Providing Optimal Care for Cancer Patients in Rural Alaska With Joscelyn VanDuren, MSN, FNP-C

At the recent 47th Annual Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Congress in Anaheim, California, Joscelyn VanDuren, Family Nurse Practitioner at Advanced Oncology Associates in Alaska, gave a presentation about the challenges faced by patients receiving cancer treatment in rural Alaska and her experiences in treating them. Afterwards, she spoke with Oncology Data Advisor to share additional strategies for nurses and nurse practitioners for providing optimal care for their patients residing in rural areas.  

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How Delaying Cancer Treatment Impacts Survival: Eugene Cone, MD

In a study published this past week in JAMA Network Open, Eugene Cone, MD, and colleagues found that a longer time to treatment initiation negatively impacts survival in patients with breast, prostate, colon, and lung cancers, a finding that is particularly relevant with the deferral of treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this interview, Dr. Cone, a clinical fellow in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, speaks with i3 Health about the significance of these results and shares advice...

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Time to Treatment Initiation Impacts Survival in Common Cancers

In patients with common cancers, a longer time to treatment initiation is associated with higher all-cause mortality, according to results of a cohort study now published in JAMA Network Open. "The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many hospitals in the US to grapple with decisions on how best to optimize allocation of limited health care resources," write the investigators, led by Eugene B. Cone, MD, of the Division of Urological Surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Postponing particular cancer...

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Appendix Cancer Model Predicts Efficacy of Chemotherapy

Because appendix cancer is rare, with only 1,000 people diagnosed in the United States every year, it is not as well understood as more common tumor types. That might change with the development of a patient-specific organoid model of the appendix which allows physicians to predict the efficacy of chemotherapy treatments prior to beginning them. Since every patient responds differently to treatment, this model, created by scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) ...

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Christmas Berry Compound: Potential Uveal Melanoma Treatment

For half of patients with uveal melanoma, this rare cancer of the eye ultimately metastasizes to the liver. Once in the liver, the prognosis is bleak: patients typically live 2 to 9 months after diagnosis. Patients whose cancer has metastasized have few options for treatment. Recently, however, scientists conducting research on various treatments may have discovered the answer: a compound called FR900359 (FR), found in Christmas berry primrose plants of the Ardisia crenata species. With further ...

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Acupressure Relieves Symptoms in Cancer Survivors

Acupressure has been practiced as part of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Different pressure points along the body are activated by touch, promoting blood flow and releasing tension. According to a new study, self-acupressure also alleviates the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain that can plague breast cancer survivors. In this study, published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum, 288 women were randomly separated into three groups of treatments: relaxing acupressure, stimulating...

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Diabetes and Antihypertensive Drug Combo Kills Cancer Cells

Typically, metformin is used in patients with diabetes to lower blood sugar levels. In treating diabetes, metformin is administered in too low of a dose to fight cancer. However, researchers have recently discovered that when taken with syrosingopine, a drug used to treat hypertension, metformin's ability to kill cancer is enhanced. In a study published in Cell Reports, researchers found metformin and syrosingopine work together to block a crucial step in cancer's energy production process, elim...

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CRISPR-Cas9 Combats Chemotherapy Resistance

Accounting for more than one fourth of cancer deaths, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States. Increasing chemotherapy drug resistance is one of the reasons behind the deadliness of this disease. Drug resistance occurs because of the upregulation of various genes in charge of drug inactivation. One of the most troublesome of these genes is nuclear factor erthroid 2-related factor (Nfr2), which controls 100 to 200 target genes and sometimes eliminates their respo...

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Artificial Intelligence Predicts Symptoms in Cancer Patients

Cancer patients have to deal not only with symptoms of cancer and adverse effects due to treatments, but also with comorbidities such as depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbance. Because these symptoms greatly reduce patients' quality of life, it is imperative to combat them. Scientists have discovered how to better treat these symptoms by utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) in order to predict their presence and severity in cancer patients before they occur, allowing doctors to identify hi...

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Tumor Hypoxia: A Key to Drug Resistance and Metastasis

Cancerous tumors are resilient. With the ability to survive hypoxic—low oxygen—environments that would kill normal tissue, malignancies are able to resist treatment and metastasize. Little has been known about the molecular hallmarks of tumor hypoxia. Researchers have now made significant progress in this area, identifying markers and characteristics that are shared by various hypoxic tumor types. In these experiments, published in Nature Genetics, 8,000 tumors belonging to 19 different cancer t...

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Autophagy: A Key to Preventing Cancer

Autophagy is a self-degradative process that cells undergo to remove intracellular pathogens and cell parts that no longer function, such as misfolded proteins and damaged organelles. It was once thought to be only a cellular survival mechanism. In a study published in Nature, researchers now report that autophagy also blocks cancer by promoting the death of mutated cells. "These results were a complete surprise," remarked the paper's senior author, Jan Karlseder, PhD, Professor in the Molecular...

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CK2 Inhibitor Disrupts Cancer’s Circadian Rhythm

Circadian rhythm is an important internal biological clock in charge of daily physiological processes. It regulates the sleep/wake cycle, body temperature, hormone secretion, and energy metabolism. Cells in the human body are dictated by their own circadian rhythm. According to a new study published in Science Advances, manipulating cancerous cells' circadian rhythm could potentially harm or kill malignancies by stunting their growth. In this study, researchers from the University of Southern Ca...

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Grouped MicroRNAs Fight Glioblastomas

MicroRNAs—strings of nucleotides that bind to and destroy messenger RNA to prevent the production of certain proteins—have been discovered to play an important role in cancer and other diseases. However, in previous preclinical trials, microRNA cancer treatments lacked efficacy. In recent developments, scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School grouped micro-RNA molecules together, encoding them in a small, artificial gene, and then infiltrated cancer cells to overprod...

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Class F Receptors: Potential Cancer Treatment Targets

Receptors located on the cell surface are heavily influenced by cancer mutations. According to researchers at the Karolinska Institute and Uppsala University in Sweden, Class Frizzled (Class F) of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) could potentially be a therapeutic target. Hormones activate the receptors on cell membranes in order to start different cellular processes. G protein-coupled receptors, which comprise the most physiologically important membrane protein family, recognize a large vari...

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Leukemia: Genetic “Map” Helps Clinicians Treat Patients

With unknown risk factors and a varied response to treatment, acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) can be a difficult cancer to treat. In order to improve the understanding of this disease, researchers at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center created the AML Proteome Atlas, a database derived from MetaGalaxy analyses that contains the proteomic profiling of 205 patients with AML and 111 leukemic cell lines. "Acute myelogenous leukemia pre...

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Artificial Intelligence: Useful for Designing Clinical Trials

Due to lackluster recruiting techniques, a suboptimal number of patients are selected to participate in clinical trials. In addition, the researchers often have limited ability to observe and coach patients during clinical trials. These factors contribute to high clinical trial failure rates, which have a negative impact on the drug development cycle, not to mention 10 to 15 years and hundreds of millions of dollars wasted. However, scientists have proposed a potential solution to this problem: ...

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