Oncology Practice Management Issues

June 2018, Vol 8, No 6

Adherence to Exercise and Nutrition Guidelines Can Prolong Life in Cancer Survivors

Meg Barbor, MPH


Many cancer survivors do not meet general recommendations for diet and exercise because of a multitude of common barriers, according to Erin Van Blarigan, ScD, Assistant Professor, Departments of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Urology, University of California, San Francisco. These barriers can be linked to persistent treatment-related side effects, fatigue, conflicting advice, uncertain therapeutic benefit, or the desire to simply “move on” and resume normal life. [ Read More ]

Complying with Pharmacy Standards: USP 797/USP 800

Gail Thompson

2018 Cancer Center Business Summit Highlights

Oncology practices, hospitals, and pharmacies are struggling to understand wide variations in the application of sterile compounding and safe handling of oncology hazardous drugs, and the costs and operating burdens of compliance with and adherence to current pharmacy standards. At the 2018 combined meeting of the Association of Community Cancer Centers and the Cancer Center Business Summit, 3 cancer centers shared their stories and experiences related to pharmacy standards compliance. [ Read More ]

Acquired HER2 Mutations in Metastatic Breast Cancer Confer Resistance to ER-Directed Therapy

Phoebe Starr

Breast Cancer

Metastatic estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer responds well to anti-ER therapies, but eventually resistance occurs and the drugs fail to work. A new study presented at the 2018 AACR meeting suggests that HER2 mutations can be acquired during metastatic cancer and their development represents a previously unreported mechanism of resistance to treatment. This resistance can be overcome by the irreversible HER2 inhibitor neratinib (Nerlynx). [ Read More ]

Helping Patients, Caregivers, and Survivors Navigate Cancer Support Resources: The Art of Connecting People

Meg Barbor, MPH


Cancer survivors are in it for the long haul, sometimes decades, and their needs change over time, according to Carolyn Messner, DSW, MSW, OSW-C, FAPOS, LCSW-R, Director of Education and Training at CancerCare. Therefore, members of the multidisciplinary care team should work collaboratively to continuously fine-tune the resources available to survivors to provide high-quality, innovative care, “and to get people what they actually need over that long haul,” she said at the 2018 Cancer Survivorship Symposium. [ Read More ]

High Tumor Mutational Burden Predicts Response to Nivolumab plus Ipilimumab Combination in Lung Cancer

Phoebe Starr

Lung Cancer

The combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) plus ipilimumab (Yervoy) extended progression-free survival (PFS) versus standard chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and a high tumor mutational burden (TMB). This finding was unrelated to levels of PD-L1 expression, said Matthew D. Hellmann, MD, Medical Oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City. [ Read More ]

A Home Run for Pembrolizumab plus Chemotherapy Combination in Newly Diagnosed Metastatic Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Phoebe Starr

Lung Cancer

A burning question is whether immunotherapy combinations will further improve outcomes compared with checkpoint inhibitor therapy alone—and if so, which combinations will rise to the top. Combining pembrolizumab (Key­truda) with standard pemetrexed (Alimta) plus a platinum-based chemotherapy improved overall survival (OS) versus chemotherapy alone as first-line therapy for patients with metastatic nonsquamous non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in KEYNOTE-189, a phase 3 clinical trial. The survival benefit with pembroliz­umab plus chemotherapy was independent of PD-L1 expression. [ Read More ]

Combining Sorafenib and Transarterial Chemoembolization Extends Progression-Free Survival in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Wayne Kuznar

Gastrointestinal Cancers

Sorafenib (Nexavar) in combination with transcatheter ­arterial chemoembolization (TACE) significantly improves progression-free survival (PFS), with no unexpected adverse results, compared with TACE alone in patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to results from the phase 2 TACTICS clinical trial. [ Read More ]

Healthcare Providers and Underserved Populations Need Information About Clinical Trials and Biobanking

Phoebe Starr

Clinical Trials, Health Disparities

People from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, minority groups, and rural areas are not well-represented in clinical trials and biobanking, which hampers research on health disparities. Patients in these subgroups are willing to enroll in clinical trials, but they are often not asked to participate, and neither they nor their healthcare providers are well-informed about this important research. [ Read More ]

Encourage Minority Patients with Ovarian Cancer to Participate in Clinical Trials

Meg Barbor, MPH

Gynecologic Cancers

Participation in clinical trials may help to overcome health disparities in the treatment of advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer, and minority patients should be encouraged to participate, said Khilen B. Patel, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology Resident, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, at the 2018 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. [ Read More ]