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March 2014 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 (Last Updated: 04/02/2014)

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for March 2014. 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.

Long-Acting Clotting Agent Approved for Form of Hemophilia

MONDAY, March 31, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The drug Alprolix has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first long-acting hemophilia B clotting agent, the FDA said in a news release.

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CDC: Invasive Cancer Diagnoses Down Slightly in 2010

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer incidence declined from 2009 to 2010, according to a report published in the March 28 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA Recommends Approval of At-Home Colon Cancer Test

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A panel of U.S. Food and Drug Administration experts on Thursday unanimously recommended approval of a new at-home stool test that screens for colorectal cancer with more than 90 percent accuracy.

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Ceritinib Is Active in Advanced, ALK-Rearranged NSCLC

FRIDAY, March 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The ALK inhibitor ceritinib is active in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), regardless of the presence of resistance mutations in ALK, according to a study published in the March 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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NIH Launches Online Resource for End-of-Life Issues

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People grappling with terminal illness now have a new online source of advice and help, sponsored by the U.S. National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health.

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NCHS Estimates Health Insurance Coverage for 2013

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In the first nine months of 2013, 6.7 percent of children and 20.5 percent of adults were uninsured, according to a study published online March 27 by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Incidence of Hospital-Acquired Anemia During MI Varies

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients hospitalized with myocardial infarction, the incidence of hospital-acquired anemia (HAA) varies considerably across hospitals, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Physicians Lack Consensus on Use of Genetic Testing

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians vary in attitudes about predictive multiplex somatic genetic testing and their plans to incorporate its use into practice, according to research published online March 24 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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1 in 25 Inpatients Has Health Care-Associated Infection Daily

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There were an estimated 648,000 patients with 721,800 health care-associated infections in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2011, according to research published in the March 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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White House Extends Affordable Care Act Enrollment Deadline

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Americans who've started applying for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act but can't complete the process by the March 31 enrollment deadline will be given an extension.

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Interactive Phone Messages May Promote Cancer Screening

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Underserved Latina patients view interactive voice response (IVR) messages as an acceptable strategy to promote cancer screening, according to a study published online March 13 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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AMA Introduces Medical Education Initiative

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association's (AMA) Accelerating Change in Education initiative is being introduced in 11 medical schools in an effort to shift the focus of education toward real-world practice and competency assessment, according to an AMA report.

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Americans Seem Unprepared for Health Insurance Exchanges

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals in the United States seem not to be sufficiently informed about the health insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a study published online March 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Genetic Variants Modify Bladder Cancer Prognosis

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Certain genetic variants may modify bladder cancer prognosis, according to a study published online March 26 in BJU International.

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Guidance Updated for Sentinel Node Biopsy in Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology has updated its clinical practice guideline on the use of sentinel node biopsy (SNB) in early breast cancer. The updated guideline was published online March 24 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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WHO: Air Pollution Claimed Seven Million Lives in 2012

WEDNESDAY, March 26, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Air pollution killed about seven million people worldwide in 2012, and more than half of those deaths were caused by indoor smoke from cook stoves, a World Health Organization report says. The U.N. health agency said that heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were the leading causes of air pollution-related deaths, CNN reported.

Health Highlights: March 25, 2014

Radiofrequency Ablation Cuts Barrett's Esophagus Progression

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Radiofrequency ablation reduces the risk for neoplastic progression in patients with Barrett's esophagus with low-grade dysplasia, according to a study published in the March 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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E-Cigarette Use Does Not Up Quitting, Reduce Smoking

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of electronic-cigarettes (e-cigarettes) does not increase the rate of smoking cessation or reduce cigarette consumption after one year, according to a study published online March 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Most Bloodstream Infections Are Community-Onset

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most bloodstream infections (BSIs) are community-onset and health care-associated, and Staphylococcus aureus is the most common pathogen, according to a study published online March 18 in PLOS ONE.

