Clinical Topics


Oncology

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

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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

Oncology

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.

Oncology

Laparoscopic, Robotic Surgeries Equivalent for Pancreatic Cancer

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

Oncology

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.

Oncology

Survey Results Add to Information About ECP Treatment for CTCL

LEBANON, NH — Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) is a leukapheresis-based therapeutic procedure that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) since 1988. In ECP,... View Article

Oncology

New Treatment Option Extends CTCL Progression Free Survival

STANFORD, CA — Patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) might have a promising new treatment option, according to a study presented at a recent conference. In a presentation at the 2017 American Society of Hematology... View Article

Oncology

Agent Orange Exposure Doesn’t Reduce CLL Survival

MINNEAPOLIS—Exposure to Agent Orange was not associated with either poor prognostic factors or shortened overall survival in a large veteran population with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), even though it is associated with development of the... View Article

Oncology

Video-assisted Thoracoscopic Lobectomy Improves NSCLC Survival

Should stereotactic body radiotherapy remain the standard treatment for medically inoperable early-Stage non-small cell lung cancer?

Oncology

Metformin Shows Promise for Increasing NSCLC Survival

BETHESDA, MD—Past research has raised the possibility that a common blood sugar-lowering drug could be associated with improved survival in cancer patients with Type 2 diabetes. A study published recently in the International Journal of Cancer assessed... View Article

Oncology

New Techniques Improved Survival for Veterans with Stage 1 NSCLC

Improved radiation and surgical techniques boosted overall survival in veterans diagnosed with Stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) from 2001 to 2010.

Oncology

Factors Affecting Biochemical Recurrence of Prostate Cancer

DURHAM, NC—What is the association between lowest prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and time to nadir with biochemical recurrence (BCR) risk after radical prostatectomy (RP)? A study published recently in the journal Urology used the SEARCH database... View Article

Oncology

Visceral Metastases Predict Overall PC Survival in Veterans

DURHAM, NC—Visceral metastases (VMs) are generally believed to predict worse prognoses compared with bone and lymph metastases in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Still, a new study published in the journal European Urology... View Article

Oncology

Veterans With PTSD Fare Worse With Concurrent Prostate Cancer

EAST NORTHPORT, NY—Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can be difficult enough. But what happens when the patient also is a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? A presentation at the 2017 American Society of Clinical... View Article

Oncology

VA Researcher Works to Find Improved Therapies for Esophageal Cancer

By Stephen Spotswood BALTIMORE—James Donahue, MD, has been thinking about the need for better treatments for cancer his entire adult life. His mother died from breast cancer when he was 14, and from that day... View Article

Oncology

Viagra Likely Doesn’t Cause Melanoma Cases

NEW YORK—A new study found higher rates of melanoma in users of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra but could identify no direct cause and effect. A report published online by the Journal of the National... View Article

Oncology

VA Researchers Show How Imatinib Improves Prognosis for Hard-to-Treat Cancer

PORTLAND, OR — Not long ago, less than a third of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients survived five years and gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) patients had an even shorter life expectancy, according to the National Cancer Institute. Now significant numbers of patients with these cancers live for another 10 years after diagnosis.

Oncology

Stereotactic Body Radiation Doubles Lung Cancer Survival in Some Veterans

Between 2001 and 2010, survival rates for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) doubled among veterans.

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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... View Article

Oncology

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

By Stephen SpotswoodATLANTA — 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... View Article

Oncology

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... View Article

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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... View Article

Oncology

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... View Article

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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,... View Article

Oncology

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... View Article

Oncology

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.1The study, led by... View Article

Oncology

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

By Brenda L. MooneyHOUSTON — 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... View Article

Oncology

Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water Associated with Higher Cancer Incidence

Recent Study Finds Link to Early Onset Male Breast CancerBy Annette M. BoyleJACKSONVILLE, NC — Marines, sailors and their families who sought refreshment with a cool glass of water at Camp Lejeune got a little... View Article

Oncology

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... View Article

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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... View Article

Oncology

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... View Article

Oncology

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... View Article

Oncology

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... View Article

Oncology

Colon Cancer Screening Remains Low for Blacks Despite Access

LOS ANGELES — African-Americans’ participation in colorectal cancer screening is low, and the use of colonoscopy infrequent despite similar access to care in a specific Veterans Affairs healthcare system, according to a new study.The report,... View Article

Oncology

Life Expectancy for Patients Receiving Sigmoidoscopy

SAN FRANCISCO — How long does it take for the benefit of screening flexible sigmoidoscopy to accrue for colorectal cancer? A new study suggests it is most appropriate for older adults with a life expectancy... View Article

Oncology

Lottery Improves Colon Cancer Screening Rate

ANN ARBOR, MI — Rather than gambling on their health, veterans at the Philadelphia VA Healthcare System entered a lottery by agreeing to undergo colon cancer screening.Told they had a 1-in-10 chance of winning $50,... View Article

Oncology

VA Educates Patients about Who Really Needs Testosterone Therapy

COLUMBIA, MO - Often spurred by advertising touting the benefits of testosterone supplementation for “low T,” veterans treated by the VA increasingly are requesting the replacement therapy.

Oncology

VA Study Finds That Statins Reduce Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk

CHAPEL HILL, NC - Physicians commonly recommend statins for veterans with high triglyceride levels.

Oncology

No Higher Breast Cancer Rates Among Transgender Veterans

JOHNSON CITY, TN – Consistent with past European studies, new research from the Mountain Home VAMC suggests that transgender (TG) veterans have no higher rates of breast cancer than others. The study, published recently in... View Article

Oncology

Biology Blamed for Later-Stage Breast Cancer in Black Women

SAN DIEGO – African-American women present with more aggressive breast tumors and at later stages than white women. Many factors have been proposed to explain these findings, including socioeconomic status, cultural beliefs and access to... View Article

Oncology

More Breast Cancer Patients Opt for Mastectomy Than Previously

NASHVILLE – Many more breast cancer patients now opt for mastectomy, including removal of both breasts, instead of choosing breast conservation surgery (BCS), even with early-stage disease confined to one breast, according to a new... View Article

Oncology

VA Tackles Obesity Paradox:

Why Do Overweight Patients Live Longer with Heart Failure? Now the leading cause of hospital admissions in the VA Health Care System, heart failure is associated with high mortality rates and poor quality of life.

               
           

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