Oncology Practice Management Issues

July 2018, Vol 8, No 7

Updated NCCN Guidelines Expand Targeted Therapy Options for Patients with Metastatic NSCLC

Wayne Kuznar

NCCN Guideline Updates

Updated guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) on the management of patients with metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) reflect the addition of osimertinib (Tagrisso) as a first-line treatment option for patients with an EGFR-sensitizing mutation, and as subsequent therapy for patients with a T790M resistance mutation whose disease progresses after treatment with another tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI). [ Read More ]

Strategic Planning by Oncology Practices Can Provide a Roadmap to a Thriving Future

Elaine Estes

Practice Administration, Strategic Planning

Strategic planning for oncology practices is more important today than ever before, with the oncology landscape rapidly evolving, driven by complex issues not encountered previously. For example, the emergence of value-based care has added new layers of complexity to cancer care, because clinical changes associated with team-based care and documentation and data-­tracking requirements are significant. Practices today are also tasked with finding ways to expand patient access to ancillary support services that improve satisfaction and outcomes, while also keeping costs down. [ Read More ]

Will Oncologists Change Their Treatment Patterns Based on New Clinical Evidence?

Dawn Holcombe, MBA, FACMPE, ACHE

From the Editor

In medical parlance, there is a wide gap between the terms “prognostic” and “predictive.” At a plenary session at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting, results presented from the TAILORx clinical trial cast a spotlight on that gap, and narrowed it. The question now is, will physicians and patients take action and cease the use of chemotherapy when its effectiveness can be predictively deemed ineffective, despite the challenges of hope and habit? [ Read More ]

NCCN Updated Guideline Adds Treatment Options for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer, Emphasizing CDK4/CDK6 Inhibition in Hormone-Sensitive Disease

Wayne Kuznar

NCCN Guideline Updates

An updated guideline from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) on the management of breast cancer (version 1.2018) expands treatment options for hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-positive disease to include extended adjuvant neratinib (Nerlynx) treatment after trastuzumab (Herceptin) therapy in patients at high risk for recurrence, and recognizes a third cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)4/CDK6 inhibitor in hormone-sensitive breast cancer. [ Read More ]

Sexual Dysfunction After Cancer: Why Aren’t We Talking About It?

Meg Barbor, MPH


The incidence of sexual dysfunction in cancer survivors can be high and long lasting, but early discussion, evaluation, and treatment of sexual problems can improve sexual outcomes, reduce emotional distress, and facilitate recovery in survivors. The problem is, patients and their providers are not talking about sex, according to 2 experts who implored attendees at the 2018 Oncology Nursing Society Congress to start talking about it. [ Read More ]

Oncologists Discuss Medical Marijuana with Patients but Are Not Sure About Its Efficacy

Clark Westfield

Medical Marijuana

Oncologists often discuss medical marijuana with their patients, and approximately 50% of them are recommending it as a treatment for cancer-related symptoms. However, many oncologists are unsure about the reasons for their recommendations, and whether marijuana will be an effective treatment, according to the results of a recent survey of oncologists regarding their knowledge, practices, and attitudes about medical marijuana. [ Read More ]

Discussing Costs with Your Patient Can Reduce Financial Toxicity

Chase Doyle

Financial Support

With healthcare premiums on the rise and out-of-pocket costs skyrocketing, almost every person diagnosed with cancer is at risk for being underinsured, but this threat extends beyond a patient’s bank balance. Recent research has shown that when patients face extreme financial distress, they have a greater risk for worse outcomes, including mortality. At the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, Yousuf Zafar, MD, MHS, Director, Center for Applied Cancer Health Policy, Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC, discussed the need to prevent financial toxicity at the patient level by focusing on high-value interventions. [ Read More ]