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Elevated Morbidity Lasts for Childhood Cancer Survivors

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- By age 50 years, more than half of childhood cancer survivors have experienced a severe, disabling, life-threatening, or fatal health condition, according to a study published online March 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Valproic Acid Use May Reduce Incidence of Head, Neck Cancer

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term use of valproic acid (VPA) is associated with a reduced risk of smoking-related cancers of the head and neck, according to a study published online March 24 in Cancer.

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Review: Recently Diagnosed Diabetes Linked to Pancreatic CA

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a strong association between pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and recently diagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM), according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the March issue of the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

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Patient Request Impacts Doc Prescribing Behavior

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Patients requesting specific medications are more likely to be prescribed those medications, according to research published in the April issue of Medical Care.

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Oropharyngeal Cancer Symptoms May Differ Based on HPV-Status

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Initial symptom presentation seems to differ for human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive versus HPV-negative patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC), according to a study published online March 20 in JAMA Otololaryngology.

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No Survival Benefit From PADT in Localized Prostate Cancer

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For most men with clinically localized prostate cancer who have not received treatment with curative intent, primary androgen-deprivation therapy (PADT) does not reduce risk of mortality, according to research published online March 17 in in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Practices Can Take Steps to Improve Care Transitions

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a rigorous process can improve transitions of care, according to an article published March 10 in Medical Economics.

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Blood Transfusions for Spinal Fusion Holding Steady

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Among U.S. patients undergoing spinal fusion, the rates of allogeneic blood transfusion (ALBT) increased from 2000 to 2009, while predonated autologous blood transfusion (PR-ABT) rates decreased, according to a study published in the Feb. 15 issue of Spine.

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Rates of Colorectal Cancer Continue to Drop in Older Adults

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Incidence rates for colorectal cancer declined by approximately 3 percent per year from 2001 to 2010 in the United States, with the largest drops occurring in adults aged 65 and older, according to research published in the March/April issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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USPSTF Recommendations Have Led to Decrease in PSA Screening

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate-specific antigen screening has decreased since publication of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations against screening, according to a study published in The Journal of Urology.

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Age-Adjusted D-Dimer Levels Aid Pulmonary Embolism Dx

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Age-adjusted levels of D-dimer safely exclude pulmonary embolism (PE) in older patients, according to a study published in the March 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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BRCAPRO Model Underestimates BRCA1/2 Mutation Risk

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Use of the BRCAPRO model for assessment of the likelihood of having a germline BRCA1/BRCA2 mutation, based on age, ethnicity, and family history, may underestimate the risk of mutations, according to a study published online March 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Post-Mastectomy Radiation Beneficial With 1 to 3 Nodes

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For women with breast cancer and one to three positive lymph nodes, radiotherapy is beneficial after mastectomy and axillary dissection, according to a study published online March 19 in The Lancet.

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Guidelines Developed for Pulmonary HTN in Sickle Cell Dz

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence-based guidelines have been developed for adult patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) and pulmonary hypertension. The guidelines have been published in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Multitarget DNA Test Sensitive for ID'ing Colorectal Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients at average risk of colorectal cancer, a multitarget DNA assay has greater sensitivity, but worse specificity than a fecal immunochemical test (FIT), according to a study published online March 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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CT Scans Can ID Gemcitabine Response in Pancreatic Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Transport properties identified on routine computed tomography (CT) scans correlate with clinically relevant end points for patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) who receive preoperative gemcitabine chemoradiotherapy, according to a study published online March 10 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Mortality Rates Higher in Cancer Patients With Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The comorbid condition of diabetes may contribute to increased mortality in patients with cancer, according to research published online March 13 in Diabetologia.

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Lower HPV Uptake for Women Attending Sexual Health Services

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For young women attending sexual health services in England, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination uptake and completion rates are lower than national data, with an overall completion rate of 47 percent, according to a study published online March 17 in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

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Personality Measures in Young Patients Predict Later Health

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Personality measurements can be useful tools in predicting which young adult patients will have poor health in middle age, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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Rx Expenditures Expected to Rise in 2014

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Drug costs are projected to rise 3 to 5 percent across all care settings in 2014, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

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Insurers Must Offer Same-Sex Couples Spousal Benefits

MONDAY, March 17, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Health plans that offer benefits for heterosexual couples must do the same for same-sex married couples, the Obama administration says.

