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Current Issue

HCV Complications Rise in Women Veterans While Beginning Decline in Men

VA researchers expect complications from chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) in women veterans to continue to rise for a decade or longer after rates begin to decline in men.

2018 Compendium of Federal Medicine

VA Leads the Way in Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

According to a report from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 42,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose in 2016—five times higher than only seven years prior—and current CDC data shows little evidence that those numbers are any lower for 2017.

2018 Compendium of Federal Medicine

Among Veterans, Women as Likely as Men to Have Substance Abuse

Childhood adversity increases risk for alcohol and drug disorders for veterans, and, unlike in the civilian population, veteran women are as likely as men to have those types of problems.

2018 Compendium of Federal Medicine

CTCL 6-10 Times More Common in Veterans; Agent Orange a Factor New Therapies Raise Optimism about Treatment

Chances are, if you haven’t trained or practiced at the VA, you haven’t seen cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

2018 Compendium of Federal Medicine

New Therapy Options Recently Approved for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

While the availability of novel therapies is making the future brighter for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) patients, new treatments also are coming on line for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a hematological cancer distinct from NHL.

Current Issue

Maintenance Rituximab Increases Survival in Follicular Lymphoma

Because several studies have suggested it fails to increase overall survival (OS) despite prolonging progression-free survival (PFS), use of maintenance rituximab (MR) following chemoimmunotherapy in follicular lymphoma (FL) remains controversial.

ASCO Reporter

VA Care Not Timely in Early Lung Cancer; But Did It Matter?

Multiple organizations have recommended timely treatment for patients with lung cancer.

ASCO Reporter

Cabozantinib May Help Overcome Checkpoint Inhibitor Resistance in GU Cancers

The treatment armamentarium for renal cell carcinoma and other genitourinary cancers continues to expand.

ASCO Reporter

VA Study Indicates That Location Matters in Colon Cancer Survival

More than 95,000 Americans develop colon cancer, making it the third most common cancer in the U.S., excluding skin cancers.

ASCO Reporter

VA Develops, Validates Thromboembolism Risk Tool in Multiple Myeloma

While guidelines for multiple myeloma advise pharmacologic prophylaxis to prevent development of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in high-risk patients, current risk assessment tools differ in the factors considered indicative of high risk and in the patients determined to need preventive anticoagulation.

ASCO Reporter

Vaccine Shows Early Promise in Metastatic Melanoma

Researchers reported positive results today for phase IIb testing of a vaccine for high-risk melanoma patients.

ASCO Reporter

Therapy Combinations Were Safe, Active in Genitourinary Cancer Trials

Federal researchers reported updated results of trials of cabozantinib plus nivolumab with and without ipilimumab in patients with refractory metastatic urothelial carcinoma on Saturday at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.

ASCO Reporter

Cabozantinib Improves Survival in Liver Cancer Regardless of Age

HOUSTON — For veterans with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), research presented today at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago offers encouraging the news. The study determined that a new tyrosine kinase... View Article

ASCO Reporter

Pulmonary Events Affect 30% of Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients Post-Chemo

Bleomycin, the first line standard of care for Hodgkin lymphoma causes pulmonary events in some patients, but physicians have been uncertain how many patients are affected and how long they remain at risk.

ASCO Reporter

VA Team Develops Reliable Measure of Cancer Drug Efficacy

Assessing tumor growth and regression to determine a treatment’s efficacy over time can be challenging on an individual basis.

ASCO Reporter

Common Vitamin Deficiency Increases Mortality Risk 80% in Cancer Patients

Vitamin D deficiency doesn’t just increase the risk of osteoporosis and other bone disorders, it dramatically increases the risk of death in older cancer patients with solid tumors, according to researchers at the Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System in Temple, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

ASCO Reporter

Risk Predictor Guides Breast Cancer Treatment at MHS Facility

Physicians and patients want to do everything possible to minimize the risk of breast cancer recurrence without incurring unnecessary toxicity from chemotherapy.

