Committee Connection
  • The Rise and Fall of Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents: Medicare Reimbursement Is the Key

    28 Jul 2014 04:04 PM

                        Key Points Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) were quickly embraced by oncologists after their approval in the early 1990’s and 2000s. But soon after, data showed the drugs led to adverse events, leading the FDA to issue black box warnings. In addition, CMS issued a new coverage policy that limited ESA reimbursement except in cases of documented... Read more

  • A Continuing Commitment: A Look into the IDEA Program

    16 Jul 2014 01:44 PM

    Perspective from L. Michael Glodé, MD, FACP, FASCO, an IDEA Mentor     Dr. Maria Bourlon and Dr. L. Michael Glodé at a Conquer  Cancer Foundation eventI first heard about the International Development and Education Award (IDEA) program in an email from ASCO that asked for volunteers who were willing to host a fellow from abroad. I responded, listing my areas of interest, and I was gratified to be contacted by the... Read more

  • HPV is the Driving Force behind the Rise of Oropharyngeal Cancer

    14 Jul 2014 04:03 PM

                        Key Points First American study to show that from the 1980s through the 2000s, the proportion of tumors that carried HPV rose over time and that rise tightly paralleled the increase in rates of OPSCC. This observation led to the study’s conclusion: the increase in cases of oropharyngeal cancers in the United States since 1984 are caused by HPV infection.... Read more

  • Depression Takes a Toll on Men with Prostate Cancer

    07 Jul 2014 04:14 PM

                        Key Points This study found that men with depression were more likely to be diagnosed with high risk prostate cancer, received less than optimal treatment, and survived for a shorter time, compared to men with without depression. These negative outcomes may be due to several factors, including bias against people with mental illness, depression’s effects... Read more

  • To Improve Quality of Rectal Cancer Surgery, 10 Hospitals Link Medical Records and Tumor Registries

    30 Jun 2014 04:03 PM

                        Key Points This Michigan-based study showed it was possible to successfully link a statewide registry that collects data on surgical quality with the tumor registries of 10 hospitals. The new database will serve as a platform for a quality assessment program for rectal cancer surgery. The study produced a list of 66 recommended variables to be abstracted... Read more

  • Calcium and Milk Tied to Higher Overall Survival among People with Colorectal Cancer

    23 Jun 2014 04:13 PM

                        Key Points The study found that among patients with non-metastatic colorectal cancer, those who consumed more calcium and milk after their diagnosis had a lower rate of death from all causes. These same benefits were not seen in those who consumed more vitamin D. In addition, the amount of calcium, vitamin D and milk consumed before diagnosis had no effect... Read more

  • Read Scans Like This, Not That: For a Subtype of Lymphoma, Scans Predict Survival

    16 Jun 2014 04:04 PM

              Key PointsFinding a good predictor of survival among patients with primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma (PMLBCL) is important since those with negative scans may be able to forgo radiation and yet enjoy the same survival as those with positive scans who received radiation. This study found that the Deauville Scale captured more scans that were truly negative, and was thus superior to... Read more

  • Remembering Selma Ruth Schimmel: September 16, 1954–May 21, 2014

    16 Jun 2014 10:35 AM

    By Jo Cavallo     Selma SchimmelMy last conversation with Selma Schimmel was two months ago. She had been uncharacteristically out of touch for a few weeks, and I had a nagging feeling the severe pain in her psoas muscle caused by advancing ovarian cancer—which had plagued her for months and she described as in a “league of its own”—had gotten worse. She had been exploring more effective pain management, but nothing seemed to... Read more

  • Surgeon Characteristics Explain Less-than-Ideal Rates of Needle Biopsy

    09 Jun 2014 04:20 PM

              Key PointThis study found that the strongest factor influencing whether a patient being treated for breast cancer received surgical or needle biopsy was the professional and academic characteristics of the individual surgeon caring for the patient.          By Shira Klapper, Senior Writer/EditorIn the 1990s, organizations such as the Joint Task... Read more

  • Early Stage Breast Cancer: Can Subtype and Tumor Size Predict Who Benefits from Chemotherapy?

    02 Jun 2014 05:31 PM

              Key PointThe researchers found that among women with T1a or T1b cancer who have low grade, HR+ and HER2- tumors, there was an overall risk of distant recurrence lower than 5% whether patients received chemotherapy or not . However, among women who were HR-, HER2- and not treated with chemotherapy, the risk of five-year recurrence was higher— at 7% for those with T1a tumors and at 10%... Read more