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Clinical Topics


Oncology

Side-effects Differ Between Radiation Therapies for Prostate Cancer

A recent study compared patient-reported disease-specific functional outcomes after external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and EBRT combined with low-dose-rate brachytherapy prostate boost (EB-LDR) among men with localized prostate cancer.

Oncology

Parkinson’s Drug Not Associated With Higher Prostate Cancer Risk

An increased incidence of prostate cancer was observed in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients treated with entacapone during a pre-approval randomized clinical trial, according to a new study which noted that the relationship had not yet been intensely investigated.

Oncology

Metformin Promising for Improving Prostate Cancer Survival

Metformin, a commonly used drug for patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), has shown promise in helping to treat prostate cancer (PCa), according to a new study.

Oncology

VA’s Use of Conservative Management for Prostate Cancer Sets Standard

The VA is taking a leading role in use of conservative treatment for veterans diagnosed with non-aggressive prostate cancer.

Oncology

VA Launches Study to Address Liver Fluke/Bile Duct Cancer Concerns

A recently launched VA study of mortality in Vietnam veterans will examine whether exposure to liver flukes, a parasitic worm, increased the risk of cholangiocarcinoma or bile duct cancer in those veterans.

Oncology

Incidence of NK/T-cell Lymphoma Rises Significantly in the United States

Limited data are available regarding the incidence, survival patterns, and long-term outcomes of natural killer/T-cell neoplasms in the United States.

Oncology

Early Therapy Helps Prevent Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Other AIDS-related Cancer

Prevention of AIDS-defining cancers, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, can be helped by early, sustained antiretroviral therapy, which results in long-term viral suppression, a new study found.

Oncology

Memory Problems Worsen Survival Rates in Older Blood Cancer Patients

About a third of hematologic cancer patients in a recent cohort study screened positive for executive dysfunction, and more than 17% had memory problems.

Oncology

Suicide risk under-appreciated among advanced lung cancer patients

Much of the focus on suicide at the VA is on recently discharged servicemembers who suffer from conditions such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Oncology

New Agents Extend Options for Increased Survival in Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Accounting for nearly a third of all cancer diagnoses, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in the VHA, where past research has suggested that the malignancy is caught earlier than in other healthcare systems.

Oncology

Personalized Medicine Brightens Outlook for Most Common Kidney Cancer

In the past five years, 10 new system therapies have been approved for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the most common type of kidney cancer.

Oncology

Targeted Therapies Transform RCC Treatment Over Last Decade

In the last decade, the development of multiple molecular-targeted therapies has dramatically altered the treatment landscape for advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

Oncology

Liver Cancer Continues to Rise, Even as VA Declares Victory Over HCV Infection

In March, then-VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, announced at the annual Wharton Health Care Business Conference that the VA will have eliminated hepatitis C infections among all patients willing and able to be treated by next spring.

Oncology

Undertreatment of Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer Treatment, Despite Guidelines

While many other cancers have seen dramatic improvement in outcomes in the past 20 years, pancreatic cancer remains one of the deadliest malignancies, regardless of stage at diagnosis, with an overall five-year survival rate of only 8%, according to the American Cancer Society.

Oncology

Colonoscopy Linked to Lower CRC Mortality in Veterans

Colonoscopy is heavily promoted in the VA healthcare system, and a new study sought to document its effect on colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality rates.

Oncology

Adjuvant Chemotherapy Improves Survival in Rectal Cancer

The standard of care for locoregionally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) in the United States usually involves adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) following chemoradiation (CRT) and total mesorectal excision (TME).

Oncology

Weight, Not Diet, Associated With Higher Veteran Mortality From CRC

While suspected, the relationship between dietary and lifestyle risk factors and long-term mortality from colorectal cancer remains poorly understood, according to a new study.

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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

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

Oncology

Cabozantinib May Help Overcome Checkpoint Inhibitor Resistance in GU Cancers

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

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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.

Oncology

Vaccine Shows Early Promise in Metastatic Melanoma

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

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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.

Oncology

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).

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

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