Oncology

IBM’s Watson Expands Access to Precision Medicine for Veterans With Cancer

IBM’s Watson Expands Access to Precision Medicine for Veterans With Cancer

While Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame often missed the critical clue, the VA expects its new partnership with IBM’s Watson to help it detect the genomic fingerprints of cancer and make effective treatments less of a mystery.

Rules Keep Some VA Cancer Patients from Receiving Concurrent Care in Hospice

Rules Keep Some VA Cancer Patients from Receiving Concurrent Care in Hospice

According to VHA rules, veterans with cancer need not make the “terrible choice” between receiving therapies to combat their illness or hospice services.

Impetigo, Psoriasis Might Increase Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Risk

Impetigo, Psoriasis Might Increase Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma Risk

Recent research has focused on some etiological factors to help predict who is at risk for developing cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), which occurs disproportionately in veterans.

Final Agent Orange Report: Stronger Link to Bladder Cancer, Hypothyroidism

Final Agent Orange Report: Stronger Link to Bladder Cancer, Hypothyroidism

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) changed the classification of three medical conditions in its last congressionally-ordered review of the evidence of health problems associated with exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides during the Vietnam War.

Lymphoma Survivors Should Be Monitored for Melanoma

ROCKVILLE, MD — While previous studies have reported that survivors of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) have an increased risk of developing cutaneous melanoma, risks associated with specific treatments and immune-related risk factors have not been quantified. To remedy that, a study… Read More

Disrupted Metabolism Affects Lymphoma Development

SAN ANTONIO — New research directly links disrupted metabolism to a common and often fatal type of lymphoma, according to an article in Nature Communications.1 “The link between metabolism and cancer has been proposed or inferred to exist for a… Read More

Older Veterans Must Weigh Benefits of ‘Expectant Management’ in Prostate Cancer

Older Veterans Must Weigh Benefits of ‘Expectant Management’ in Prostate Cancer

By Stephen Spotswood ATLANTA — For patients diagnosed with a malignancy, the natural response is to ask the physician to do everything possible to treat the cancer. The challenge for VA clinicians and others, especially with older patients who have… Read More

When Is Expectant Management Used in VA PCa Treatment?

With low-risk prostate cancer, aggressive treatment of some men leads to marginal survival benefits yet exposes them to urinary and sexual side effects.

Using New Onset Diabetes to Predict Pancreatic Cancer

LOUIS — New-onset diabetes mellitus (NODM) in adults can be an indicator of pancreatic cancer, although the incidence remains low in that cohort. A new study sought to determine whether other factors could help determine when concerns about pancreatic cancer… Read More

Agent Orange Exposure Linked to Multiple Myeloma Precursor

NEW YORK — U.S. Air Force personnel who conducted aerial herbicide spray missions of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War had more than double the risk of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), according to a recent report. MGUS is… Read More

Rates of BRCA Testing for Veterans Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

In 2012, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), an alliance of leading cancer care centers, recommended that women with breast cancer be offered BRCA1/BRCA2 testing if they were 45 or younger or 50 or younger with a family history or an additional primary case.

Cancer Stage, Weight Loss Most Affect Lung Cancer Survival

BRONX, NY — Survival in veterans with lung cancer is more related to their percentage weight loss and stage of cancer than the subtype of lung cancer, according to a new study. Background in the article, which was published in… Read More

Comorbidities Raise Mortality Risk in Lung Cancer Patients

OMAHA, NE — Comorbid conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, or congestive heart failure raise the mortality risk for lung cancer patients compared to those without the conditions, according to a study funded by the VHA. The report,… Read More

Effect of Lung Cancer Screening on Smoking Cessation

Effect of Lung Cancer Screening on Smoking Cessation

BOSTON — Are those with high-risk smoking histories more likely to quit after participation in annual lung cancer screening? That’s the question raised by a recent study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.1 The study, led by Massachusetts General Hospital… Read More

Electronic Triggers Speed up Follow-up for Cancer Diagnosis, Care at Houston VAMC

Electronic Triggers Speed up Follow-up for Cancer Diagnosis, Care at Houston VAMC

By Brenda L. Mooney HOUSTON — Over the last years, the VA has struggled with ways to reduce follow-up delays for patients, such as those being evaluated for cancer. Researchers at the Michael E. DeBakey VAMC and Baylor College of… Read More

Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water Associated with Higher Cancer Incidence

Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water Associated with Higher Cancer Incidence

Recent Study Finds Link to Early Onset Male Breast Cancer By Annette M. Boyle JACKSONVILLE, NC — Marines, sailors and their families who sought refreshment with a cool glass of water at Camp Lejeune got a little something extra with… Read More

Length of Colonoscopy Affects Cancer Development for Veterans

MINNEAPOLIS — How can the VA improve colorectal cancer detection and care? One answer is taking more time with a diagnostic procedure, according to a study of 76,810 veterans. Researchers from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System found that colonoscopies… Read More

VA Treatment for Colorectal, Lung Cancer Often Better than Outside Care

VA Treatment for Colorectal, Lung Cancer Often Better than Outside Care

Veterans with cancer who have dual coverage do best when they choose one system for all their healthcare and often do better when the VA is that choice.

Prostate Cancer Treatment Has Long-Term Effects

NEW YORK — The long-term impact on functional outcomes after prostate cancer treatment is substantial, with the vast majority of older patients reporting erectile dysfunction/sexual inactivity and other adverse symptoms 12 years later, according to a Swedish study. The study,… Read More

Radiation for Prostate Cancer Well Tolerated At VA

  BROOKLYN, NY — Prostate cancer patients treated at a VAMC appeared to tolerate dose-escalated radiation well, according to a recent study. Results of the research, which analyzed the long-term results of veterans treated with dose-escalated radiation therapy for prostate… Read More

VA Tops in Experience With Rare Lymphomas, Looks for More Effective Treatments

VA Tops in Experience With Rare Lymphomas, Looks for More Effective Treatments

As the healthcare system with the most experience treating older men, the VA has special expertise in treating uncommon diseases that plague them, such as peripheral T-cell lymphoma. The current challenge for clinicians is to find ways to raise the… Read More

With Prostate Cancer Diagnosed Younger, Treatment Options Under Fierce Debate

With Prostate Cancer Diagnosed Younger, Treatment Options Under Fierce Debate

Since the mid-1980s, six times as many men under 55 now are receiving prostate cancer diagnoses, and the younger patients face considerably higher mortality rates. With the stakes even greater, the debate continues on whether too much screening is being… Read More