Other Health Highlights: March 17, 2014

Improving EHR Interoperability Is a National Priority: HHS

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Interoperability of electronic health record (EHR) systems is a national priority of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, according to an article published March 4 in Medical Economics.

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High Serum 25(OH)D Linked to Lower Breast Cancer Mortality

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Higher concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) are associated with lower mortality from breast cancer, according to a meta-analysis published in the March issue of Anticancer Research.

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CDC: Most Alcohol-Linked Deaths Occur Among Working-Age Adults

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Americans' excessive alcohol use contributes to thousands of deaths each year, and the majority who die are working-age adults, according to a report published in the March 14 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Stereotactic Body Radiation Less Costly, More Toxic Than IMRT

FRIDAY, March 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare beneficiaries with prostate cancer, stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is less expensive than intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), but is associated with more genitourinary toxicity, according to a study published online March 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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FDA Panel Recommends HPV Test As Replacement for Pap

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted unanimously on Wednesday that a new human papillomavirus (HPV) test could be used before or instead of the Pap smear as a first step in cervical cancer screening.

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Many U.S. Oncologists Not Satisfied With Work-Life Balance

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- About one-third of U.S. oncologists report being satisfied with work-life balance (WLB), which is lower than for other medical specialties, according to a study published online March 10 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Probable Link for Excess Body Fat, Ovarian Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Body fatness, marked by body mass index, is probably associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, according to a report published March 11 by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).

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Health Education Not Routinely Provided to Patients

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic disease, health providers do not routinely provide health education, according to a study published March 6 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Idelalisib Active in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase delta (PI3Kδ) inhibitor idelalisib shows antitumor activity in patients with indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to two studies published in the March 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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AMA: CMS Wants Physician Input on Practice Transformation

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians are being given the opportunity to describe what resources they need in order to transition to value-based models of care, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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FDA Experts Debate Timing of Pap Test

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel is considering whether to delay the Pap test and use an human papillomavirus (HPV) test as a first step in cervical cancer screening. Specifically, the agency's Medical Devices Advisory Committee Microbiology Panel is being asked to evaluate the cobas HPV test made by Roche Molecular Systems.

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White House: More Than Four Million Have Signed Up for ACA

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- More than four million Americans have signed up for health coverage through state and federal insurance marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

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Discrepancies ID'd in Studies on ClinicalTrials.gov, Journals

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all clinical trials reported on ClinicalTrials.gov and published in high-impact journals report at least one discrepancy in cohort, intervention, or results, according to a research letter published in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Medicare Drug Plan Changes Withdrawn by White House

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug program have been withdrawn by the Obama administration after strong opposition from patient groups.

Other Health Highlights: March 11, 2014

Patients Prefer Specific Info From Docs for Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although patients with prostate cancer endorse multiple sources of information, they report greatest satisfaction with information from the treating physician about patient outcomes, according to research to be published in the May issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Average-Risk Women Overestimate Ovarian Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Average-risk, postmenopausal women overestimate their risk of ovarian cancer, but report low cancer worry, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

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High-Fiber Diet Cuts Risk of Colorectal Adenoma

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significant inverse relationship between total dietary fiber intake and risk of colorectal adenoma (CRA), according to research published in the March issue of Gastroenterology.

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ASCO: Demand for Quality Cancer Care Increasing

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The demand for quality cancer care is increasing, but millions of patients lack access to care, according to a report from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

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Promise for Erlotinib + Cisplatin Chemoradiation in Cervical CA

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor erlotinib combined with cisplatin-based chemoradiation seems safe and effective for locally advanced cervical cancer, according to a study published online March 10 in Cancer.

