements in early detection and treatment have improved outcomes, but many survivors experience late and long-term side effects that may vary in duration, intensity, and impact on their quality of life. Clinicians must tailor each survivorship care plan for a patient’s cancer type, stage, treatment received, psychosocial implications, and side effects or toxicities. Studies have shown that experiencing long-term side effects and symptoms can reduce survivors’ quality of life.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Melphalan Flufenamide for Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma
On February 26, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to melphalan flufenamide (Pepaxto®) in combination with dexamethasone for adults with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who received at least four prior lines of therapy and whose disease is refractory to at least one proteasome inhibitor, one immunomodulatory agent, and one CD-38–directed monoclonal antibody.
Self-Care Is Essential When Working Remotely
Did you ever imagine that you could do your job remotely? I did not, but that’s what I’m doing right now. Working remotely has become the new normal for certain professional roles, including some in nursing. An estimated 31% of new hires since March 2020 work from home. In February 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released social distancing guidelines and recommended the use of telehealth for patient visits. In March 2020, telehealth visits increased 154% compared to March 2019. Working at home has affected both healthcare workers and patients.
FDA Approves Cemiplimab-Rwlc for NSCLC With High PD-L1 Expression
On February 22, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved cemiplimab-rwlc (Libtayo®) for the first-line treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who are not candidates for surgical resection or definitive chemoradiation and whose tumors have high PD-L1 expression (tumor proportion score ≥ 50%) as determined by an FDA-approved test, with no estimated aberrations to glomerular filtration rate, anaplastic lymphoma kinase, or receptor tyrosine kinase (encoded by the ROS1 gene).
Be Alert for Axillary Adenopathy After COVID-19 Vaccination
Nearly 60 million people in the United States and almost 200 million around the world have received the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine as of mid-February 2021, and the numbers will continue to grow as more doses come to market and other manufacturers’ versions receive emergency use authorizations. As more people get vaccinated, some of the expected side effects are being observed in clinical practice and have implications for cancer care.
FDA Approves Trilaciclib to Reduce Chemotherapy-Induced Myelosuppression
On February 12, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved trilaciclib (Cosela™) as the first therapy in its class to reduce the frequency of chemotherapy-induced myelosuppression in adults receiving certain types of chemotherapy for extensive-stage small cell lung cancer. Trilaciclib inhibits cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (CDK 4/6) enzymes to prevent bone marrow damage.
Inclusion in National Repository Helps Move ONS Guidelines™ Evidence to Practice
When they launched in 2020, oncology nurses recognized the first five ONS Guidelines™ for cancer treatment-related symptoms and adverse events as the evidence-based standard for patient care. Now, the ECRI Guidelines Trust, a national evaluation organization, has given them that distinction as well, including all of ONS’s current guidelines in its repository.
FDA Approves Cemiplimab-Rwlc for Locally Advanced and Metastatic Basal Cell Carcinoma
On February 9, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved cemiplimab-rwlc (Libtayo®) for use in patients with locally advanced basal cell carcinoma previously treated with a hedgehog pathway inhibitor (HHI) or for whom an HHI is not appropriate. FDA also granted accelerated approval to cemiplimab-rwlc for patients with metastatic BCC previously treated with an HHI or for whom an HHI is not appropriate.
FDA Approves Lisocabtagene Maraleucel for Relapsed or Refractory Large B-Cell Lymphoma
On February 5, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved lisocabtagene maraleucel (Breyanzi®) for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma not otherwise specified—including DLBCL arising from indolent lymphoma—high-grade B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, and follicular lymphoma grade 3B.
Nursing Considerations for Lymphoma Survivorship Care
As treatments have advanced and patients and providers have more options, cure and survivorship rates for lymphomas are improving: five-year survival rates for Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are 86% and 71%, respectively. Despite good results from treatment, research indicates that lymphoma survivors carry a significant amount of late and chronic effects. Even in a complete remission, late effects of treatment present a burden for patients' physical and psychosocial well-being.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Tepotinib for Metastatic NSCLC
On February 3, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to tepotinib (Tepmetko®) for adult patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring mesenchymal-epithelial transition exon 14 skipping alterations.
Oncology Drug Reference Sheet: Tafasitamab-Cxix
Tafasitamab-cxix (Monjuvi®) received accelerated approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2020 in combination with lenalidomide for adults with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Genetic Disorder Reference Sheet: Lynch Syndrome (Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer)
Lynch syndrome, now referred to as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), was first identified in a family in 1895. In 1966, Henry Lynch reported a series of families with colon and other cancers in the Nebraska area. Today, the evidence shows that HNPCC is associated with germline pathogenic variants in the MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2, and EPCAM genes.
FDA Approves Nivolumab Plus Cabozantinib for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma
On January 22, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nivolumab (Opdivo®) in combination with cabozantinib (Cabometyx®) as first-line treatment for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.
