NIH HEAL Initiative Commits $945 Million to Opioid Research
Designated as a national epidemic, opioid addiction and abuse are front and center at the federal level as lawmakers work to support the discovery of new treatments and resources to curb the growing problem. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), with support from the White House, Congress, and the Department of Health and Human Services, awarded $945 million in funding for grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements across 41 states for the Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) Initiative. Targeting novel chronic pain interventions, opioid abuse, and the addiction crisis, the HEAL Initiative will funnel funding and resources into efforts that can make an impact immediately and in the future for healthcare providers and their patients.
irAEs Linked to Improved Benefit From Pembrolizumab
Patients with advanced melanoma who received adjuvant therapy with pembrolizumab and subsequently developed immune-related adverse events (irAEs) saw a 63% reduced risk of recurrence, compared to 44% for those who did not develop irAEs. The study findings were presented at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.
Vaccine May Boost CAR T-Cell Activity in Solid Tumors
Researchers are testing a new approach using an amphiphilic cancer vaccine to deliver CAR T-cell therapy to solid tumors, and the results of preclinical studies are promising, according to findings published in the journal Science.
FDA Approves Combination Pembrolizumab Plus Lenvatinib
On September 17, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to the combination of pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) plus lenvatinib (Lenvima®) for the treatment of patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma that is not microsatellite instability high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) and who have disease progression following prior systemic therapy but are not candidates for curative surgery or radiation.
ONS Names Debra Lyon as Incoming Oncology Nursing Forum Editor
Oncology nursing-led research is the engine that drives practice change when caring for patients with cancer. As a standard-bearer of oncology nursing research and a veteran of nursing research publications, Debra Lyon, RN, PhD, FNP-BC, FAAN, will bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the Oncology Nursing Forum (ONF), becoming the research journal’s sixth editor effective January 1, 2020.
Hematologic Cancers Have Higher Long-Term Risk of Clots and Bleeding
Patients with hematologic cancers have a 19% increased risk for blood clots or bleeding events even 10 years after diagnosis, according to the results of a study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
Evidence Supports Strategies for Better Safe Handling Practice
The evidence is clear: for more than 40 years, reports have confirmed that hazardous drug exposure poses significant safety risks to providers who handle many agents related to cancer treatments. Healthcare professionals experience several substantial health threats, including reproductive problems, airway and skin irritation, and cancers. Despite the potential health risks, the data are also clear: nurses routinely do not wear personal protective equipment as recommended when handling hazardous drugs.
Hyperthyroidism Treatment Linked to Increased Cancer Death Risk
Radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism is associated with long-term risk of death from solid cancers, particularly breast cancer, according to the results of a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Ruth McCorkle Leaves Legacy of Innovation, Advancement in Oncology Nursing
ONS member Ruth McCorkle, PhD, RN, FAPOS, FAAN, had a storied, trailblazing career in oncology nursing, leading the way to advance nursing research, patient-centered care, and educational excellence. McCorkle passed away on August 17, 2019, surrounded by her close family, leaving behind an indelible legacy to the oncology nursing profession.
Healthy Finances Allow ONS to Advance Oncology Nursing and Science
ONS wrapped up the first four months of 2019 as a financially strong organization, according to the finance reports the ONS Board of Directors received during its June 13–15 meeting. The Society’s investments are up almost 9%. It also saw an increase in ONS Congress revenue from 2018 to 2019 and will not raise Congress registration fees for 2020. A solid financial outlook allows ONS to continue to serve its members by representing and growing the profession.
FDA Approves Fedratinib for Myelofibrosis
On August 16, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved fedratinib (Inrebic®) for adults with intermediate-2 or high-risk primary or secondary (post-polycythemia vera or post-essential thrombocythemia) myelofibrosis.
FDA Approves Entrectinib for NTRK Solid Tumors and ROS-1 NSCLC
On August 15, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to entrectinib (RozlytrekTM) for adults and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older with solid tumors that have a neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) gene fusion without a known acquired resistance mutation, are metastatic or where surgical resection is likely to result in severe morbidity, and have progressed following treatment or have no satisfactory standard therapy.
CAR T Cells Show Promise in Solid Tumors
Two recent studies demonstrated CAR T-cell therapy activity in certain types of solid tumors, according to results presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. The CAR T cells used new targets outside of the CD19 targets used for the therapy’s current approvals in leukemia and lymphoma.
Geriatric Oncology Ambulatory Care Clinics Address Older Patients’ Needs
Traditionally defined as patients aged 65 and older, older adults make up the majority of patients with cancer. Ambulatory care clinics with a specialized focus on older patients with cancer can provide age-specific care and an interprofessional team of providers well versed in cancer, aging, and geriatric assessment. Through geriatric oncology ambulatory care clinics, providers can work together to identify and coordinate plans to individualize treatment and supportive care for older patients.
Clinical Trial Participants Average 6.5 Years Younger Than Actual Cancer Populations
For the four most common cancer sites (breast, prostate, colorectal, and lung cancer), the median age of patients in clinical trials is an average of 6.5 years younger than the median age of patients diagnosed with that cancer. And the age disparity is worsening, researchers reported in JAMA Oncology.
