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December 2012 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Tuesday, January 1, 2013 (Last Updated: 01/02/2013)

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for December 2012. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Derm-Path Training Linked to Fewer Diagnosis Discrepancies

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer diagnostic discrepancies are seen for pathologists with dermatopathology fellowship training, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Limited Value for Pap Tests in Endometrial Cancer Recurrence

FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- For women who have undergone a hysterectomy for endometrial cancer, abnormal Papanicolaou (Pap) test results do not aid in diagnosing recurrent disease, according to a study published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Indicators Show Little Change in Overuse of Ambulatory Care

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States from 1999 to 2009, the delivery of underused care in the ambulatory setting improved, but fewer changes were seen in inappropriate care, according to a study published online Dec. 24 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Cancer Screening Goals Not Being Met by General Population

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, the general population only meets the recommended cancer screening goals for colorectal cancer, while cancer survivors meet all requirements except for cervical cancer screening, according to a study published online Dec. 27 in Frontiers in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention.

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Study Provides More Data for Ovarian Cancer Risk Prediction

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Among asymptomatic women, high-risk categories for predicting ovarian cancer risk can be identified using CA125, transvaginal ultrasonography, or both, providing guidance for clinical decisions regarding need for surgery in these women, according to research published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Prophylactic Options Compared for Women With BRCA1/2

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The results of a simulation model suggest that, when quality of life is considered, prophylactic bilateral salpingectomy with delayed oophorectomy may be an acceptable alternative to bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy for women with BRCA mutations, according to research published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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R.E.N.A.L. Nephrometry Score Predicts Treatment Efficacy

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The R.E.N.A.L. (radius, exophytic/endophytic, nearness to collecting system or sinus, anterior/posterior and location relative to polar lines) nephrometry scoring system predicts the efficacy of treatment and major complications that occur after percutaneous renal ablation for treatment of tumors, according to research published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Positive Preclinical Results for Smo Inhibitor in Esophageal CA

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In rats with induced gastroduodenoesophageal reflux, a small molecular inhibitor of smoothened (Smo) can reduce the risk of developing Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in the Annals of Surgery.

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Impact of Drug Shortages, Including Chemo Drugs, Explored

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A number of drugs, including chemotherapeutic agents that have been available for many years, have recently been in short supply, which may have serious consequences for patients, according to a perspective piece published in the Dec. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Androgen Deprivation May Be Harmful for Some Prostate CA

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In a mouse model, androgen deprivation treatment of some high-grade but stable prostate cancers accelerates their progression to invasive disease, according to an experimental study published online Dec. 20 in Cancer Discovery.

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Fertility Drugs Not Linked to Uterine Cancer Recurrence

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- For women who undergo fertility-sparing treatment for uterine cancer, subsequent use of fertility drugs is not associated with a higher incidence of cancer recurrence, according to research published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Internet Use Cuts Cancer Fatalism in Poorly Educated

MONDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with average or lower than average education or health knowledge, use of the Internet can reduce cancer fatalism, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Communication.

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Motor Vehicle Incidents Common in Medical Residents

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- During training, internal medicine residents commonly experience motor vehicle incidents, including crashes and near misses, but less commonly experience blood and body fluid (BBF) exposures, according to research published in the December issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Longitudinal Algorithm May Detect Ovarian Cancer Earlier

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with a single-threshold (ST) rule, a parametric empirical Bayes (PEB) longitudinal screening algorithm can identify ovarian cancer earlier and at a lower concentration of CA125, according to research published online Dec. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Similar Oncologic Efficacy for Robotic, Open Cystectomy

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with bladder cancer undergoing radical cystectomy, a robotic approach seems to have the same oncologic efficacy as an open approach and demonstrates potential perioperative benefits, according to a pilot study published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Familial Cancer Risk Not Limited to Parents' Early-Onset Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- For many cancers, the familial risks of cancer are seen in offspring whose parents received a diagnosis of concordant cancer at all ages, although the highest risk is seen for those diagnosed at an early age, according to a study published online Dec. 20 in BMJ.

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No Training Means Spiritual Care Lacking in Advanced Cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Although oncology nurses and physicians feel that spiritual care (SC) is an important, appropriate, and beneficial component of end-of-life (EOL) care for patients with advanced cancer, it is infrequently offered, primarily due to a lack of training, according to research published online Dec. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Lost Productivity ~20 Percent of Cancer Costs for Employees

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Productivity losses due to disability days for employees being treated for cancer represent about 20 percent of the overall health care expenditure, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Many Docs Use Social Media to Find, Share Medical Data

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Most physicians use social media on at least a weekly basis, and report that it improves the quality of patient care they deliver, according to a study published in the September/October issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

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Incidence of Specific Cancers Up for WTC Rescue Workers