The Case of the Targeted Therapy Toxicities
Three years ago, Tony, a 42-year-old man, began FOLFOX chemotherapy treatment for stage III colon cancer and achieved a complete response. Two years later, a biopsy of an intraabdominal lesion uncovered metastatic disease, and he was prescribed the epidermal growth factor inhibitor (EGFRi) cetuximab. Alex, the oncology nurse educating Tony on the side effects of EGFRi therapy, understands that skin toxicities are common with the class of drugs and looks for national guidelines for prevention and management direction.
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.
Sunstar Americas, Inc., Expands Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Paroex® Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse USP, 0.12%, for Microbial Contamination
On December 28, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that Sunstar Americas, Inc., expanded its October 27, 2020, voluntary recall of Paroex® chlorhexidine gluconate oral Rinse USP, 0.12%, because of possible contaminated with the bacteria Burkholderia lata.
Oncology Drug Reference Sheet: Alpelisib
When used in combination with fulvestrant, alpelisib (Piqray®) produced complete or partial responses in 29% of patients with PIK3CA-altered, estrogen receptor-positive advanced breast cancer in clinical trials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it for use in 2019.
The Case of the Virtual Venture
Staff in an oncology infusion unit located in an urban healthcare system watched as patient and caregiver stress increased during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and the November 2020 U.S. presidential elections. During a team meeting, Holly, one of the nurses, brought up a study she read about that used virtual reality (VR) as a distraction for patients undergoing chemotherapy. The staff was interested in implementing a similar program at their institution but wasn’t sure how to start. What would you do?
FDA Approves Pralsetinib for RET-Altered Thyroid Cancers
On December 1, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pralsetinib for patients aged 12 years and older with advanced or metastatic RET-mutant medullary thyroid cancer who require systemic therapy or RET fusion-positive therapy and who are refractory to radioactive iodine (if radioactive iodine is appropriate).
Harnessing the Power of Genes
Since the mapping of the human genome in 2003, genetic testing has rapidly evolved from single-gene tests to more complex profiles that measure multiple genes; it’s now part of standard care for many cancer types. Precision oncology allows clinicians to take patient-specific genomic factors into consideration when making treatment decisions, which can lead to improved outcomes, lower overall cost, and fewer side effects.
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.
Oncology Drug Reference Sheet: Selpercatinib
In May 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave accelerated approval for selpercatinib (Retevmo®) to treat RET-altered non-small cell lung cancer or thyroid cancer based on overall response rate and duration of response. Selpercatinib fights cancer by impeding RET protein activity. The determining clinical trial results demonstrated that it reduced tumor size in more than 50% of patients and was associated with fewer adverse reactions than other drugs that block the RET protein.
Aspirin’s Cancer Benefits May Not Translate to Older Adults
Healthy older adults who take daily low-dose aspirin have increased risk of being diagnosed with advanced cancers and dying from cancer, according to findings from a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The Case of the Chronic Cancer Condition
Lisa, a 32-year-old tax accountant, completed treatment for stage III triple-negative breast cancer 18 months ago. During a follow-up appointment, Lisa reported worsening headaches and difficulty concentrating at work. A magnetic resonance imaging scan and subsequent biopsy revealed a solitary brain lesion. She completed stereotactic brain radiation two months ago.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Pembrolizumab for Locally Recurrent Unresectable or Metastatic TNBC
On November 13, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to pembrolizumab in combination with chemotherapy for the treatment of patients with locally recurrent unresectable or metastatic triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) whose tumors express PD-L1 (combined positive score [CPS] ≥ 10) as determined by an FDA-approved test. FDA also approved the PD-L1 IHC 22C3 pharmDx as a companion diagnostic for selecting patients with TNBC for pembrolizumab.
Manage Cancer Treatment-Related Skin Toxicities With ONS Guidelines™
From chemotherapy to immunotherapy, many of today’s cancer treatments are associated with skin toxicities. Left unmanaged, they can affect patients’ activities of daily living, self-image, and overall quality of life and may lead to treatment disruptions, delays, or even discontinuation.
The Case of the Terrible Taste
Tanya is a 46-year-old woman with leukemia. She recently finished induction therapy, and her oncologist told her she is ready to receive a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. You speak with Tanya about what to expect in the upcoming weeks before her transplant, but she interrupts you: “Nothing tastes good anymore. I am so scared because I thought I completed chemotherapy. The doctor just told me I have to get more before my transplant. Every time I get chemotherapy, I lose my appetite.”
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Prevention, Screening, Diagnosis, Treatment, Side Effects, and Survivorship
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for about one quarter of cancer deaths, and more than a quarter of million lung cancer diagnoses are projected in the United States for 2020. Lung cancer has various types, pathologies, and histologies, each with its own prognosis and treatment plan. Non-small cell lung cancer consists of about 80%–85% of lung cancer diagnoses.
