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TON - October 2019, Vol 12, No 5

The October issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON) is filled with important news and insights for today’s oncology nurse. We begin our coverage with a profile of the Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, as we speak with Anna Vioral, PhD, Med, RN, OCN, BMTCN, who discusses her professional responsibilities at the center, and her recent appointment to the Board of Directors of the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (see page 1).
Ovarian cancer is a very difficult disease to diagnose and is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy, being the fifth leading cause of cancer death in women in the United States. A woman’s risk for developing ovarian cancer in her lifetime is approximately 1 in 78, and her lifetime risk for dying of the disease is approximately 1 in 108. The disease was previously thought to begin in the ovaries, but recent research suggests that many ovarian cancers may actually start in the distal end of the fallopian tubes. The following provides key statistics and other helpful information regarding ovarian cancer.
Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is a large, integrated healthcare system that provides care to patients throughout western Pennsylvania. As part of this network, the AHN Cancer Institute (AHNCI), offers personalized, high-quality cancer care to patients at >20 locations in and around the Pittsburgh area. The institute uses the latest, most effective anticancer therapies, and through its partnership with Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, can offer patients access to clinical trials as well as combined expertise when second opinions are necessary.
Chicago, IL—Approximately 25% of children, adolescents, and young adults with advanced cancer were eligible for a targeted therapy after genotyping of their tumors in the Pediatric Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (MATCH) clinical trial. That rate is more than double the 10% that researchers had projected.
Anaheim, CA—Good communication skills are essential for providing high-quality cancer care. However, communicating effectively becomes more complicated when patients have received a poor prognosis. At the 2019 Oncology Nursing Society 44th Annual Congress, Andria Caton, BSN, RN, OCN, CHPN, Assistant Nurse Manager, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Gainesville, provided oncology nurses with strategies for improving communication with patients and their families during end-of-life care.
San Francisco, CA—Patients can be taught via neurofeedback to modify their brainwave activity and decrease the sensations of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), according to Sarah Prinsloo, PhD, LMFT, LPC, Assistant Professor, Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Medicine, Division of Cancer Medicine, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.
Until recently, patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma who are ineligible for autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT), the multiagent regimen with lenalidomide (Revlimid) and dexamethasone was the standard of care. Results of the prespecified interim analysis of the MAIA trial demonstrated the benefit of adding daratumumab (Darzalex) to this combination therapy (Facon T, et al. N Engl J Med. 2019;380:2104-2115). Based on the results of this study, on July 1, 2019, the FDA approved this triple-drug regimen for use in this patient population.
Approximately 40% of patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer have mutations in the PIK3CA gene. Although endocrine-based therapy is the standard treatment, acquired resistance remains a challenge.
The 2 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies available so far—axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta) and tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah)—may be considered cost-effective treatments for adults with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), depending on the long-term outcomes of these patients, according to a recent cost-effective analysis (Lin JK, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2019 Jun 3. Epub ahead of print).
San Francisco, CA—The human papillomavirus (HPV) has changed the field of head and neck cancer, and HPV now causes a growing majority (70%-90%) of oropharyngeal squamous-cell carcinomas. As its incidence is rising in the United States, so is patient curiosity about what sets this cancer apart from other malignancies.
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