Genetic Disorder Reference Sheet: HOXB13
An altered HOXB13 gene may increase a patient’s risk for developing prostate cancer. The HOXB13 gene is expressed in the prostate beginning in early development and affects prostate cell proliferation and differentiation and androgen receptor regulation. When it acts as a tumor suppressor gene, HOXB13 codes for a protein that regulates cell division. However, altered copies of HOXB13 are inactivated, meaning that it does not function properly or does not produce the protein it codes for, resulting in uncontrolled cell division.
What the Evidence Says About Probiotics and Cancer Immunotherapy
Growing evidence suggests that the gut microbiome, a diverse and complex mix of microorganisms and their metabolites, is closely linked to the immune system, and researchers are studying whether modulating the gut microbiome affects cancer immunotherapy treatment outcomes. In particular, probiotics—which are flora typically obtained through dietary sources such as yogurt and fermented foods or via supplemental forms—are gaining prominence as a potential strategy to modulate the gut microbiome during cancer treatment.
Oncology Nurse Uses Retirement to Help Patients and Healthcare Professionals Understand Pancreatic Cancer Biomarker Testing Results
In June 2021, I was at a crossroads in my career. I had been an oncology nurse practitioner for the past 14 years, and it was time to decide if I should retire as a provider. Yet I felt like I still had more to do and more patients to help. I was determined to make a difference for patients with cancer.
PARP Inhibitors and Ovarian Cancer
Before poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase inhibitors were approved for ovarian cancer, traditional treatment consisted of surgical cytoreduction and platinum-based chemotherapy with a taxane, with or without bevacizumab, depending on stage and type. With the surgery-chemotherapy combination, 70%–75% of patients had recurrence and overall five-year survival rate were 29%, indicating a need for additional therapies.
Educational Resources Will Help Biomarkers Have Even More Impact
My passion for biomarkers lies in research, specifically clinical trials. The incorporation of biomarkers in oncology clinical trials has been an important advancement in research, and we’ve seen the effect on improving patient outcomes. Identification of pathogenic variants is essential to prescribing personalized therapy for patients with cancer.
Communication Models Help Nurses Confidently Address Sexual Concerns in Patients With Cancer
Sexual dysfunction is one of the most common side effects of cancer treatment, yet oncology professionals often under address patients’ sexuality and sexual dysfunction concerns. Providers cite lack of time, training, and resources as barriers to initiating important discussions about sexual side effects, and studies show that patients’ age and prognosis are additional hindering factors.
Understand Genomic Variants to Confidently Educate Your Patients
Nurses’ consistent and correct use of genomics terminology is critical to reduce confusion and provide safe genomics care to patients and their families, especially when explaining the meaning of genomic tests or findings.
Put Underserved Populations at the Forefront of the Sexual Health Conversation
Cancer and its treatments can affect a patient’s body in many ways, including sexual function. However, the historical evidence base is focused on cisgender men and their sexual health post-cancer treatment, with sexual health of women and LGBTQIA+ patients largely ignored. I, and many others, are working to change these disparities in research and practice.
What Is HER2-Low Breast Cancer?
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) proteins are involved in normal cellular growth and are found on the surface of all breast cells. Approximately 20% of breast cancers are HER2 positive, meaning they have high levels of HER2 protein, and those cancers typically grow and metastasize more quickly than other types of breast cancer.
Oncology Drug Reference Sheet: Fam-Trastuzumab Deruxtecan-Nxki
Bringing the first agent to market for the indication, on August 5, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki (Enhertu®) for patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-low breast cancer based on results from the DESTINY-Breast04 trial that demonstrated improved progression-free and overall survival. FDA also gave fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan its fourth approval on August 11, 2022, for unresectable or metastatic HER2-activating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Diverse Nursing Research Tackles Current Medical Challenges and Looks Toward Future
The National Institute of Nursing Research, an National Institutes of Health agency, released its 2022–2026 strategic plan in summer 2022 to support its mission of leading “nursing research to solve pressing health challenges and inform practice and policy—optimizing health and advancing health equity into the future.”
