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Conference Correspondent

BOSTON—As more targeted therapies for non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) become available, experts are assessing which patients’ tumors should be genotyped and when. Although genotyping—not to be confused with genetic testing—is becoming increasingly important in developing a treatment plan, professional guidelines do not yet recommend incorporating it as a routine part of care for patients with NSCLC.


BOSTON—Recognizing steroid-induced hyperglycemia early and addressing it promptly can prevent significant adverse effects associated with this complication. Educating patients on the importance of and methods for maintaining good blood glucose control helps mitigate damage to the vascular system and kidneys from hyperglycemia. It also lessens susceptibility to infection, a complication of hyperglycemia that is of serious concern in immunocompromised patients.


A clinicopathologic staging system for diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (DMPM) stratifies survival through tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) criteria. Using prospectively collected data from 8 institutions, the developers identified 3 prognostic factors independently associated with survival: peritoneal cancer index, lymph node status, and extra-abdominal metastasis. The developers based the TNM system on these 3 factors, which they identified as influenced by disease progression from a set of 7 factors associated with improved survival in their univariate analysis of the data.

BOSTON—Many patients are unaware of their risk of cancer-related lymphedema, and oncology nurses can be instrumental in raising consciousness about this debilitating adverse effect. Of breast cancer survivors, 22% to 66% develop lymphedema, said Jane Armer, PhD, RN, FAAN, Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri, in her poster presentation. Approximately 15% of nonbreast cancer patients also develop lymphedema. This chronic condition is optimally managed by a lymphedema therapist.


BOSTON—Bone loss and related complications are common in patients with cancer. And the problem is growing, with more patients with cancer aged 65 years and older and increased use of newer treatments that compromise bone mineral density (BMD). “As nurses, we have a very significant role to play in both prevention and management of [bone loss] problems,” said Carrie Tompkins Stricker, PhD, RN, oncology nurse practitioner, Abramson Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


BOSTON—As every oncology nurse knows, pain is no stranger to patients with advanced cancer. Even if background pain appears under control, studies show 23% to 89% of patients experience intermittent bouts of pain known as breakthrough cancer pain (BTCP). Variation in the incidence rates reflects variation in the definition of BTCP.


BOSTON—In an event that brought tears and laughter to those attending, CURE magazine recognized Marie Hayek, RN; Robert Martinez, LPN; and Rebecca Wojtecki, RN, BSN; as Extraordinary Healers. Nominees for the 5th annual Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing were selected based on essays submitted by patients, caregivers, and colleagues.


BOSTON—The growing use of oral oncolytics corresponds to a growing challenge with poor adherence to therapy. With more than 40 oral oncolytics available and dozens in the pipeline, Susan Moore, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCN, oncology nurse practitioner and consultant with MCG Oncology in Chicago, Illinois, warned nurses at the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) annual meeting that “the issue is not going to fade away.”


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