How Does ONS Support Nurses Who Care for Older Adults With Cancer?
By bringing together gero-oncology experts from the ONS membership, staff, and leadership, the ONS geriatric oncology group is identifying gaps in geriatric oncology nursing research and care and connecting ONS members with available resources targeting this vulnerable population. Adult patients with cancer—aged 65 and older—already make up a majority of patients that oncology nurses see. Despite the population’s prevalence throughout cancer institutions and clinics, many nurses are not acutely familiar with the specialized care required to successfully help them navigate their treatment.
Nurse Researchers Receive Presidential Award
The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) is the highest honor early-career professional researchers can receive from the federal government. On July 15, 2019, two nurse researchers were included among this year’s recipients. National Institute of Nursing Research-supported scientists, Sarah Rossetti, RN, PhD, and Tracey L. Yap, PhD, RN, WCC, CNE, FGSA, FAAN, were acknowledged for their promise and leadership in nursing science and patient-centered research.
High Fitness Linked to Lower Risk and Mortality in Lung and Colorectal Cancers
Adults with the highest cardiorespiratory fitness levels have a reduced risk for lung and colorectal cancer—and a lower risk of death if they do develop the cancers, according to findings from a study published in Cancer.
NIH All of Us Campaign Celebrates First Anniversary
As part of the rising wave of precision medicine initiatives, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the All of Us campaign in 2018. This one-of-a-kind research program aimed to collect data from more than one million Americans, including factors about lifestyle, environment, and biology, to understand impacts on health and well being. The information would help researchers to better understand the individual nature of health to ultimately inform decisions about delivering precision medicine.
Magnet Status Benefits Physicians, Too
Achieving Magnet recognition is the gold standard of a nursing program, demonstrating that an organization’s nursing leaders have established nursing excellence to improve outcomes for patients. And now the results of a new study published in Harvard Business Review show that excellent nurses are positively linked to physicians’ performance as well.
Test Predicts Which Women Will Benefit From Chemo for Breast Cancer
A prediction test accurately identifies which women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer will benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy, according to the results of a study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.
New CAR T-Cell Targets Show Safe Results in Early Clinical Trials
Findings from two phase I clinical trials presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 2019 annual meeting indicate that targeting CAR T cells against mesothelin for advanced solid tumors and HER2 for advanced sarcoma is safe and shows clinical antitumor activity.
House Appropriations Committee Releases 2020 Draft Budget Allocations
The House Appropriations Committee recently released its draft outline for the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education 2020 funding bill, allocating more than $189 billion in discretionary funding for education and training, medical research, and health care. The legislation includes funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. For 2020, the House Appropriations Committee increased funding by $11.7 billion over 2019 levels.
Early Studies Show Cancer Vaccines Are Promising for Lynch Syndrome, Cervical Lesions
Findings from two recent studies underscore that cancer vaccines may be a larger part of the next wave of novel cancer therapies. According to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 2019 annual meeting, vaccination with as few as four tumor antigens generated antigen-specific responses, reduced intestinal tumors, and improved survival in a mouse model of Lynch syndrome.
National Report Shows Drop in Cancer Mortality
In May 2019, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Cancer Society, and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) released a report detailing the decreasing cancer mortality rates in the United States. It’s a welcome trend among the cancer community, highlighting past efforts in prevention, screening, and early detection—along with improving rates of treatment success.
Gut Microbiome Diversity May Improve Response to Melanoma Immunotherapy
A high-fiber diet leading to higher gut microbiome diversity may improve response to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in patients with melanoma, according to the results of a new study presented at the 2019 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.
Liquid Biopsy Equivalent to Tissue for NSCLC
With faster and equally accurate results, liquid biopsy may be an option for identifying guideline-recommended targeted therapies for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to findings presented at the 2019 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.
Opioid, Cancer, AIDS, and Biomedical Research Are Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request Priorities
Each year, federal agency leaders submit their budget proposals to the U.S. Congress for review. Often, the committee of jurisdiction will request formal testimony from an agency, which provides an opportunity for the department to speak directly to the elected officials who have the authority to fund programs and projects of interest.
What Does the Research Say About Oncology Nursing Certification?
To measure the value of oncology nursing certification, scientists must look at the intrinsic, qualitative outcomes associated with nurses achieving certification in practice. The research for oncology nursing certification has largely focused on perceived benefits for nurses, their colleagues, and their institutions. Data suggest that certified oncology nurses feel validated in their knowledge, report personal satisfaction for undertaking and completing the certification process, and say that it enhanced their professional credibility.
Kentucky Illustrates Success of Medicaid Expansion
The state of Kentucky has seen some of the most success in reducing its uninsured rate thanks to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion that took effect on January 1, 2014. The results of a new study, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, showed that as the number of insured individuals rose, so too did important cancer screening rates.
Tachycardia Tied to Higher Mortality in Patients With Cancer
Rates of all-cause mortality in patients with cancer increase in the presence of unexplained sinus tachycardia, the results of a new study show. Researchers presented the findings at the Advancing Cardiovascular Care of the Oncology Patient conference held January 2019 in Washington, DC.
