FDA Approves Talazoparib for gBRCAm HER2-Negative Locally Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancer
On October 16, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved talazoparib, a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor, for patients with deleterious or suspected deleterious germline BRCA-mutated, HER2‑negative locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Patients must be selected for therapy based on an FDA-approved companion diagnostic for talazoparib.
U.S. Pediatric Cancer Incidence Varies by Geography
A new study demonstrated that pediatric cancer rates vary by U.S. state and geographic region, with the highest rates in the Northeast, specifically New Hampshire; Washington, DC; and New Jersey. The study findings were published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Further Research Can Help Nurses Balance Cardiovascular Conditions With Cancer Treatments
As the leading cause of death for adult Americans, cardiovascular disease is a complication found in many patients with cancer. Many cancer treatments have the potential to impact existing cardiac comorbidities or develop new cardiovascular conditions in patients undergoing treatment. Understanding and recognizing this issue is paramount for oncology nurses and is the focus of current research efforts impacting clinical practice.
Oncology Nurse Appointed to PCORI Board of Governors
As the U.S. government’s arm of patient-centered research, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research institute (PCORI) is driving new initiatives and opportunities focused on unlocking novel treatment methods and cutting-edge interventions to better care for patients. On September 24, 2018, PCORI announced its new Board of Governors, naming ONS member Christopher Friese, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, as the agency’s first nursing research representative to hold a seat on the board.
Ketogenic Diet May Overcome Drug Resistance With PI3K Inhibitors
Researchers have shown in mouse models that using PI3K inhibitor targeted therapy along with a ketogenic diet may help prevent or overcome the drug resistance that can eventually occur. The findings were reported in Nature.
Biden Cancer Summit; PCORI Governing Board; Low-Income Smokers
The Biden Cancer Summit was held in Washington, DC, on September 21, 2018. The day-long event was filled with cancer-related educational sessions—some hosted by ONS leadership—discussing ways to move cancer research and care forward. Formerly dubbed the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, the country-wide effort to make a quantum leap in cancer care has evolved in into the Biden Cancer Initiative (BCI). BCI’s ongoing work will continue to break down barriers and help providers and researchers overcome obstacles as they work toward progress in cancer care.
Emory University Appoints Oncology Nurse as Senior Vice President of Research
Building on a long career as a pioneer in oncology nursing research and cancer clinical trials, ONS member Deborah Watkins Bruner, RN, PhD, FAAN, has been named the senior vice president of research at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, a newly created position that serves on the Emory president’s leadership team. Effective October 1, 2018, Bruner’s leadership, expertise, and research experience will guide Emory’s interprofessional research efforts and promote education and training for future researchers, including nurse scientists.
Moonshot Moves Forward Thanks to Biden Initiative
Like all great adventures, it began as an idea. What if the United States could make huge advancements in the fight against cancer in a short amount of time? How could that be accomplished? What are the metrics? How much would it cost? Who could direct such an effort?
Older Patients Respond Better to Checkpoint Inhibitors for Melanoma
Patients aged 62 and older are more likely to respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors for melanoma, such as pembrolizumab, according to findings from a study published in Clinical Cancer Research. A follow-up study showed that it may be because of age-related changes in the immune cells in melanoma tumors.
Global Cancer Burden Rises to 18.1 Million New Cases and 9.6 Million Deaths in 2018
As global populations grow, so does the cancer burden, a new study from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported. The results of the latest analysis of the incidence and mortality of 36 types of cancer in 185 countries were published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians in September 2018.
VA and NCI Collaborate on Access to Cancer Clinical Trials
A new cross-government program is underway to improve veterans’ access to clinical cancer trials. Together with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Interagency Group to Accelerate Trials Enrollment launched in 12 VA facilities in summer 2018.
NIH Launches Study Focused on Prostate Cancer Rates in African American Men
To better understand environmental and genetic impacts associated with prostate cancer in African American men, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) began a new study, Research on Prostate Cancer in Men of African Ancestry: Defining the Roles of Genetics, Tumor Markers, and Social Stress (RESPOND). The research program has received more than $26 million in funding and seeks to understand why African American men have disproportionally higher rates of aggressive prostate cancer than any other racial or ethnic population.
