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August 2013 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Monday, September 2, 2013 (Last Updated: 09/03/2013)

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for August 2013. 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.

Wait Times Up at VA Hospitals for Colorectal Cancer Surgeries

FRIDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Time from diagnosis to first treatment for colon and rectal cancers has increased at Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs), according to research published in the July issue of the Journal of Oncology Practice.

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Most Head, Neck Surgeons Discuss Risk Factors, HPV

FRIDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Most head and neck surgeons discuss risk factors for head and neck cancer, including human papillomavirus (HPV), with their patients, according to a study published online Aug. 29 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Young Women's Drinking Linked to Breast Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Consuming alcohol between menarche and first pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and proliferative benign breast disease (BBD), according to a study published online Aug. 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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RNA Interference Feasible for Suppressing Transthyretin

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Two formulations of anti-transthyretin small interfering RNA suppress production of transthyretin, providing a potential treatment for transthyretin amyloidosis, according to a study published in the Aug. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Final Rules Issued for Individual Shared Responsibility Mandate

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Starting 2014, the individual shared responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act, which calls for each individual to have basic health insurance coverage, will be implemented, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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ATF3 Has Key Role in Host Cell Enhancement of Breast CA Mets

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3), at the center of the cellular adaptive response network, plays a key role in host cell enhancement of breast cancer metastasis, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Researchers Discuss Overdiagnosis of Thyroid Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The increasing incidence of small and indolent thyroid cancer and stable mortality rates suggest overdiagnosis, according to an analysis published online Aug. 27 in BMJ.

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Health Care Savings With Early Accountable Care Organizations

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Early accountable care organization initiatives correlate with lower spending for elderly Medicare beneficiaries, but not necessarily with improved quality, according to a study published in the Aug. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Tamoxifen, Age Influence Chemo-Induced Amenorrhea

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Use of tamoxifen and age at treatment for breast cancer predict chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea among premenopausal women, according to research published online Aug. 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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DCIS Terminology Impacts Patient Treatment Choice

TUESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The terminology used to describe ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) impacts treatment choices, according to a research letter published online Aug. 26 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Thyroid Ultrasound May Be Useful in Reducing Unnecessary Biopsies

TUESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Thyroid ultrasound imaging can be used to identify patients at low risk of thyroid cancer, according to a study published in the Aug. 26 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Specific Lymphoma Treatment Linked to Stomach Cancer

MONDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma treated with high-dose radiation to the stomach and high-dose chemotherapy with procarbazine have a nearly 80-fold higher risk of developing stomach cancer, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Two-Step Screening Detects Early-Stage Ovarian Cancer

MONDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A two-step screening process using the Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm (ROCA) followed by transvaginal ultrasound (TVS) for those at high risk, shows high specificity in early detection of ovarian cancer in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online Aug. 26 in Cancer.

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Correct Dose of Anti-Clotting Rx in Elderly Continues to Elude

MONDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- There are no differences in ischemic or bleeding outcomes with reduced-dose prasugrel versus clopidogrel in elderly patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS), according to a study published in the Aug. 20 issue of Circulation.

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Poor Oral Health Tied to Higher Risk of Oral HPV Infection

FRIDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Poor oral health is a risk factor for oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection independent of smoking and oral sex practices, according to a study published online Aug. 21 in Cancer Prevention Research.

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FDA Approves New Device to ID Disease-Causing Germs

THURSDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A new spectrometer system designed to identify 193 yeast and bacteria that are capable of making people sick has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Foreign-Born Hispanics Have Survival Advantage in NSCLC

THURSDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with non-Hispanic whites (NHWs) and U.S.-born Hispanics, foreign-born Hispanics with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have a reduced risk of disease-specific mortality, according to research published online Aug. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Drugs Show Similar Efficacy in Metastatic Kidney Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- While pazopanib and sunitinib are similarly effective in patients with metastatic renal-cell cancer, pazopanib is associated with better safety and quality of life, according to a study published in the Aug. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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More Complications, Fewer Deaths After Cancer Surgery

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Over the past decade the frequency of potentially avoidable adverse events after major cancer surgery has increased in secondary and tertiary care hospitals in the United States, according to research published in the June issue of BMJ Open.

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Implications, Solutions for U.S. Health Disparities Discussed

TUESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Research on health disparities in the United States, the policy implications of these disparities, and suggestions for improvement of disparities are discussed in "Health Policy Brief: Health Gaps," published Aug. 15 in Health Affairs.

