In the Literature

Regular aspirin use is considered the best chemoprevention strategy to reduce colorectal cancer (CRC) risk in middle-aged adults. This supported the US Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) recommendation of daily aspirin for CRC prophylaxis in adults aged 50 to 59 years and certain cardiovascular risk factors. The USPSTF, however, also recommends aspirin use in people aged ≥70 years, but the evidence for this is inconsistent. Read More ›

Esophageal cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related morbidity and mortality worldwide. Chemoradiotherapy followed by surgery is the standard of care for patients with resectable, locally advanced esophageal cancer. However, the risk for recurrence after this treatment remains high, especially among the majority of patients who do not have a pathologic complete response. Read More ›

Previous analyses have pointed to alarming shortages of oncology providers in the face of growing demand. No oncology workforce study, however, has assessed the link between geographic need for oncology services and the codependency between oncologists and nonphysician health professionals with an oncology subspecialty. A recent report on the state of cancer care in the United States examined the availability of physicians and oncology pharmacists and their geographic distributions throughout the country and compared it with the need for oncology services in each county. Read More ›

Rucaparib (Rubraca, Clovis Oncology) demonstrated promising antitumor activity in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and a deleterious BRCA alteration, according to results of a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read More ›

Black men with low-risk prostate cancer who were on active surveillance had an increased risk for disease progression and definitive treatment compared with their non-Hispanic White counterparts, but not increased mortality, according to the results of a recent study. Read More ›

Selpercatinib Shows Durable Responses in Patients with Thyroid Cancer and RET Mutation
Venclexta plus Azacitidine Improves Overall Survival in Patients with AML
Advances in New Therapies Attributed to Reductions in Lung Cancer Mortality
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Patients with anemia and lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) in whom first-line erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) are not effective generally become transfusion dependent. Luspatercept-aamt (Reblozyl), a recombinant fusion protein that binds transforming growth factor beta superfamily ligands to reduce SMAD2 and SMAD3 signaling, was approved by the FDA in November 2019 and has been studied in this patient population with promising results.

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The discontinuation of oral oncology medications before the full-month supply has been finished results in medication waste, leading to increased costs for patients and for payers. Split fills allow for a 14- to 16-day supply for oral oncology medications rather than a full 28- to 30-day supply. Researchers compared the discontinuation rates, patient-reported adverse events, estimated pharmacy costs, and potential waste in patients with pharmacy benefit designs that included a split-fill option with patients who did not have this option (Staskon FC, et al. J Oncol Pract. 2019;15:e856-e862).

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Patient navigation is an increasingly recognized component of high-quality, patient-centered care. However, patient navigation in cancer programs is limited, often because of uncertainty about sustainable financial models to support these programs and defining the scope of practice. To demonstrate the benefits of patient navigation programs, researchers analyzed 5 real-world case studies (Kline RM, et al. J Oncol Pract. 2019;15:585-590).

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The introduction of BRAF- and MEK-targeted therapies and immune checkpoint inhibitors has significantly improved outcomes in patients with metastatic melanoma. However, many patients have drug resistance—acquired or primary—which results in death from underlying disease. Read More ›

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