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Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer Ups Subsequent Primary Cancer Risk

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with a history of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) have an increased risk of subsequent primary cancers, according to a study published in the March issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Keeping Salaries Secret Harms Worker Performance

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Keeping salaries secret hurts worker performance and increases turnover of top talent, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in the Academy of Management Journal.

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Consultant Offers Tips for Evaluating Staff Pay

MONDAY, March 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Setting salaries and dealing with raises for a practice's staff can be tricky, according to an article published Feb. 24 in Medical Economics.

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AMA Grants Curriculum Efforts to Address Health Disparities

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Medical schools are beginning to change their curriculum to address ways to eliminate health disparities, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Gender Gap Exists in Domestic Duties of Working Physicians

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Gender differences exist in domestic activities among career-oriented academic physicians with children, according to a study published online March 3 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Palliative Chemo for Terminal Cancer Linked to Death in ICU

FRIDAY, March 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Terminally ill patients with cancer who receive chemotherapy at the end of life are at increased risk of dying in an intensive care unit (ICU) and receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and/or mechanical ventilation, according to research published March 4 in BMJ.

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Relative Value Units Useful In Evaluating Practice Finances

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The Relative Value Unit (RVU) is a useful tool for managing practice finances, according to an article published Feb. 25 in Medical Economics.

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Drop in Compensation Gap for Primary Care Docs, Specialists

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- From 2012 to 2013, there was a 5.7 percent increase in the median total cash compensation for primary care physicians, with a smaller gap seen for medical and surgical specialists, according to the results of a recent survey from SullivanCotter.

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Prostatectomy Cuts Mortality in Early Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Surgical treatment reduces long-term mortality among men with localized prostate cancer compared with those who undergo watchful waiting, according to research published in the March 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Fewer Positive Margins With Robot-Assisted Prostatectomy

THURSDAY, March 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) is associated with improved surgical margin status compared with open radical prostatectomy (ORP) for intermediate- and high-risk disease and with less use of additional cancer therapy, according to a study published online March 4 in European Urology.

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Value-Based Insurance Plans Can Up Rx Adherence

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Value-based insurance design (VBID) plans with certain features aside from solely lowering cost sharing can increase medication adherence, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Article Offers Guidance on Discussing PSA With Patients

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Discussion of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening should focus on current guidelines and emphasize shared decision making, according to an article published Feb. 11 in the Urology Times.

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Cancer Preventive Services Below Healthy People Targets

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of cancer screening and provider counseling are currently below the Healthy People (HP) 2020 targets, according to a study published Feb. 27 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.

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HPV Vaccine Protects Against Cervical Abnormalities

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is effective at protecting against cervical abnormalities in young women, according to a study published March 4 in BMJ.

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WHO Program Improves U.S. Medical Facility Hand Hygiene

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For U.S. health care facilities, participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) global campaign to improve hand hygiene practices is associated with improved hand hygiene, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Gap in Regulatory Coverage Affects 5 to 16 Percent of Trials

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Human subjects protections (HSP) policies do not provide regulatory coverage for all clinical trials, while up to about a quarter of trials are considered overlap trials, according to a research letter published in the March 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Yoga Ups QoL in Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Radiotherapy

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For women with breast cancer, incorporating yoga into radiotherapy is associated with a lasting improvement in quality of life, according to a study published online March 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Docs Nominate Top U.S. Internal Medicine Residency Programs

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The top U.S. internal medicine residency programs have been ranked by physicians and include Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and the University of California in San Francisco, according to an article published by U.S. News & World Report.

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Nivolumab May Improve Survival in Advanced Melanoma

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced melanoma, nivolumab may improve overall survival and has an acceptable long-term safety profile, according to a study published online March 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Women-Specific Research Is Still Inadequate

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Women are still underrepresented in medical science and research, and sex differences are often ignored, according to a report published March 3 by the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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CMS: No More Delays to ICD-10 Implementation Deadline

MONDAY, March 3, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- There will be no more delays to the Oct. 1, 2014, deadline for implementation of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), according to an article published Feb. 27 in Medical Economics.

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