ASCO Reporter

Test Accurately Predicts Overall Survival in Prostate Cancer

For the physicians treating men with non-metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer, knowing the risk of progression or death provides valuable information to guide the timing and selection of treatment.

Current Issue

Despite Overall Longevity Trends, Mortality Increases for Schizophrenia Patients

Since the 1970s, mortality rates have declined, extending average lifespan by almost a decade.

Current Issue

Nightmare Disorder Increases Mental Health Risks in Servicemembers

Lack of sleep has long been a feature of military service.

Current Issue

No Link Found Between H. Pylori Infection, Unexplained Anemia

Despite limited evidence to support the practice, testing for Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection is recommended for work-up of unexplained iron deficiency anemia (IDA).

Current Issue

VA Takes the Lead to Prevent Spread of Multi Drug-Resistant Organisms

The VA is leveraging its position as the country’s largest integrated healthcare system to slow the development and spread of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO).

Battlefield Medicine

Military Services Develop Remote Monitoring to Improve Battlefield Medicine

What if battlefield medics could monitor multiple injured servicemembers in the field thought a new electronic monitoring tool?

Current Issue

VA-Led Study: Absenteeism Drops With Mandatory HCP Influenza Vaccines

New research is raising questions about whether the VA is doing enough to promote influenza vaccination of healthcare personnel.

April 2018

In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Has Higher Survival Rates at VA Hospitals

Veterans who suffer cardiac arrest during a VA hospital stay are more likely to survive the experience than patients who have such events cardiac arrests in other U.S. hospitals. And, a year later, they are also more likely to still be alive.

April 2018

VHA’s Type 1 Diabetes Telehealth Care Saves Time, Money

About 5% of the United States population has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and the great majority are diagnosed before age 25. Since a diabetes diagnosis prevents enlistment in the military, relatively few veterans have the condition compared to type 2 diabetes, which affects about a fourth of VHA patients.

April 2018

Telenephrology Brings Better Care to VA CKD Patients in Remote Areas

For patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), living more than 30 miles from their nephrologist is associated with many unfavorable outcomes.

April 2018

First-Ever Study Focuses on How Well VHA Cares for TIA Patients

INDIANAPOLIS — While many healthcare systems measure the quality of their stroke care, looking at performance early in the vascular disease process can help avoid acute events altogether.

April 2018

VA Patients Lack Testing to Optimize CLL Treatment

SALT LAKE CITY — The presence of deletion 17p (del17), determined by chromosome analysis and/or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), is a strong negative prognostic marker in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to a report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

April 2018

Cognitive Dysfunction Affects Blood Cancer Survival

BOSTON — With an aging population, cognitive impairment is increasingly common. The question raised by a new study was what effect that has on survival for older patients with hematologic cancers.

April 2018

Mental Health Diagnoses Increase Coronary Artery Disease Risks in Women Veterans

BOSTON — Depression and anxiety can be debilitating on their own. For women veterans, the conditions raise an additional concern: They significantly increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD)—the leading cause of death in the United States.

April 2018

For Memory Issues, It’s Not So Much the Concussion as the Blast

BOSTON—Many more servicemembers might have been injured by blasts in Iraq and Afghanistan than previously reported.

COPD

Supplemental Oxygen Needs Rarely Addressed in COPD Inpatients

CHICAGO — Patients hospitalized with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who require supplemental oxygen (O2) are at increased risk of hospital readmissions, but little information exists on the quality of evaluation and documentation regarding the need for supplemental O2 in that population.

Current Issue

MS Surprisingly Prevalent in U.S., Dropping Among Servicemembers

The prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the United States population appears to be nearly double previous estimates. Among servicemembers, however, the rate of new MS diagnoses has dropped significantly in recent years.