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- For rescue/recovery workers at the World Trade Center (WTC), the incidence of prostate and thyroid cancers and multiple myeloma was increased for 2007 to 2008, according to a study published in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Polygenic Risk Score Helpful for Women With Familial Breast CA

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- For women affected by familial breast cancer, a polygenic risk score based on 22 genomic variants can identify women at high-risk of breast cancer, according to a study published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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U.K. Criteria May Better Stratify for Colorectal Neoplasia Risk

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Using U.K. risk stratification criteria might better identify post-polypectomy patients in the United States at high-risk for advanced colorectal neoplasia, according to research published in the Dec. 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Snack Foods Linked to Colorectal Cancer Risk in Lynch Syndrome

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- People with Lynch syndrome have a higher risk of developing early colon cancer if they eat a diet heavy on snacks such as fried foods and sodas, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in Cancer.

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Viewing CPR Video Tool Lowers CPR Use in Advanced Cancer

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to patients with advanced cancer who were simply told about the likelihood of success with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), those who viewed a video of CPR were less likely to opt for its use, according to research published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Health Care Satisfaction Rated As High by Unacculturated Hispanics

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic patients, particularly unacculturated Hispanics, rate their health care experience more highly than do other patient groups, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

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UV Nail Lamps Do Not Significantly Up Skin Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Ultraviolet (UV) nail lamps, used for professional and personal nail techniques, do not pose a clinically significant skin cancer risk, according to a letter to the editor published online Dec. 6 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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Drug Combinations Target Mutant BRAF Melanomas

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Melanomas carrying mutations that make them resistant to many drugs can be effectively targeted by drug combinations, some of which include statins, according to a study published online Dec. 13 in Cancer Discovery.

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Iclusig Approved for Rare Leukemias

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Iclusig (ponatinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat two rare forms of leukemia..

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Omega-3 Supplements Don't Increase Surgical Blood Loss

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Omega-3 fatty acid (n-3FA) supplements do not correlate with higher perioperative blood loss during spinal fusion procedures, according to a study published in the December issue of the European Spine Journal.

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Life Expectancy Up But More Healthy Years Lost to Disability

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Although life expectancy is increasing, global estimates of healthy life expectancy indicate that the world's population loses more years of healthy life to disability today than in the past, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, published in the Dec. 15 special issue of The Lancet.

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PR+ Cells Add Prognostic Value in Luminal A Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Semiquantitative immunohistochemical expression of progesterone receptor-positive tumor cells improves prediction of survival within luminal A breast cancers, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Caffeinated Coffee May Reduce Oral/Pharyngeal Cancer Deaths

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- People who drink at least four cups of caffeinated coffee per day have about a 50 percent lower risk of death due to oral/pharyngeal cancer, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Changes in Penile Length After Radical Prostatectomy Studied

FRIDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Although penile shortening of about 1 cm can occur at three months after a radical prostatectomy (RP) for the treatment of localized prostate cancer, recovery of penile length begins after 24 months and is complete after 48 months, according to a study published in the December issue of Urology.

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HCV-Related Transplants Most Needed By Those Born 1941-60

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients born between 1941 and 1960 are creating the largest demand for liver transplants due to hepatitis C virus (HCV)-associated liver disease, according to a study published in the December issue of Liver Transplantation.

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~40 Percent of Cancer Patients Receive Opioids at End of Life

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with one of five common cancers, 43.6 percent receive at least one prescription of opioids in the last three months of life, according to a study published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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MR-US Fusion Targeted Biopsy Ups Detection of Prostate CA

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Targeted biopsy of suspected prostate cancer lesions, identified using magnetic resonance-ultrasound (MR-US) fusion, increases prostate cancer detection and detects aggressive tumors that may be missed by conventional biopsy, according to a study published in the January issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Increased Risk of Diabetes for Breast Cancer Survivors

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women with breast cancer have an increased risk of developing diabetes, which varies over time, according to a study published online Dec. 12 in Diabetologia.

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Despite cART, Anal Cancer Risk Still High for HIV-Infected

THURSDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- For HIV-infected patients, despite combined antiretroviral treatment (cART), the risk of anal cancer is still much higher than in the general population, according to a study published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Current Health Costs Pushing Docs to Make Urgent Choices

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The current growth in health care's share of the gross domestic product (GDP) and need to implement learning health systems is forcing physicians to make important choices, according to a perspective piece published online Dec. 12 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Transplant of Ex Vivo Expanded Cord Blood Safe, Effective

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with hematologic cancers receiving transplant of cord-blood, expansion with allogeneic mesenchymal stromal cells seems safe and significantly improves engraftment, according to a study published in the Dec. 13 issue of the New England Journal Medicine.