Strategies to Promote Safe Medication Administration Practices
Medication administration is a high-risk process that requires critical thinking, efficient decision-making, attention to detail, and a foundational knowledge of basic pharmacology. The process is not a single task but a cascade of events that include handling, ordering, preparing, dispensing, administering, and monitoring. Although nurses’ involvement varies at each phase, the risk for errors always exists, and consequences can have a lifelong impact on patients, families, and healthcare workers. Nurses can use the following strategies in their responsibility as the last line of defense for safe medication administration.
NIH Climate Change and Health Initiative Rallies Efforts to Address the Dangers of the Environment on Health
The National Institutes of Health launched the Climate Change and Health Initiative to expand knowledge and address key challenges regarding the environment’s impact on health and conditions like cancer in a collaborating all-hands-on-deck scientific effort, Richard Woychik, PhD, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, said in a blog post in July 2022.
ANA Adopts Statement to Address Past Racial Harms and Build a Better Future
Recognizing past actions, seeking forgiveness, and outlining its approach for the future, the American Nurses Association unanimously adopted a racial reckoning statement in June 2022. According to the association, the statement was the first step in acknowledging previous actions that have impacted nurses of color and perpetuated systemic racism.
FDA Approves Sodium Thiosulfate for Cisplatin-Associated Ototoxicity in Pediatric Patients
On September 20, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of sodium thiosulfate (Pedmark®) to reduce the risk of ototoxicity associated with cisplatin in pediatric patients aged 1 month and older with localized, nonmetastatic solid tumors.
Show Us Your Practice Through Our New Video Series
Do you have experience in educating your team on policies and procedures? How about a go-to nursing hack? Share your experiences and expertise through ONS Voice’s new video series, My Practice. Use this opportunity to connect with colleagues around the country and help us provide innovative ideas and solutions to nursing practice everywhere.
FDA Publishes Three New Biosimilars Resources for Healthcare Providers
To raise awareness and better educate patients and providers about biosimilars’ potential in clinical care, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) added three new fact sheets to its healthcare provider resources in July 2022.
Monkeypox Fact Sheet and Implications for Patients With Cancer
In May 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began tracking cases of monkeypox in the United States, a disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. As of August 2022, 48 U.S states have reported at least some level of monkeypox diagnoses, and the World Health Organization declared the virus a global public health emergency.
Promote Patient Self-Advocacy Across the Cancer Spectrum
Healthcare professionals are called to provide patient-centered care in an environment where they listen to patients’ goals and desires and support patient autonomy. However, heeding that call requires patients’ participation to voice their needs and concerns, and some patients may be reluctant to speak up for themselves.
Genetic Disorder Reference Sheet: Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 is an autosomal dominant disease that occurs because of germline pathogenic variants in the rearranged during transfection (RET) proto-oncogene. The RET gene was isolated in 1993 and pathogenic variants affect 1–10 per 100,000 people. Approximately 50% of cases are de novo.
FDA Reports Recall of CVS Magnesium Citrate Saline Laxative Oral Solution Lemon Flavor Due to Microbial Contamination
On June 21, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported Vi-Jon, LLC’s, voluntarily recall of one lot of CVS magnesium citrate saline laxative oral solution lemon flavor, 10 fl oz (296 ml), after testing revealed the product contains the bacteria Gluconacetobacter liquefaciens.
Without My Fellowship Program and ONS, I Would Not Be the Nurse I Am Today
Cancer has affected my family, and I believe that experience made me more empathetic toward my patients. As an undergraduate nursing student, I had the privilege of participating in the Susan D. Flynn Oncology Fellowship program, which truly enabled me to appreciate just how special oncology nursing is before I entered the workforce. I have and always will continue to carry the lessons I learned from the experience throughout my professional career, and the opportunity it opened for me to get involved in ONS gave me an incredible resource and community as I advance in my practice.
Oncology Care Model Created New Opportunities for APRNs to Transform Cancer Care
Launched in 2016 as a pilot program from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center to develop new payment and delivery system models, the Oncology Care Model had a lofty goal: drive improvements in providing high-quality and cost-effective care.
