Conference Correspondent

CHICAGO—The oral poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor olaparib delayed ovarian cancer recurrence by 4 months when given as maintenance therapy to patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer, in an international study reported at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology by Jonathan Ledermann, MD, professor of medical oncology, University College London, United Kingdom.


ORLANDO—Three parenteral iron formulations were found to be very safe, with no anaphylactic reactions observed, in a single-center study presented at the 2010 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition.

The study was presented by Maureen Okam, MD, MPH, and Elyse Mandell, MSN, RNCS, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston.

Orlando—Generic versions of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) may not have the same efficacy and safety profile as branded products, according to investigators from Loyola University in Chicago, who presented their findings at the American Society of Hematology 2010 annual meeting (Abstract 1098).

Debra Hoppensteadt, PhD, compared several generic versions now in use outside the U.S. with enoxaparin and showed that while their molecular weight distributions were mostly similar, each of the products exhibited its own specific pharmacologic profile.

ORLANDO—A novel prostate brachytherapy technique that avoids the central zone may sharply reduce periurethral prostate radiation (XBT) and significantly reduce posttreatment urinary obstruction/irritation. In addition, this approach may significantly reduce long-term urinary incontinence, according to a prospective study presented at the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.


SAN FRANCISCO—A novel small-caliber metal stent can provide a low-risk means of palliation for severe malignant dysphagia, according to investigators who have created these stents and are now testing them in trials. The results were presented at the 2011 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium by Stephen Kucera, MD, of H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida, where he is an interventional endoscopy fellow.


BOSTON—Nurses have been involved in radiation oncology since the early 1940s, but as nursing roles in general have evolved over time, so has the role of these nurses. A group of advanced practice nurses (APNs) shared how they came to be part of their facility’s radiation oncology department and how the increased strain on healthcare is opening opportunities in this field for APNs.


BOSTON—As more targeted therapies for non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) become available, experts are assessing which patients’ tumors should be genotyped and when. Although genotyping—not to be confused with genetic testing—is becoming increasingly important in developing a treatment plan, professional guidelines do not yet recommend incorporating it as a routine part of care for patients with NSCLC.


BOSTON—Recognizing steroid-induced hyperglycemia early and addressing it promptly can prevent significant adverse effects associated with this complication. Educating patients on the importance of and methods for maintaining good blood glucose control helps mitigate damage to the vascular system and kidneys from hyperglycemia. It also lessens susceptibility to infection, a complication of hyperglycemia that is of serious concern in immunocompromised patients.


BOSTON—With complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) becoming increasingly popular among patients with cancer, it is important for oncology nurses to familiarize themselves with the evidence for and against various CAM therapies.

BOSTON—Where most people see the end of life for a patient with cancer as a time of grief and suffering, “the final chapter…also holds the opportunity for profound healing, comfort, and growth,” believes Betty Ferrell, PhD, RN, who was honored with the Mara Mogensen Flaherty Memorial Lectureship Award. She further believes that, through compassionate and competent psychical and psychosocial care, oncology nurses can be instrumental in brightening the darkest days for patients.

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