Blocking Hair Loss in Chemotherapy

Breast cancer remains the most common cancer in women worldwide, which means that many women will undergo treatment for this disease in their life. The commonly used chemotherapy for treating breast cancer is well-known for the side effect of hair loss. Research shows that cooling the scalp can help reduce the hair loss induced by…

Promising Outcome in Lung Cancer

For those with certain types of lung cancer, the oral medication Tagrisso® (osimertinib) shows promise. Tagrisso is a third-generation epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor drug developed by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. This medication has been approved for non–small-cell lung cancer, specifically for cancers that have an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation called T790M. Lung…

Potential New Medication for Lymphoma

The medication Imbruvica® (ibrutinib) from AbbVie first gained FDA approval in 2013 for treating mantle cell lymphoma, then in 2014 the approval was expanded to include chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The next year, 2015, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia was added to the FDA approvals for this medication. Now, in 2017, Imbruvica has been granted an accelerated approval as…

Get Moving for GI Cancers

Finding an activity that one can do regularly – whether that’s walking, playing basketball, cycling, or anything else that raises heart rates and moves big muscle groups – brings health benefits in a variety of ways. Lowering the risk of cancer is one such benefit, particularly when it comes to breast and colon cancers (as…

Psoriasis and Skin Cancer

The autoimmune skin disease called psoriasis tends to be associated with other health concerns, including diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Unfortunately, yet another disease is being added to this list: melanoma. Early research investigating the potential link between psoriasis and skin cancer were unclear as to whether the psoriasis or the treatment for psoriasis affected…

Moving Forward with Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma, a form of cancer affecting the bone marrow, is diagnosed in approximately 30,000 Americans each year. In this disease, malignant plasma cells (which are a type of white blood cell) start growing out of control and can create multiple tumors in the bones. The cancerous plasma cells can also crowd out other cells…

PSA: The Prostate Cancer Screening Test

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, following skin cancer. One in every seven men will be diagnosed with this form of cancer in his lifetime; with the average age of diagnosis being age 66. In terms of fatalities, only lung cancer comes with a higher mortality rate. Prostate cancer is…

Standing Up to Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer has proven to be a formidable foe. This form of cancer remains difficult to detect, particularly in the early stages, which means that women are generally diagnosed at later (and harder to treat) stages. In fact, more than four out of five women are not diagnosed until this cancer has advanced. For this…

Keytruda Ready to Help More People

Guest Blog by: Elvin Montanez, Pharm.D. Even more cancer patients might soon be benefiting from the cancer medication that helped former President Jimmy Carter. Keytruda (pembrolizumab) first started saving lives back in 2011 when a human trial led to an expedited process with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). By 2014, this medication was approved…

Things are Getting Brighter

Cancer treatment and depression go hand-in-hand. In fact, this belief was previously so entrenched in the health care community that it was viewed as an unfortunate, yet unchangeable fact. Today – although depression remains a major challenge for cancer patients – there are now many effective depression treatments available to improve the quality of life…

Extra Care Brings Impressive Results

Guest Blog by: Bridget Economou, RN, OCN Reflecting back on my time attending the 41st ONS (Oncology Nursing Society) Congress in San Antonio, Texas, I was particularly struck by the data in a poster presentation from Kentucky regarding oral adherence. Their conclusions about how a care team can positively impact patient adherence served as great…

A Quicker Oncology Pipeline

Oncology treatment is serious business. Lives are at stake, which is why some oncology researchers advocate for a faster path from drug development to approval. The development of new therapies, for the past several decades, has followed a very clear, step-wise progression. First, there are phase 1 trials to establish a medication’s safety and dose….

The Changing Face of Liver Cancer

Hepatitis C infections get a lot of bad press when it comes to liver cancer. While it is true that hepatitis C is a significant risk factor for liver cancer, there is another risk factor that is even more risky: metabolic disorders. In fact, new research just found that metabolic disorders are the number one…

An Inside Job

Immunotherapy as a cancer treatment, which is sometimes called biologic therapy, relies on the body’s immune defenses to stop cancer cell growth and spread, as well as uses elements of the immune system to destroy cancerous cells. Last year, as I explained in the blog, Lung Cancer: Immunotherapy Treatment Option, immunotherapy presents the possibility of…

Rely on Pharmacists

Have you heard about the new Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA)? This new law will go into effect in 2019, changing the way reimbursement works for many physician offices. In short: to receive reimbursement from Medicare, offices will have to either: Use an alternative payment model (such as the patient-centered medical home) Or…

Cost and Value

Where does the true value of cancer treatment lie? Oncology experts grapple with this important question, with one of the more recent people to chime in being Robert C. Young, M.D., of RCY Medicine in Philadelphia, in an essay in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Young reviews several initiatives…

The True Cost

Infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains a leading cause of liver cancer in the United States. Treatments now available for HCV can cure upwards of 90% of patients; however, the high price tag of these HCV treatments can serve as an obstacle to these medications reaching all infected people. Yet, there is a…

More Reason than Ever to Start Treatment

Chronic infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) primarily harms the liver, with liver cancer being a well-known consequence in some individuals – especially those who already have cirrhosis. Yet evidence continues to mount indicating that HCV also increases the risk of other, non-liver cancers. At the 50th International Liver Congress hosted by the European…