Technology in Cancer Care
Technology is synonymous with modern-day health care, and the experiences of 2020 have shown that telehealth allows clinicians to provide care along every inch of the cancer continuum. Although we’ve seen it used most recently to provide continuity of care from the safety of patients’ homes, one of telehealth's bigger purposes is overcoming geographic and practical disparities to enable more patients to access quality cancer care.
The Evolving Landscape of Cell Transplant Therapy in Cancer Care
Each year more than 50,000 stem cell transplantations are completed worldwide. The stimulation, harvesting, and therapeutic use of patient and donor cells has evolved as a treatment for diverse cancer diagnoses, and specially trained nurses are at the heart of the clinical trials and care delivery to propel cell transplant therapy across practice settings.
Get Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Genomics and Cancer Questions
Approximately 700 members responded to ONS’s 2020 genomics survey, which gauged oncology nurses’ current genomic knowledge, applications in practice, and the specific questions they have about genetics and genomics. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions based on the survey responses.
Study Links HPV Vaccine to Reduced Rates of Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer rates have dropped more than 90% among women who received the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, according to the results of a Swedish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Global health leaders are calling it a milestone study.
Oncology Drug Reference Sheet: Lurbinectedin
In June 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to lurbinectedin (ZepzelcaTM) for adults with metastatic small cell lung cancer (SCLC) whose disease has progressed on or after platinum-based chemotherapy. The approval adds a second choice for patients who experience treatment-resistant SCLC progression, who previously had only topotecan as an option.
Manage Malnutrition’s Monstrous Consequences in Patients With Cancer
Nutritional status is one aspect of cancer care that may often be overlooked. Patients, particularly those with esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, and non-small cell lung cancers, have increased nutritional requirements because of their high resting energy expenditure. Treatment side effects further hinder a patient’s desire and ability to eat, creating a wider gap between energy intake and energy needs and placing patients with cancer at high risk for malnutrition.
Breast Cancer Prevention, Screening, Diagnosis, Treatment, Side Effect, and Survivorship Considerations
In the United States, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. One in eight women will develop invasive disease in their lifetime with approximately 270,00 new cases diagnosed in the United States in 2019. Caucasian women have the highest incidence rate, whereas African American women are most likely to die from the disease. The five-year survival rate is 91%, with an estimated 3.8 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States.
Manage Cancer Treatment-Related Lymphedema With ONS Guidelines™
Surgical treatment for breast, gynecologic, prostate, lymphoma, melanoma, or head and neck cancers puts patients at risk for developing secondary lymphedema at any point in the remainder of their life. Studies show that as many as 10%–40% of patients with breast cancer may experience breast cancer–related lymphedema.
New Treatments in Radiation Oncology
Included in the treatment plan for approximately 50% of all patients with cancer, radiotherapy (RT) is a significant component of cancer care. RT is a technology-driven oncology modality, which means it has continually evolved since being introduced in cancer care in the early 20th century.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Survivorship Recommendations
Lymphomas are hematologic malignancies, specifically of the lymphatic system. They are classified into two types: Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin (NHL). NHL is the seventh most common cancer in the United States and Hodgkin seen much less frequently as the 26th, but new treatment options have improved survival rates.
Oncology Drug Reference Sheet: Zanubrutinib
Zanubrutinib (BrukinsaTM) received U.S. Food and Drug Administration accelerated approval on November 14, 2019, for the treatment of adult patients with mantle cell lymphoma who have received at least one prior therapy.
A Primer on Urothelial Cancer
The urinary system, including the bladder, ureters, urethra, and renal pelvis, is lined with urothelial tissue. Urothelial carcinoma is the predominant histologic type of cancer in that system, and 90% of tumors are located in the bladder. With more than 81,400 new cases and nearly 18,000 deaths estimated for 2020, bladder cancer is the fifth most prevalent type of cancer in the United States.
Always Search for Ways to Connect With Patients
While working in a palliative care clinic, I developed a connection with one of my patients through an unexpected medium: word search puzzles. She was doing one the first time I entered her exam room, so I introduced myself and asked if it was a difficult one.
What Is a Genomic Variant?
The Human Genome Project determined the DNA sequence (order of base pairs) of the entire human genome. Humans are 99.9% identical at the level of base pair ordering, but the 0.1% difference contributes to disease risk. Upon completion of the human genetic blueprint, research turned to identifying and cataloguing genomic variation as well as determining the clinical relevance of variants.
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.
The Case of the Delicate Discussion
Over the past three years, Sharon, age 38, has been intermittently receiving treatment for ovarian cancer. She was initially treated with carboplatin and paclitaxel and remained in remission for 20 months. She responded well to second-line therapy (carboplatin, gemcitabine, and bevacizumab), remaining on bevacizumab maintenance until she experienced a relapse eight months later.