FDA Reports BD’s Recall of Intraosseous Products
On June 22, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported Becton, Dickinson and Company’s (BD’s) voluntary recall of its intraosseous needle set kits, manual driver kits, and powered drivers. Use of the products could lead to needlestick injuries or delays in care because of limited or non-functioning intraosseous access.
Biden-Harris Administration Launches Initiative to Protect People’s Health From Climate Events
The well-established connection between climate change and health is back in the spotlight, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’s) Office of Climate Change and Health Equity launched a new observational initiative in May to identify strategies to protect the public.
ONS’s Clinical Decision Support Tool Brings Biomarker Advancements to the Point of Care
PITTSBURGH, PA—June 24, 2022—Curated by nurses, for nurses, ONS’s new Biomarker Database connects clinicians to information about therapeutic options for certain cancers and their associated biomarkers.
The Case of the Late Head and Neck Lymphedema
Samuel, a 55-year-old patient with a history of T3N1M0 oropharyngeal HPV+ cancer on the base of his tongue, underwent surgery followed by 70 Gy of intensity-modulated radiation over seven weeks with concurrent weekly cisplatin. He responded well and had a positron emission tomography (PET) scan three months post-treatment that showed no cancer. Two months later, Samuel calls the triage line to report swelling on the left side of his neck, the same area where he first noticed a lymph node that led to his initial diagnosis.
New FDA Standards for Tobacco and Menthol Products Reduces Cigarettes’ Appeal
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed two product standards in April 2022 aimed at banning flavored tobacco and menthol products. According to FDA, the proposed product standard would “reduce the appeal of cigarettes, particularly to youth and young adults, and thereby decrease the likelihood that nonusers who would otherwise experiment with menthol cigarettes would progress to regular smoking.”
HHS Announces $226.5 Million to Launch Community Health Worker Training Program
Created from $226.5 million in American Rescue Plan Funding, the Community Health Worker Training Program will increase the number of community health workers; mental health and substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery services; chronic disease care; and other important health services, according to an April 2022 press release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Climate Change Is Contributing to the Cancer Burden, and Nurses Must Take Action
Climate change affects more than weather patterns or the environment; it also has a substantial impact on human health. Its contribution to the cancer burden includes increased levels of carcinogens, comorbidity factors, cancer incidence, and cancer mortality and reduced access to care.
Mama at the Bar: Using Analogies to Understand Targeted Therapies
Analogies and visuals are powerful learning tools. If you’re one of the many nurses whose eyes glaze over when approaching genomics, consider connecting the “omics” concepts to interpretative visuals, clinical practice, and everyday life examples to enhance your learning and make the concepts more relevant to you. Here’s an example of how it can be done.
ONS Launches New Learning Extension Activities for Popular Cancer Basics Course
The Oncology Nursing Society’s (ONS’s) new Learning Extension Activities Plan (LEAP), an opportunity for student nurse learners to further develop their knowledge of some of the topics covered in ONS’s Cancer Basics course, was created to help faculty members teach oncology to nursing students.
Diversity in Nursing Begins at the Student Level
We must make a dedicated effort to increase diversity among nursing students at the college and university levels and support the inclusion of underrepresented minority, sexual minority, gender minority, and male student populations. Because of the country’s expanding immigration, increasing globalization, and minority population growth, we must have a diverse nursing workforce to meet the needs of patients and families from all backgrounds and communities.
Real-World Usage Reports Show That ONS Guidelines™ Empower Nurses to Provide Best Patient Care
Among their many benefits in practice, ONS Guidelines™ arm oncology nurses with the evidence to advocate for their patients’ care, according to findings from a fall 2021 focus group ONS conducted with nurses practicing at all levels of direct care.
Train and Retain: From Orientation to Leadership, Here Are the Strategies That Experienced Staff Developers Use
The oncology nursing specialty is in dire need of a solid foundation of eligible staff. As of 2020, more than 51% of the nursing workforce was aged 40 years or older, and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated underlying factors such as stress, physical and mental health, and inequities present in the profession for decades.
