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Conference Correspondent

Erin W. Hofstatter, MDCHICAGO—Patients are more willing than their oncologists to discuss the cost of cancer care, according to a recent survey of patients with cancer.

In its update of its technology assessment guidelines on chemotherapy sensitivity and resistance assays (CSRAs), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) cautioned against the use of this technology to select chemotherapeutic agents for individual patients. Rather, the guidelines recommend that oncologists “make chemotherapy treatment recommendations based on published reports of clinical trials and a patient's health status and treatment preferences.”

 

In its update of its technology assessment guidelines on chemotherapy sensitivity and resistance assays (CSRAs), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) cautioned against the use of this technology to select chemotherapeutic agents for individual patients. Rather, the guidelines recommend that oncologists “make chemotherapy treatment recommendations based on published reports of clinical trials and a patient's health status and treatment preferences.”

 

CHICAGO—Women considered at risk for breast cancer developed fewer breast cancers and fewer precursor lesions by taking the aromatase inhibitor (AI) exemestane for 5 years, versus placebo, in a large Canadian study presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

 

CHICAGO—More support for bevacizumab in the treatment of ovarian cancer emerged at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, with studies showing the drug prolongs the time to disease progression, both in the metastatic and primary disease settings.

 

OCEANS

CHICAGO—For the first time in decades, the treatment of advanced melanoma has taken a positive turn, according to studies presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology that showed a survival benefit with 2 experimental agents.

 

CHICAGO—The oral poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor olaparib delayed ovarian cancer recurrence by 4 months when given as maintenance therapy to patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer, in an international study reported at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology by Jonathan Ledermann, MD, professor of medical oncology, University College London, United Kingdom.

 

ORLANDO—A novel prostate brachytherapy technique that avoids the central zone may sharply reduce periurethral prostate radiation (XBT) and significantly reduce posttreatment urinary obstruction/irritation. In addition, this approach may significantly reduce long-term urinary incontinence, according to a prospective study presented at the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

 

SAN FRANCISCO—A novel small-caliber metal stent can provide a low-risk means of palliation for severe malignant dysphagia, according to investigators who have created these stents and are now testing them in trials. The results were presented at the 2011 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium by Stephen Kucera, MD, of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida, where he is an interventional endoscopy fellow.

 

BOSTON—Nurses have been involved in radiation oncology since the early 1940s, but as nursing roles in general have evolved over time, so has the role of these nurses. A group of advanced practice nurses (APNs) shared how they came to be part of their facility’s radiation oncology department and how the increased strain on healthcare is opening opportunities in this field for APNs.

 

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