July 2021, Vol 11, No 7

The COVID-19 pandemic may have temporarily overshadowed the opioid crisis in the United States, but deaths related to opioid overdose have risen to an all-time high in the past year. Although largely driven by synthetic opioids such as illicit fentanyl, frequently prescribed opioids have played a role in opioid overdose and opioid use disorder as well. Read Article ›

Advance care planning is the process of planning for future medical treatment in the event that patients are unable to make their own decisions. It ensures that patients receive healthcare services that are consistent with their personal wishes, culture, goals, and values. Read Article ›

As biosimilars are being used more and more in cancer treatment, it is increasingly important that navigators and financial advocates be familiar not only with how they work but also how patients with cancer should go about paying for them, according to Angie Santiago, AA, CRCS-I, lead financial advocate at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center/Jefferson Health. Read Article ›

Thrombosis in patients with cancer may be a relatively common complication, but the treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in this patient population is anything but simple. Patients with cancer have up to 6 times increased risk for recurrent VTE compared with patients without cancer, and they are also at higher risk for treatment-related side effects, such as bleeding. Furthermore, patients with cancer require longer-term use of anticoagulants, which raises concerns about quality of life and medication adherence. Read Article ›

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, but the treatment landscape is rapidly evolving. In the past 10 years alone, the number of drugs approved by the FDA for non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has exceeded the previous 10 decades combined. Read Article ›

The process of clinical trials underwent a dramatic transformation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Heidi D. Finnes, PharmD, BCOP, FHOPA, RPh, Senior Manager, Pharmacy Cancer Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Pharmacists must see this as an opportunity to evolve patient care in clinical trials long after the pandemic is over, Dr Finnes suggested at the 2021 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association conference. Dr Finnes outlined efficiencies in pharmacy practice that should be enacted to accommodate changes in the way clinical trials are being conducted—such as remote patients and adverse events monitoring, mailing of the investigational drugs, and telehealth visits with study participants. Read Article ›

Breast cancer cryoablation, which destroys tumor cells by exposing them to subfreezing temperatures, appears to be an effective alternative to surgery for women aged >60 years with low-risk, early-stage breast cancer, according to interim results from the ICE3 trial. Interim results from this trial were presented by lead investigator Richard E. Fine, MD, FACS, Breast Surgeon, West Cancer Center & Research Institute, Germantown, TN, during the American Society of Breast Surgeons 22nd Annual Meeting. Read Article ›

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act was associated with significant increases in breast reconstruction surgery among non-Hispanic black women and women with lower income and education levels, according to results of a study presented during the American Society of Breast Surgeons 22nd Annual Meeting. At times, these increases achieved parity with non-Hispanic white women. Read Article ›

Infusion centers face significant challenges related to lengthy wait times and uneven patient loads, which can negatively affect clinical outcomes and cause unnecessary burdens for nurses or other healthcare providers. Oncology Practice Management (OPM) recently spoke with Abbi Bruce, RN, MS, OCN, Program Director, Medical Oncology and Infusion Services, Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Hartford Hospital, CT, who discussed some of the factors that contribute to the complexity of infusion scheduling, and effective strategies for solving these problems. Read Article ›

Selpercatinib (Retevmo) demonstrated antitumor activity in RET fusion–positive tumors other than lung cancer and thyroid cancer, according to interim results from the phase 1/2 LIBRETTO-001 clinical trial. Results from the trial were presented by Vivek Subbiah, MD, Medical Director, Clinical Center for Targeted Therapy, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, at the 2021 virtual American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting. Read Article ›

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