Bridge Educational Gaps by Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Virtual Programs
From elementary to college environments, virtual education is now commonplace, and, according to Jillian A. Russell, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, program manager at the Association for Nursing Professional Development, careful planning and creativity can make remote experiences just as—or even more—effective as traditional, in-person learning.
Nursing Representation Is Critical in All Industries—Even Those Outside of Health Care
Nurses’ skills, experiences, leadership, and voices are more relevant than ever before, and more and more ONS members are sharing their knowledge and expertise beyond the bedside to improve health throughout the community.
Coaching Roles Give Nurses New Avenues to Provide Patient-Centered Care
Nurses don’t always have to venture beyond the bedside for unique career change opportunities. Always innovating and evolving, the profession identifies new roles for clinical practice nurses to meet patients’ needs.
ONS Evaluates Educational Funding Landscape
During its June 10–11, 2021, meeting, the ONS Board of Directors held a joint session with the Oncology Nursing Foundation. In small group breakouts, both boards evaluated whether the Foundation’s current academic scholarship opportunities are adequate and responsive to the educational needs of the oncology nursing field. Findings from the sessions were compiled to inform additional discussion during future meetings.
Beyond the Bedside: Oncology Nurses Have Endless Opportunities in Unexpected Careers
As a nurse, you have a diverse arsenal of skills, from clinical competencies and leadership to problem-solving and interprofessional communication. That skillset easily transfers to a variety of careers outside of direct care.
10 Tools to Build Engagement and Learning in Your Professional Development Program
Even before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic’s push to virtual in almost every aspect of society, the trend away from traditional lecture-style learning and toward more interactive learning was well underway. The approach helps busy learners better understand, retain, and apply concepts in fast-paced and ever-changing environments, such as the field of oncology, Renee Davis, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, from ProDevo Design and Consulting, said on April 27, 2021, during a session for the 46th Annual ONS Congress™.
Nursing Students Connect Beyond the Classroom With ONS Resources
How does a new graduate nurse develop connections and community in the nursing world? We asked ourselves that exact question before graduating from Boise State University’s School of Nursing, where we served as copresidents of the school’s student nurses’ association. We wanted to bridge the gap between students and professional nurses, and the answer came soon after, when our local ONS chapter invited us to join and serve as student liaisons to its board of directors.
Lifelong Learning and Professional Development Are Crucial to Patient Outcomes
Cancer care is always changing, new science is constantly developing, and oncology nurses must work to keep up. ONS’s philosophy is that every nurse has room to develop knowledge, practice, and research. As an organization, we embody a commitment to lifelong learning and professional development because we understand that both are crucial to oncology nursing and patient outcomes.
How Does Nursing Certification Foster Lifelong Professional Development?
When I sat for the very first Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse (CPON®) examination through the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation in 1993, I had no idea how obtaining my certification would positively affect my career. I was one of four nurses from the University of North Carolina Hospitals who felt strongly as a group that we could and should pursue our CPON® certification, and we all passed the exam together.
Nurses Can Access $85.3 Million of HHS Workforce Funding Awards
Up to $85.3 million of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’s) $107.2 million is earmarked for nurses. The agency bestowed the awards in June 2020 to 310 recipients across 45 states and U.S. territories to increase the healthcare workforce in rural and underserved communities.
Use Evidence-Based Strategies for Managing Central Venous Catheters
Understanding evidence-based strategies for the management and administration of central venous catheters is crucial to the prevention of associated complications, MiKaela Olsen, DNP, APRN-CNS, AOCNS®, FAAN, said in a presentation for the inaugural ONS Bridge™ virtual conference. Oncology nurses need to be knowledgeable about vascular access to prevent complications and ensure optimal outcomes for patients.
Learning in the Face of Adversity: Nurse Residency and COVID-19
Today’s new normal has changed everything at home, from what we wear to how we teach our children—and in the oncology nursing workplace, from new precautions to the rise of telehealth. It’s also affected nurse residency programs, but one institution has thrived as it adjusted.