“It Prevents Cancer” May Be Key to HPV Vaccine Communication
In 2016, only 43% of U.S. adolescents had received routine human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations. Findings from a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention indicate that the type of strategy providers use to communicate the need for the vaccine may influence parents’ choices.
How Inhaled Cannabis May Contribute to Pulmonary Toxicity in Patients With Cancer
As medical use of cannabis is increasingly legalized across the United States, oncology nurses need to become more familiar with the implications of patients using it for cancer symptom management. According to Merkle and Tavernier in their article in the August 2018 issue of the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, little research has been conducted in medical cannabis use and the efficacy and toxicity of cancer treatment. Their article reviewed current literature to better understand the effects that cannabis may have on the lungs in patients with cancer.
What the Research Says About Supporting Cancer Survivors in Non-Oncology Settings
In 2016, the American Cancer Society (ACS) reported that the number of currently living cancer survivors is estimated at 15.5 million Americans. For 2018, ACS is projecting another 1.7 million new cases of cancer diagnoses. On one hand, the growing number of survivors indicates that early diagnosis, new technologies, targeted interventions, treatment options, and access to care are making a huge difference for patients.
Longstanding NINR Director Retires After Two Decades of Developing Nursing Science
Patricia Grady, RN, PhD, FAAN, has defined a generation of nurse science and patient-centered research, serving as the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) director for more than 23 years. Under her charge, NINR has grown into one of the foremost federal agencies supporting the scope of the nursing research community, driving groundbreaking initiatives and furthering clinical practice.
Recommended Surveillance Periods May Be Incorrect for Gynecologic Cancers
Standardized surveillance recommendations may be too short for patients with ovarian cancer and too long for other gynecologic cancers, according to findings from a study presented at the 2018 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer.
Use the Evidence to Support Physical Activity During and After Cancer Treatment
We’re familiar with the evidence: being active is better for all of us throughout our lives. In fact, regular physical activity is one of the most important things we can do for our health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical activity can help to control our weight and reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
Care Coordination Standardizes Monitoring for Patients Prescribed Oral Cancer Agents
Use of oral therapies requires healthcare teams to monitor patients for issues such as unreported side effects, medication nonadherence, and incorrect administration of medications. Although many patients do very well with this form of treatment, some patients, even with a significant amount of education before starting therapy, may have challenges.
Study Finds Association Between Increased BMI and Lower Breast Cancer Risk in Young Women
Young women with high body fat have a decreased chance of developing breast cancer before menopause, according to a new study published in JAMA Oncology. The finding may help researchers better understand the role obesity plays in breast cancer risk.
Men May Have Greater Survival Benefit From Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
Researchers have found a significant difference in overall survival in men versus women receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors for advanced cancers. The findings from the systematic review and meta-analysis were reported in Lancet Oncology.
How Is CTCAE Improving Research and Patient Care?
The Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) is a list of adverse event (AE) terms most often encountered in oncology. It’s been in ongoing development since the 1980s and was previously referred to as the Common Toxicity Criteria. Through continual development and support from the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, CTCAE aids in the documentation and analysis of adverse events in oncology-related clinical trials.
Is Palliative Care the Answer to the Medical Aid in Dying Discussion?
Oncology nurse scientists have pioneered efforts in symptom management research, including palliative and end-of-life care studies. Healthcare providers and researchers have strong consensus that palliative interventions should begin at the time of diagnosis for patients with cancer. The Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing and Oncology Nursing Forum have published excellent articles in nearly every issue on topics of palliative care, quality of life, and symptom management issues.
What the Evidence Says About Probiotics and Health
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can offer health benefits following consumption, by reversing dysbiosis: changes in the composition or function of gut microbes associated with the development of many chronic and degenerative diseases. The majority of probiotics contain nonvirulent, lactic acid-producing bacteria, including Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Bifidobacterium, Propionibacterium, and Enterococcus, or yeasts such as Saccharomyces boulardii. They are available as dietary supplements or can be obtained from yogurt and other fermented foods. Probiotics have grown in popularity over the past few decades because of perceived benefits such as improved digestion, immune function, and nutrient absorption.