Guidelines Insufficient for Prostate Cancer Germline Genetic Testing
According to researchers, only 43.8% of positive genetic variants detected in men with prostate cancer had corresponding recommendations for germline testing in National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines. The findings were published in JAMA Oncology.
Nurses Present Research on Improving Symptom-Related Patient Outcomes
Fast, safe, and effective care is a goal in all oncology treatment settings. During a session on Friday, April 12, 2019, at the ONS 44th Annual Congress in Anaheim, CA, Lisa Pittman, RN, MSN, MHA, NEA-BC, OCN®, of Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, IL, Kerry Fuller, RN, BSN, OCN®, of Greenville Health System Cancer Institute in South Carolina, Cameron Carr, ADN, RN, of Duke Raleigh Hospital in North Carolina, and Lisa Ciafre, RN, MSN, of Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute in Pittsburgh, PA, shared their work on preventing infections, improving recovery after surgery, and reducing response times to hypersensitivity reactions.
New Research Findings Will Help Improve Quality of Life for Cancer Survivors
Thanks to new treatments and technologies, the number of U.S. cancer survivors has increased to 16.9 million as of January 2019. During a session on Friday, April 12, 2019, at the ONS 44th Annual Congress in Anaheim, CA, several healthcare professionals presented new research to support the ever-growing population of cancer survivors.
Microfluidic Device May Pave Way for More Liquid Cancer Biopsies
Researchers have developed a device that can separate various cell types in patient blood samples based on the cell size, which may one day enable rapid, inexpensive liquid biopsies to help clinicians detect cancer and develop targeted treatment plans. Findings from the research that led to the device are reported in Microsystems and Nanoengineering.
Research Sheds Light on the Complexities of Shared Decision Making
Making a treatment decision for a cancer diagnosis is a very complex and challenging event for patients. This is particularly evident among men with prostate cancer. Because so many treatment options exist, often without a single best therapeutic or medical outcome, many men with prostate cancer may have challenges when making a treatment decision. Most patients rely on their providers to help them better understand their diagnosis, available treatments, impact, and side effects from treatment, but patients will ultimately seek external information to inform their decision-making process.
Obesity-Related Cancer Incidence Increases in Young Adults
A new study showed that incidence rates are increasing for 6 of the 12 obesity-related cancers in U.S. young adults and that, over time, the increases are occurring in progressively younger ages and successively younger generations. The findings were published in Lancet Public Health.
Ancestry Analysis Identifies Genetic Cause for Increased Multiple Myeloma in African Americans
Three cytogenetic subtypes are particularly responsible for the increased incidence of multiple myeloma in people of African descent, according to the results of a study published in Blood Cancer Journal.
Understand the Evidence for Exercise in Gynecologic Cancer-Related Fatigue
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women and the seventh most common overall. Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) has an estimated prevalence of 50%–90% in all patients and has been reported to affect 17%–33% of women with gynecologic cancers for as long as three to eight years after diagnosis. Many national guidelines from organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine, American Cancer Society, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and ONS all recommend exercise to improve fatigue in patients with cancer. But no research has synthesized the evidence for exercise as an intervention for fatigue specifically in patients with gynecologic cancers.
What Does the Research Say About Genetic Testing and Underserved Populations?
Underserved communities largely have low rates of cancer genetic testing. Although the reasons vary, they can include lack of referrals, no or underinsurance, prohibitive cost, lack of trust, lack of knowledge, discrimination issues, or competing health needs.
Ending HIV Epidemic a Priority for Trump Administration
In a statement during the 2019 State of the Union address, President Trump proposed ending the HIV epidemic by reducing new infections by 75% in the next five years and 90% in the next decade. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar hailed Trump’s statement as an important public health initiative.
Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduced by Nearly 1 Million From 2014–2017
According to an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) analysis, the number of hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) reported in the United States dropped by 910,000 (13%) from 2014–2017.
FDA Approves Trastuzumab and Hyaluronidase-oysk Injection for Subcutaneous Use
On February 28, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a trastuzumab and hyaluronidase-oysk injection, for subcutaneous use (Herceptin Hylecta). The drug is a combination of trastuzumab, a HER2/neu receptor antagonist, and hyaluronidase, an endoglycosidase, for the treatment of HER2‑overexpressing breast cancer.
Open Hysterectomy Has Better Outcomes Than Minimally Invasive Surgery in Cervical Cancer
Women with early-stage cervical cancer have higher recurrence rates and worse overall survival with minimally invasive radical hysterectomy than abdominal radical hysterectomy, according to the results of two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Trump Promises $500 Million Increase to Pediatric Cancer Research
Pediatric cancers have more than an 80% overall cure rate, and that, at first glance, seems like something to celebrate. However, in terms of lives lost to different pediatric cancers, the American Cancer Society estimated that more than 1,100 children under the age of 15 will die from their disease in 2019—roughly one in five children diagnosed. Although survival rates are improving in cancers like acute lymphocytic leukemia and Hodgkin lymphoma, other childhood cancer types haven’t seen increased survival since the early 2000s.