March 2018

Focus on Diabetes Control, Cancer Screening Helps Reduce MS Deaths

OKLAHOMA CITY — While multiple sclerosis (MS) itself remains incurable, development of more effective treatments over the past 25 years has increased life expectancy for patients with the disease. Today, MS patients have a life expectancy only about seven years less than individuals without the disease, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

March 2018

Lobectomy Still Has Significant Survival Benefit in Early NSCLC

While increased use of stereotactic body radiation might have played a key role in doubling survival rates for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) among veterans between 2001 and 2010 compared to conventional radiation, a new study confirms that isn’t always the best way to assure longer survival.

March 2018

Gene Assay Can Help Determine Active Surveillance Usefulness

BEDFORD, MA—Active surveillance (AS) has been widely implemented at the VA as a standard of care for low-risk prostate cancer (PCa). A study in the American Journal of Managed Care posits, however, that patient characteristics such as... View Article

Cancer

Cancer Trials Boom in VA’s New England Region

The number of clinical trials open to veterans with cancer in the New England region (VISN 1) grows every week, leading a return to the prominence the VA had in trial programs in decades past and offering veterans access to the “gold standard” of treatment in oncology.

Addiction

Long-term Opioid Prescribing Declines in VHA, Bucking National Trend

Extended Prescribing Dropped from 9.5% in 2012 to 6.2% in 2016 By Brenda L. Mooney IOWA CITY, IA—Long-term prescribing of opioid painkillers is on the decline at the VA, in contrast to what appears to be happening outside of federal medicine.

Breast Cancer

Chemotherapy Use Declines for Breast Cancer Patients

With growing concern about overtreatment of breast cancer as outcomes have improved over time, not much research has been performed on how chemotherapy use and oncologists' recommendations have changed in recent years.

February 2018

Laparoscopic, Robotic Surgeries Equivalent for Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer patients increasingly are receiving minimally invasive pancreaticoduodenectomy (MIPD).

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Advanced NSCLC Patients Still Receive Aggressive Treatment

Aggressive care for cancer patients appears to be increasing at the end of life, and the VA is part of that trend, according to a new study.

February 2018

New Research Addresses Unique Challenges to Brain Health Faced by Servicemembers

Neuroscientists are tackling some of the challenges to brain health predominantly experienced by servicemembers – and that has important implications for the broader population.

Current Issue

Epilepsy Centers of Excellence Provide Options for Veterans With Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

Epilepsy is substantially more common in veterans than the general population and, in up to 40% of them, anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) fail to control their seizures.

Depression

VA Study Addresses Concerns About Anti-Epileptic Drugs, Suicidal Behavior Link

In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert about increased risk for suicidal ideation and behavior for patients taking anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs).

Diabetes

VHA Data Helps Validate Tool for Hypoglycemia Risk ID

OAKLAND, CA—Data from more than 1.3 million VHA patients was used to help validate a practical tool for identifying people with diabetes who are at the highest risk for being admitted to an emergency department... View Article

Clinical Topics Home

Hypoglycemia Common in Hospice Patients Continuing Insulin Treatment

BOSTON—Clinical guidelines recommend relaxing glycemic control target levels for patients with diabetes and advanced disease and eventual discontinuation of medications as patients near death to avoid hypoglycemia. A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine... View Article

Clinical Topics Home

VA Study Shows Kidney Disease Ups Diabetes Risk

LOUIS—For years, research has shown that patients with diabetes have an increased risk of kidney disease. But what about the reverse? A new study published in the journal Kidney International provides evidence that kidney dysfunction... View Article

Agencies Home

Is Stroke Hospitalization Higher for Mentally Ill Veterans?

A recent study raises questions about whether stroke survivors with severe mental illness are at risk for increased nonpsychiatric hospitalization at the VHA compared to stroke survivors without prior psychiatric diagnoses.

Cardiovascular Disease

Better Sleep Metrics Can Identify CVD Risk in Sleep Apnea

MIAMI—Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is known to increase the risk of early mortality, stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). A study published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology noted that OSA is defined by the apnea–hypopnea... View Article

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