Nurses Are Using Quality Care to Improve Patient Outcomes
Staying updated on advancements in cancer care increases the chances of improved outcomes for patients. Cara Henderson, RN, BSN, CMSRN, patient service manager of surgical oncology at Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven, CT; Elizabeth Rodriguez, DNP, RN, OCN®, nurse leader of outpatient services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY, Amanda Choflet, DNP, RN, OCN®, director of nursing in radiation oncology at Johns Hopkins Health System in Baltimore, MD, and Megan Howe, MSN, RN, OCN®, nurse manager of Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, discussed the factors that relate to improving outcomes, the multidisciplinary approaches to the process change strategy, and the results and future direction of chosen pathways during a session at the 43rd Annual Congress in Washington, DC.
Genomics Is Revolutionizing Cancer Care Now and For the Future
As precision oncology continues to expand, so does the ability to use less-toxic targeted therapies. James Chen, MD, assistant professor of biomedical informatics and assistant professor of internal medicine at the division of medical oncology at Ohio State University in Columbus, described his work with genomics in cancer care and the challenges in precision medicine at the 43rd Annual Congress in Washington, DC.
Communication, Organization Are Top Drivers of Oral Adherence in Clinical Trials
Oncology nurses know the challenges of patient adherence to oral cancer therapies. Every dose a patient misses can affect their outcomes and chance of survival. But in clinical trials, oral adherence has even broader implications: when a study is evaluating the efficacy of a drug, it depends on study participants taking it exactly as the trial outlines.
New Gene-Based Tests Screen and Monitor for Bladder, Endometrial, and Ovarian Cancers
Researchers have developed two new gene-based tests that detect DNA mutations that lead to bladder, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. The tests, which are not yet U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved, could be used to identify a new or relapsed cancer earlier, when it is easier to treat.
Boosting T-Cell Memory Enhances Immunotherapy Effectiveness
A combination of immunotherapies may increase the formation of memory T cells and lead to a more lasting response, according to findings from a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s 2018 annual meeting.
Animal Therapy Has Benefits for Patients—and Healthcare Staff
Animal-facilitated therapy (AFT) programs have been shown to promote a healing environment and reduce certain psychological symptoms for patients with a variety of diagnoses, including cancer. Its use was even recommended by the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, who wrote about the benefits of animals in patient care and recovery: “a pet is often an excellent companion for the sick, for long chronic cases especially.”
Immunotherapy Plus Chemo Improves Survival in Metastatic Lung Cancer
Combining pembrolizumab and platinum chemotherapy plus pemetrexed doubles survival in patients with nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSNSCLC) without EGFR or ALK gene mutations, according to the results of a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Psychological Distress Affects Caregivers but Not Patient Symptoms in Head and Neck Cancer
Psychological stress in caregivers of patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) may impair the quality of patient care they provide and affect outcomes such as survival. However, patient symptom burden and caregiver tasks and their impact on psychological stress is not well understood.
Study Investigates How Health Literacy Affects Adherence to Oral Cancer Medications
Ensuring patients adhere to oral medications for cancer can be a complex task, especially if patients have low health literacy. Oral medications for cancer continue to be more prevalent, but rates of adherence to oral therapy vary widely by population, cancer type, and level of education. At the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, researchers presented the results of a study that hypothesized health literacy’s connection to oral medication adherence and whether a multilevel intervention approach would result in greater adherence.
Researchers Clarify Connection Between Night Shift Work Duration and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer
Evidence already supports a connection between night shift work and an increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), but the mechanism has been difficult to pinpoint. In a study presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, researchers evaluated the insulin receptor substrate (IRS) 1 and 2 proteins and presented the role they play in the connection of night shift work and CRC.
Early Oncology Care Model Data Show Reduced Hospital Admissions
Improving quality and reducing costs in a practice are two of the Oncology Care Model’s (OCM) key goals, and one of the best ways to achieve them is to reduce unnecessary emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. During a study presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, researchers described a campaign implemented to reach those objectives.