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Increasing Operating Costs Top Concern for Medical Practices

TUESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The top five concerns of medical practice executives all relate to financial management, with dealing with increasing operating costs reported as the most difficult daily challenge, according to a report published by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

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Spinal Radiosurgery Ups Risk of Vertebral Fracture

TUESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Vertebral compression fracture (VCF) is a common adverse effect in patients receiving spine stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), according to research published online Aug. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Prevalence of Indoor Tanning Quantified for Young Women

MONDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- For non-Hispanic white females, the prevalence of indoor tanning is about 30 percent for high school students and about 25 percent among 18- to 34-year-olds, according to a research letter published online Aug. 19 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Expansion of Pharmacists' Practice Will Benefit Patients

MONDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The expanding scope of pharmacists' practice will potentially improve patient care but has implications for physicians, according to an article published online Aug. 19 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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HHS Awards $67 Million to Marketplace Navigators

MONDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- $67 million is being awarded to Navigator grant applicants and their staff, who will serve as an in-person resource for those requiring additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in Health Insurance Marketplace plans, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Personal Websites Benefit Women With Breast Cancer

MONDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Developing and using a personal website to chronicle their experience and communicate with others improves psychological and cancer-specific adjustment in women being treated for breast cancer, according to research published online Aug. 12 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Healthy Diet May Reduce Pancreatic Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A healthy diet may protect against pancreatic cancer, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Few Urologists Follow Peri-Op Thromboprophylaxis Guidelines

FRIDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Among American Urological Association (AUA) members, self-reported adherence to the Best Practice Statement on the use of thromboprophylaxis in patients undergoing urological procedures is low, according to research published in the September issue of The Journal of Urology.

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IOM Describes Themes Relating to Patients' Role in Health Care

FRIDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Themes and messages relating to the role of patients in informed care decisions, knowledge generation, and value improvement were discussed at the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Workshop Proceedings, according to a report published Aug. 15 in conjunction with the transcript of the proceedings.

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Depression Up in Post-Radiation Head & Neck Cancer Survivors

FRIDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- For post-radiotherapy survivors of head and neck cancer, depression is fairly common, but treatment is underutilized, according to research published online Aug. 15 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Breastfeeding May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk in Nonsmokers

THURSDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For nonsmokers, breastfeeding for more than six months is associated with later breast cancer diagnosis, according to a study published online Aug. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

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Doctors Pessimistic About Future of U.S. Health Care

THURSDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians report concerns regarding health care delivery and the future of health care, according to survey findings published by athenahealth.

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Involved Patients Have Better Health Care Experiences

THURSDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Health care providers and patients shape the care experience, and strategies to improve care interactions should also help patients ensure that their needs are met, according to research published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

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Cancer Control Programs Often Don't Address Radon Concerns

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than half of the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program plans address radon-related activities, according to a study published in the Aug. 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Long-Term Survival No Better With Finasteride in Prostate CA

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Finasteride is associated with a reduction in the risk of prostate cancer, but is not associated with improved survival over 18 years, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physicians Should Consider Social Media As Public Space

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A new approach is needed for resolving the physician online identity crisis, according to a viewpoint piece published in the Aug. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Medicare Reimbursement Drives Procedural Over Cognitive Care

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians treating Medicare patients are reimbursed three to five times more for performing common procedures versus providing cognitive care, according to a study published online Aug. 12 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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More Support for Surveillance in Low-Grade Prostate Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Since the introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening there has been a large reduction in advanced-stage cancers but only a modest drop in cancers with a high Gleason score, suggesting that patients with lower-grade disease do not progress to higher grade over time and may benefit from active surveillance, according to a study published in the Aug. 15 issue of Cancer Research.

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Laparoscopic Approach in Early-Stage Ovarian Cancer Promising

TUESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Operative outcomes of laparoscopic approach in patients with early-stage ovarian cancer may be comparable with those of laparotomy, according to a meta-analysis published in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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New Initiative Announced for Patient-Doc Collaboration

TUESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A new Center for Patient Partnership in Healthcare (CPPH) has been launched to advance physician-patient collaboration, according to a report published by the American College of Physicians (ACP).

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Perceived Doc Verbal Abuse Impairs Nurses' Work Attitude

TUESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- For registered nurses (RNs), perceived verbal abuse by physicians correlates with less favorable work conditions and attitudes, according to a study published in Nursing Outlook.

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U.S. Hospitals Up Exchange of Electronic Health Information

MONDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Between 2008 and 2012, hospitals significantly increased their exchange of electronic health information with other providers, according to research published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

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Individualized Breast Cancer Screening Catches More Cancer

MONDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A breast cancer screening program tailored to participants' individual risk profiles has a higher-than-expected breast cancer detection rate in 40- to 49-year old women, according to a pilot study published in the August issue of Radiology.

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Carbon Ion Radiation Safe and Effective for Spinal Tumors

MONDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with inoperable spinal tumors, carbon ion radiotherapy (CIRT) is a safe and effective treatment, according to a study published online Aug. 12 in Cancer.

