Supportive Care

Significant progress in the treatment of cancer, coupled with early detection, has led to meaningful im - provement in survival and quality of life. Novel symptom and pain-control interventions have made it possible for more patients with cancer to continue to work while receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as biologic, hormonal, and targeted agents. In addition, the trend of delivering cancer treatments in the outpatient setting, as opposed to inpatient hospital stays, has reduced time away from work during treatments.

SAN DIEGO—Current or recent tamoxifen therapy was associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women older than 65 years who survived invasive breast cancer. No association was found between aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and development of type 2 diabetes, but the numbers of women on AIs was small. These findings of a population-based, case-control study in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, were presented at the 71st Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

CHICAGO—Flaxseed failed to have a significant effect on reducing hot flashes in women compared with placebo, according to results of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial supported by the North Central Cancer Treatment Group. The study included breast cancer survivors as well as women who had never had breast cancer who experienced frequent hot flashes throughout the day and night.

ORLANDO—Novel dosing regimens of rasburicase can prevent tumor lysis syndrome (TLS) at costs that are much lower than conventional dosing, according to studies presented at the 2010 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition.

SAN DIEGO—Use of prandial insulin (ie, insulin given at mealtimes) appears to be linked to cancer risk, according to a substudy of the large randomized Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial presented at the 71st Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association. Other factors associated with development of cancer in this substudy included increasing body mass index (BMI), older age, and smoking.

This past Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 2 drugs that could help our patients: fentanyl nasal spray (Lazanda, Archimedes Pharma) and rivaroxaban (Xarelto, Janssen Pharmaceuticals).

 

ANAHEIM—Effective management of breakthrough cancer pain requires optimizing background therapy for chronic pain and accurately assessing the type of breakthrough pain, said presenters at the 45th American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exposition.

ANAHEIM—Hypersensitivity or infusion reactions to chemotherapy agents or monoclonal antibodies can be lifethreatening but often can be managed with premedications or titration of infusion rates, said Catherine Christen, PharmD, at the 45th American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exposition.

Medications associated with infusion reactions are platinum agents, taxanes, liposomal doxorubicin, etoposide, and monoclonal antibodies. Hypersensitivity reactions can be either allergic (IgE-mediated) or nonallergic (anaphylactoid).

SALT LAKE CITY—Identifying safety measures for patients receiving oral chemotherapy is of the upmost importance, according to a presentation at the annual meeting of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association. This includes monitoring the administration of and adherence to the treatment as well as ensuring the prevention of any medication errors.

SALT LAKE CITY—Early identification of nutrition status and treatmentrelated nutrition risk are important steps in the continuum of care for cancer patients, according to an oral presentation at the annual meeting of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association.

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