“Nearly two-thirds of older patients with stage III lung cancer do not receive any treatment, according to a new study.
“Although more than one-third of new lung cancers are diagnosed in patients age 75 years and older, elderly patients may not receive standard-of-care therapy for lung cancer—concurrent chemotherapy and radiation—due to their age, concerns about fragility, less willingness of patients to pursue aggressive therapy, or concerns over the usefulness of therapy for patients with competing risk factors.”
“Experts have again come out in favor of the ‘less-is-more’ approach to breast cancer surgery and have endorsed previous recommendations not to automatically harvest all lymph nodes if cancer is found in a sentinel node, new guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) indicate.
” ‘The standard of care used to be to take all lymph nodes, but the data have been quite compelling over the last few years, and now, it’s generally accepted that a complete lymph node dissection isn’t necessary for all patients,’ lead author Gary Lyman, MD, MPH, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, said in a statement.
” ‘So if a woman has only one or two sentinel lymph nodes that are cancerous, and if the tumor is not too big and not too aggressive, there’s no value in doing a complete lymph node dissection,’ he added.”
“There has been an ongoing debate about which type of radiation therapy is preferable in the treatment of localized prostate cancer: hypofractionation (larger fractions given over 4–5 weeks) or conventional radiotherapy (given over 8–9 weeks). A new study presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting may help to resolve that debate.
“The large, randomized trial found that hypofractionation was not inferior to conventional radiation therapy in terms of efficacy or safety in men with localized intermediate-risk prostate cancer. This is the third large, randomized, contemporary study to demonstrate that both techniques have equivalent efficacy and safety.”
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A recent New York Times article tells the story of one woman’s quest to gain access to an experimental drug to treat her deadly cancer. Her story is familiar to many of us who have heard similar tales; a cancer patient runs out of treatment options, but with the help of proactive oncologists is able to receive a new, investigational drug; that is, a drug not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This last-resort treatment approach is known as compassionate use or, as the FDA prefers to call it, expanded access. The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains: Continue reading…