Patients Report More Satisfaction With Multidisciplinary Care Versus Serial Care for Lung Cancer
Despite the prevalence of multidisciplinary (MD) care for cancer, rigorous studies comparing it to serial care (SC) are lacking. To address the literature gap, researchers explored the use of MD versus SC for lung cancer and presented the findings at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.
Study Finds That Safety Decreases as Electronic Health Record Capability Increases
More needs to be known about how communication challenges and documentation affect ambulatory oncology care. In a presentation on Saturday, June 2, at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, researchers revealed study findings about how patient safety is directly affected by electronic health record (EHR) capability and satisfaction, clinician communication, and clinicians’ actions.
Nurses Should Focus on Goal Setting and Shared Decision Making in Cancer Aftercare Conversations
Goal setting and shared decision making are important components of aftercare for cancer survivors. In the results of a study published in conjunction with the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, researchers shared their experience developing and pretesting a systematic conversation approach for nurses to tailor the aftercare needs and goals of cancer survivors.
Organizational Learning and Perception Tied to Improved Patient Safety Culture
Patient safety is an important focus for hospitals: protecting patients improves outcomes and quality of care, meets standards, and ensures payments and reimbursement. But what factors contribute to a culture of safety? Researchers assessed and analyzed the components of patient safety culture and published their study findings in conjunction with the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.
Study Quantifies Data on NPs and PAs Caring for Older Adults With Cancer
Cancer is the most common diagnosis in adults older than 65 in the United States. As the older adult population increases and drives up malignancy diagnoses, nurse practitioners’ (NPs) and physician assistants’ (PAs) contributions to their care need to be better identified. In the results of a study published in conjunction with the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, researchers reported on their exploration of the role of NPs and PAs in the oncology workforce.
National Capital Chapter Members Focus on Advocacy and Research Funding in DC
In our nation’s capital, healthcare policy meetings occur weekly for various government and private organizations whose aim is to improve care and conditions for patients with cancer. The ONS National Capital Chapter members are involved in lobbying on the Hill and attending meetings about improving cancer care through the ONS Capitol Hill Gang.
Tips for Creating a Multidisciplinary Research Team Focused on Symptom Management
Catherine Bender, PhD, RN, FAAN, of the University of Pittsburgh, and Amy Hoffman, PhD, RN, of Michigan State University, shared their experiences in building interdisciplinary research teams to assess symptom management during a session at the 43rd Annual Congress in Washington, DC.
The Power of a Nurse: The Mara Mogensen Flaherty Memorial Lectureship
Margaret Bevans, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, program director and clinical nurse scientist at the National Institutes of Health’s Nursing Research and Translational Science department, detailed her own journey and empowered nurses to amplify their impact during her Mara Mogensen Flaherty Memorial lecture at the 43rd Annual Congress in Washington, DC.
Immunotherapy Opens New Frontiers in Lung Cancer Care
The development of targeted therapies brought new progress to lung cancer treatment and research in the past 20 years, and new options will continue to be available in the future. Roy Herbst, MD, PhD, director of thoracic oncology research program at the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, spoke at the 43rd Annual Congress in Washington, DC, on new standards of care for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), immunotherapy for NSCLC, and development of rational drug combinations using biomarkers.
Nurse Scientists Are Promoting the Future of Cancer Nursing Research at NINR and NCI
Many programs at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are focused on cancer research, and support for cancer- and treatment-related symptoms and toxicities crosses a number of National Institutes of Health (NIH) organizations. Martha Matocha, PhD, program director and team lead of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), and Ann O’Mara, PhD, RN, FAAN, program officer at NCI, provided tips and opportunities for nurses and how they can conduct or participate in cancer research programs during a session at the 43rd Annual Congress in Washington, DC.
Huntington Disease May Hold Key to Novel Cancer Treatment
The mutated huntington (HTT) gene causes the body to generate a class of small molecules that are toxic to cancer cells but not most healthy cells, according to the results of a new study published in EMBO Reports. The researchers went as far as to call it a “super assassin against all tumor cells.”