Can big data help cancer patients avoid ER visits?

For this project, doctors and data miners are specifically focusing on lung cancer patients | ScienceDaily

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By flagging things like recent lab tests, radiology visits, or patient-reported symptoms, Penn’s team is hoping to come up with a formula that will predict when a patient is likely to end up visiting the emergency room. Right now, the formula can predict an estimated one out of every three ER visits, giving doctors the chance to take action before a patient gets to that point.

Read the full overview here

Cost-effectiveness research in cancer therapy

Al-Badriyeh, D. et al. (2017) BMJ Open, 7:e012648

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Objective: To perform a first-time analysis of the cost-effectiveness (CE) literature on chemotherapies, of all types, in cancer, in terms of trends and change over time, including the influence of industry funding.

Conclusions: This analysis demonstrates clear trends in how the CE cancer research is presented to the practicing community, including in relation to journals, study designs, authorship and consultation, together with increased financial sponsorship by pharmaceutical industries, which may be more influencing study outcomes than other funding sources.

Read the full systematic review here

Immunotherapy improves the prognosis of lung cancer: do we have to change intensive care unit admission and triage guidelines?

Guillon, A. et al. Critical Care. Published online: 27 January 2017

Bald heads may soon not be a sign that identifies a cancer patient receiving treatment. Indeed, therapies for cancer patients are improving dramatically leading to increased survival rates, and most are associated with a different toxicity profile. Recently, antibody-based therapy has transformed the therapeutic landscape and biology of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other solid tumors. This may also reshuffle the playing cards for an intensive care unit (ICU) admission policy due to improved outcomes.

In November 2016, the results of the KEYNOTE-024 trial showed for the first time the superiority of immunotherapy over chemotherapy as first-line treatment for NSCLC [1]. In this phase 3 trial, a humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb) against programmed death 1 (PD-1) was tested in patients who had previously untreated advanced NSCLC. The clinical trial was stopped by the safety monitoring committee on the basis of substantial clinical benefit of immunotherapy, and patients remaining in the chemotherapy group were switched to receive immunotherapy.

Read the full article here

Overuse of chemotherapy among younger patients with colon cancer

Young and middle-aged patients with colon cancer are nearly two to eight times more likely to receive postoperative chemotherapy than older patients, yet there seems to be no added survival benefits for these patients | ScienceDaily

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Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. There were more than 49,000 deaths in 2016, and more than 134,000 new cases are expected this year. While incidence and mortality rates among adults age 50 and older have decreased recently in the U.S., the same trend hasn’t been observed for patients 20 to 49. Treatment options remain to be defined for patients with young-onset colon cancer and their effects on prognosis are unclear.

Read the full overview here

Read the original research article here

UK lung cancer survival rates are improving

7% rise in one-year survival for lung cancer patients | Royal College of Physicians.

The National Lung Cancer Audit annual report 2016, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), shows an encouraging rise in survival as more patients receive life-prolonging treatments.

The report covers patients with lung cancer first diagnosed in 2015. It says there was a 7% increase in the number of people diagnosed with lung cancer surviving for longer than one year – rising from 31% to 38% in the five-year period from 2010 to 2015.

In addition, 60% of lung cancer patients received anti-cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery, meeting the target set out in the 2015 annual audit report.

Full report: National Lung Cancer Audit annual report 2016

 

Cancer diagnosis in GP surgeries

Better GP access to cancer diagnostic tools would benefit doctors and patients, says RCGP |via OnMedica

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The Royal College of GPs has welcomed a £5 million grant aimed at giving GPs better access to cancer diagnostic tools. Cancer Research UK (CRUK), which is funding the research project, said having more effective ways to diagnose cancer in GP surgeries would save both doctors’ and patients’ time, and reduce anxiety for patients.

The charity announced its £5 million funding for the “revolutionary” CanTest project as part of its Catalyst Award, which it said “aims to help researchers from around the world deliver trailblazing progress in their field with long-lasting results”. CanTest will investigate and develop new ways for GPs, physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners to diagnose cancer in GP surgeries. It will assess the accuracy, cost effectiveness and suitability of a range of diagnostic methods and tools, with the aim of cutting both the wait for diagnosis and the number of referrals.

Read more:

Patient information leaflet

Public Health England has published the following patient information leaflet for cancer patients:

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Image source: http://www.gov.uk

Cancer Registration: what is it, the benefits of being on the register, and your options

This leaflet should be given to cancer patients to help them understand:

  • why information about cancer is recorded
  • the benefits of recording cancer data
  • how this information is used
  • how they can see their record
  • how they can have their information removed

 

Copies of this leaflet can be ordered by emailing the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service.