Conference Correspondent

BOSTON—As every oncology nurse knows, pain is no stranger to patients with advanced cancer. Even if background pain appears under control, studies show 23% to 89% of patients experience intermittent bouts of pain known as breakthrough cancer pain (BTCP). Variation in the incidence rates reflects variation in the definition of BTCP.


BOSTON—In an event that brought tears and laughter to those attending, CURE magazine recognized Marie Hayek, RN; Robert Martinez, LPN; and Rebecca Wojtecki, RN, BSN; as Extraordinary Healers. Nominees for the 5th annual Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing were selected based on essays submitted by patients, caregivers, and colleagues.


BOSTON—The growing use of oral oncolytics corresponds to a growing challenge with poor adherence to therapy. With more than 40 oral oncolytics available and dozens in the pipeline, Susan Moore, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCN, oncology nurse practitioner and consultant with MCG Oncology in Chicago, Illinois, warned nurses at the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) annual meeting that “the issue is not going to fade away.”


Each year thousands of oncology nurses gather at the annual congress to learn through interactive sessions, poster presentations, and other events. However, this year’s congress aims to go a step farther to engage and reengerize the attendees. Whether it’s a rock concert (Charlie Lustman’s Musical HOPE Campaign), new technology (QR codes, Apps, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), or a huge celebration (2011 CURE Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing), this conference will be one of the most memorable.

In a review of new drugs to hit the market, speaker Maribel Pereiras, PharmD, BCOP, BCPS, referred to 2010 as “quite the year for prostate and breast cancer.” Pereiras, a clinical assistant professor at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University, and a clinical oncology pharmacist with Hackensack University Medical Center, New Jersey, reviewed newly approved anticancer agents sipuleucel-T (Provenge), cabazitaxel (Jevtana), eribulin (Halaven), and denosumab (Xgeva) for pharmacists attending the annual meeting of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association.

In a “Technical Issues” session at the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacist Association annual meeting, Bhavesh Shah, RPh, BCOP, a clinical pharmacy specialist in hematology/oncology with Boston Medical Center, in Massachusetts, discussed dose-rounding, rapid infusion, and other strategies his center has adopted to reduce costs.

Despite aggressive campaigns to educate Americans on the lifethreatening risks of smoking, nearly 500,000 people die each year in the United States from smoking-related illness, according to a recent study in Epidemiology. Even patients with smoking- related cancers have trouble quitting, with about two-thirds of patients with lung cancer continuing to smoke.

Patients with inoperable metastatic melanoma now have another treatment option as ipilimumab becomes the second immunotherapy drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cancer. Fortunately for clinicians, ipilimumab also has a new, easier-to-pronounce name–Yervoy. Specifically, Yervoy is indicated for patients with unresectable metastatic melanoma that is newly diagnosed or continues to progress despite prior therapy.


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