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Higher Carotenoid Levels Tied to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Higher circulating levels of carotenoids correlate with a reduced risk of breast cancer, according to research published online Dec. 6 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Menopause Weight Gain May Up Breast Tumor Growth in Obese

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Excess nutrients associated with menopausal weight gain are deposited into the breast tumors of rats who were already obese before menopause, but the tumors can regress after treatment with an insulin sensitizer, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Cancer Research.

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Bevacizumab Doesn't Prolong Survival in Stage II-III Colon CA

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with stage 2 to 3 colon cancer, the addition of bevacizumab to modified fluorouracil, leucovorin, and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX6) does not prolong disease-free or overall survival, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Abiraterone Benefits Chemo-Naive With Advanced Prostate CA

TUESDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- For chemotherapy-naive patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, abiraterone acetate correlates with improved radiographic progression-free survival, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent approval for expanded use of the drug.

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Zytiga's Use Expanded for Advanced Prostate Cancer

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of Zytiga (abiraterone acetate) has been expanded to include treating late-stage castration-resistant prostate cancer before the administration of chemotherapy, the agency said today.

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Number of Independent Physicians Continues to Decline

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Physician business models are transforming, with a sustained shift away from independent practice, according to report released by the consulting firm Accenture.

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Anticompetitive Market Power Common in Managed Care Plans

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For each of the three most popular types of managed care plans in the United States (point-of-service plan [POS], health maintenance organization [HMO], and preferred provider organization [PPO]), anticompetitive market power is widespread, according to a Nov. 28 news release from the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Obese Patients Require More Operating Room Time

FRIDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Heavier patients undergoing lobectomy for lung cancer require more time in the operating room, regardless of a hospital's volume of obese patients or lobectomies, according to a study published in the December issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

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Socioeconomic Status Affects Cancer Trial Referrals

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Patients of lower socioeconomic status are less likely to be referred to participate in early-phase cancer trials compared with patients of higher socioeconomic status, according to research published online Dec. 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Cell-Free DNA Analysis Shows Promise for Identifying Tumors

THURSDAY, Dec. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Analyzing chromosomal alterations in cell-free DNA represents a noninvasive method for detecting human tumors, according to a study published in the Nov. 28 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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FDA: Zofran 32-mg Dose Pulled From Market

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The 32-mg, single intravenous dose of Zofran (ondansetron), an anti-nausea drug, is being removed from the market due to its potential to cause serious, even fatal, cardiac damage, according to a Drug Safety Communication (DSC) issued Dec. 4 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Strict Ovarian CA Screening Adherence Called for in High-Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For women at higher risk for ovarian and/or fallopian tube cancer (OC/FTC), annual screening offers high sensitivity for detection of incident cancers, but few of these cancers are stage I or II, according to research published online Dec. 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Breath Test Shows Potential for Detecting Colorectal Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from breath samples is able to distinguish healthy patients from those with colorectal cancer with more than 75 percent accuracy, according to a study published in the January issue of the British Journal of Surgery.

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Predictors of QoL ID'd for Long-Term Lymphoma Survivors

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable proportion of long-term survivors of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) have persistently low or worsening quality of life (QoL), which is predicted by age, comorbidity, and the perception of cancer's impact, according to research published online Dec. 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Five-Hour Protected Sleep Feasible for Medical Interns

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a five-hour period of protected sleep is feasible for medical interns on long shifts, resulting in interns getting more uninterrupted sleep and feeling more alert the next day, according to a study published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Few Internal Medicine Residents Choosing Primary Care

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Only about one in five graduating internal medicine residents in the United States plan to enter general internal medicine (GIM), which is more common among graduates of primary care programs, women, and U.S. medical graduates, according to a study published in the Dec. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Sequential CT Screening Can Identify Indolent Lung Cancers

TUESDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Changes in size on sequential low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screenings, expressed as volume doubling time (VDT), indicate that about 25 percent of progressive lung cancers are slow growing or indolent, with higher lung cancer-specific mortality for new versus slow-growing or indolent cancers, according to a study published in the Dec. 4 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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United States at Tipping Point in Helping Smokers Quit

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The United States stands poised on the brink of implementing health insurance coverage requirements that will help smokers quit, but the federal government and many states now offer too little help, according to a report issued Dec. 3 by the American Lung Association.

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Increasing Number of Workers in Self-Insured Health Plans

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- There has been a recent increase in the percentage of workers in the private sector who are enrolled in self-insured health plans, in which the employer assumes the financial risk related to health insurance (unlike a fully-insured plan, where the insurance company assumes the risk), according to research published in the November issue of the Employee Benefit Research Institute's Notes.

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Improved Survival Seen in Ovarian CA With Metformin Use

MONDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- For women with ovarian cancer, metformin use is associated with significantly improved survival, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in Cancer.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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