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Guidelines for Post-HIV Exposure Management Updated

MONDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Management and prophylaxis recommendations have been updated for health care providers with occupational exposure to HIV, according to guidelines published in the September issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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Medical Center Farmers Market Aids in Medical Home Goals

MONDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A seasonal farmers market at a medical center can support the institution's commitment to the goals of the medical home, according to a study published online Aug. 1 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Physicians' Malpractice Concerns Predict More Testing

FRIDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians' concerns about malpractice risk predict more aggressive diagnostic testing practices in office-based care, according to a study published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

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New Lung Cancer Classification IDs Recurrence After Resection

FRIDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The new International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), American Thoracic Society (ATS), and European Respiratory Society (ERS) lung adenocarcinoma classification can be used to predict recurrence after limited resection, according to a study published online Aug. 7 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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IPAs and PHOs Viable Option for Small Independent Practices

FRIDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- For small and medium-size independent practices, sharing care management and information technology resources with other practices through an independent practice association (IPA) or physician-hospital organization (PHO) is a viable alternative and may improve care for patients with chronic conditions, according to a study published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

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MRI-Guided Cryoablation Viable for Recurrent Prostate Cancer

FRIDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In men with recurrent prostate cancer following radiation therapy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided focal cryoablation is feasible and seems safe, according to a study published in the August issue of Radiology.

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Biomarker IDs Tx-Resistant Graft-Versus-Host Disease

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation, levels of a particular biomarker can help identify patients at higher risk of treatment-resistant GVHD and death, according to a study published in the Aug. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Novel Bacterium Linked to Cord Colitis Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- A novel bacterium is associated with cord colitis syndrome, a complication of umbilical-cord hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation, according to a study published in the Aug. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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AMA, AHA Call for Realignment of Meaningful Use Stage 2

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) and American Hospital Association (AHA) are calling for additional flexibility in the timing of the adoption of stage 2 meaningful use of electronic health records, according to a letter written to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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Cumulative Metformin Linked to Mortality Post-Prostate Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Among elderly men with diabetes, increased cumulative duration of metformin following a prostate cancer (PC) diagnosis correlates with decreased all-cause and PC-specific mortality, according to a study published online Aug. 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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No Increased Cancer Risk With Glargine Versus Human Insulin

TUESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- There is no evidence that patients with diabetes who initiate insulin glargine have a higher risk of cancer than similar patients initiating human neutral protamine Hagedorn (NPH) insulin, according to a study published online July 22 in Diabetes Care.

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Cellular + Gene Rx Promising for Breast Cancer Metastatic to Brain

TUESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Cellular immunotherapy and gene therapy alone or in combination are effective in reducing tumor size and improving survival in a mouse model of breast cancers that have metastasized to the brain, according to a study published in the Aug. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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Long-Term Calcium-Channel Blockers Tied to Breast CA Risk

MONDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For postmenopausal women, long-term use of calcium-channel blockers may be associated with an increased risk of invasive ductal and lobular breast cancer, according to a study published online Aug. 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Invitation to CRC Screening Ups Participation in Underserved

MONDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For an underserved population, an invitation to colorectal cancer (CRC) screening significantly improves screening rates, with significantly higher participation for fecal immunochemical test (FIT) versus colonoscopy, according to a study published online Aug. 5 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Hospital Resection Volume Tied to NSCLC Survival in England

MONDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals in England with higher rates of surgical resection of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have better survival, especially in the early postoperative period, according to a study published online July 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Follow-Up Biopsies in Celiac Disease Help ID Lymphoma Risk

MONDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with celiac disease (CD) who have intestinal biopsy showing persistent villous atrophy are at increased risk for lymphoproliferative malignancy (LPM), according to research published in the Aug. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Obesity Markers Linked to Cancer Risk in Barrett's Esophagus

MONDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE), levels of leptin, high-molecular-weight adiponectin, and insulin resistance correlate with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) risk, according to a study published in the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Participation Increases in Online CME Activities

MONDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The number of physicians and non-physicians participating in continuing medical education (CME) has increased, especially in online activities, according to a report published by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).

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Intervention Assists End-of-Life Decisions in Advanced Cancer

FRIDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In advanced cancer patients, an intervention with a pamphlet and discussion to assist with end-of-life decision making is associated with earlier placement of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders and less likelihood of death in the hospital, according to research published online July 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Nonsentinel Lymph Nodes Key Factor in Melanoma Prognosis

FRIDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Nonsentinel lymph node (NSLN) positivity is a significant prognostic factor in patients with stage III melanoma, associated with shorter overall and disease-specific survival, according to research published online July 31 in JAMA Surgery.

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Skin Cancer May Develop During Laser Removal of Tattoo

FRIDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Malignant melanoma may develop on a preexisting nevus within a tattoo that is being removed with laser therapy, according to a case report published online July 31 in JAMA Dermatology.

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Dexamethasone Beats Placebo for Cancer-Related Fatigue

THURSDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced cancer, dexamethasone is better than placebo for reducing cancer-related fatigue (CRF), according to a study published online July 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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