Resources

The Fight For Life Continuum database is updated on a real time basis to provide you with the most up to date resources and information. 

 

LivingWith App-Free Download

LivingWith App-Free Download


Two years after launching its smoking cessation app Quitter's Circle, pharmaceutical company Pfizer is seeing impressive continued engagement with the app. It's also applying the lessons learned from Quitter's Circle toward other mobile health pursuits — including a recently-launched app for people living with cancer. (Read full article)

Second Opinion Login

As a member of the Continuum, you have free access to our second opinion program. Our medical pool of over 1000 Physicians in many specialties, including but not limited to Radiology, Internal Medicine, Oncologists, and other disciplines are available to provide second opinions on your treatment or second written reports of your CT, PET and MRI scans.

In order to access, please click the link below to register. You will need to complete certain HIPPA and privacy forms. Once you have registered, you will receive instructions at that point on how to access your second opinion from a specialist who will assist you. Please click below to start the registration process.

Once you have completed your initial registration, you can then click Second Opinion Login thereafter. 

Second Opinion Registration

Click here to login after you have registered above and every time thereafter when you visit the site

Second Opinion Login

 

Financial Assistance

Pediatric Assistance

General

 

Inspiration by Shannon Miller

Shannon Miller Speaks to various medical professionals at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute.

StoreMyTumor



StoreMyTumor is a commercial tumor storage company with laboratories in the United States and in Europe.  Tumor storage plays an integral role in certain cancer treatments such as immunotherapy, in chemo-sensitivity testing and in genetic sequencing.  As Michel Sedaka, StoreMyTumor founder stated, “Every tumor is unique, and storing tumor cells enables the opportunity to determine which treatment has the best chance of success against that particular tumor.”

The decision to store your tumor must begin prior to surgery.  The first step is to call Store MyTumor to speak with a Navigator and begin the registration process.  Once the registration forms are completed, a collection kit will be sent overnight to you.  The kit must be refrigerated until the day of surgery. The kit contains instructions for the surgeon.  Once the tumor is collected and stored in the kit, it will be shipped overnight to a Store My Tumor laboratory.  The tumor remains at the lab until further instructions are received by you or your physician.

Every tumor is unique and contains important information critical to the treatment, BUT tumors are NOT preserved alive by the hospitals and are routinely discarded.

StoreMyTumor specializes in collecting, processing, and storing viable tumor tissue (and fluid) for all types of cancers. Having viable tumor helps patients take advantage of the most leading-edge diagnostics and treatments.

StoreMyTumor has partnered with the Continuum to provide tumor tissue storage services and education for clients and patients of the Continuum. Under the terms of the agreement, StoreMyTumor will provide tumor tissue storage services at no charge to patients and members of the Continuum for the first year, after their initial processing and kit fee. 

“I am very excited to welcome Patrick, Michel and StoreMyTumor as a valued partner in the

delivery of valuable services to our patients, and education for our members on the benefit of

storing tumor tissue,” said Tom Kidd, CEO of the Joan L. Kidd MD Fight for Life Continuum.

“Storing tumor tissue is one of the most important steps in insuring that future treatment options

are available to the cancer patient and sometimes, at a time when nothing else is left to explore. It

could be a life saving decision and patients need to be given this option before having debulking

surgery to remove tumor tissue or even biopsy. Immunotherapies require sufficient tumor cell

count to make a vaccine which could arrest the tumor growth of the patient and either extend the

life of the patient or result in a cure. Too many times patients are not given this option by their

Physician prior to debulking surgery and as a result, future vaccine therapies are not available to

the patient, either through clinical trials or in the future when the FDA approves dendritic

vaccine therapies as standard care. I believe the contribution of Store My Tumor to assisting our

patients will be result in positive outcomes for patients and will be invaluable in extending the

lives of our patients.” 

Up to 85% of cancer patients do not respond to traditional treatments or respond but later develop resistance, and recur.  With access to viable cancer tissue, clinician can design personalized and more effective treatments, including: 1) cellular immunotherapies (whole tumor vaccines or TILs) that awakens and stimulates the immune system to fight the cancer;  2) prioritizing chemo choices upfront and beginning with a combination that will work from day one; and 3) identifying unique mutations on cancer cells and choosing medications that will precisely target and kill the cancer cells, while sparing healthy cells.

StoreMyTumor is for the early stage patient who wants to challenge the standard of care treatments, combat cancer from day one, and stay ahead. StoreMyTumor is also for advanced patient who is forced to seek more personalized treatment options because the standard treatments no longer work and there is nothing left to explore.  

 The standard of care is simply not enough, and having the tumor preserved alive opens doors to immunotherapy and a host of diagnostics that may extend patient’s time in remission.

For more information, please visit www.storemytumor.com 


Personalize Cancer Care Initiative

Personalize Cancer Care Initiative

The Personalize Cancer Care Initiative (PCCI) is a partnership with StoreMyTumor. The PCCI was formed in order to empower cancer patients to “own” their cancer care through education and awareness around the need to question the current standard of care. The initiative will be driven by current cancer patients, who will comprise the Patient Advocates. They are committed to making sure that all patients have the most comprehensive information available to make the best decisions for them and their families


Patient Advocates

Irene Downs

Irene Downs lives in Silver Spring Maryland with Gary, her husband of 29 years, and her dog Halle.  Their daughter Kristin is 25 and lives in Alexandria. Born and Raised in Illinois, Irene received a BSN from Loyola University in Chicago. She worked in both hospital and other clinical settings in Chicago then transferred to the business world working at both GE and Merck in Maryland.  She was diagnosed with Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer in September of 2015. Her gynecological oncologist suggested storing tumor cells so she could take advantage of vaccine therapy.  She received her vaccine in September of 2016.



Joy Brewster

Joy Brewster is a real estate agent in Arizona where she has lived for 28 years.  Her daughter was diagnosed with Fibromellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma in 2014 at the age of 21 and, during this time, Joy became familiar with Store My Tumor.  SMT has been instrumental in providing tissue to various labs in the hope of finding a cure. She enjoys photography, hiking, and spending time with her family.



Liz Cox

Liz Cox is a wife, mother of two sons and grandmother to a three year old grandson. My second grandchild will arrive this summer.

I am a native Californian, born and raised in the east bay.  I grew up in the shadow of Mount Diablo where I loved horseback riding and swimming. I studied at San Jose State University and received my teaching and special education degrees

I taught a special education classroom in the Menlo Park School District.

Our family has led very active lives skiing, waterskiing, house boating and many other outdoor activities.  I enjoy hiking and photography and last year took a dream trip to Alaska to visit and photograph the bears.  I plan to return this summer. 

I just want to live.  That is what I tell my doctors when we discuss my options for treatment.  I have spent much of my time in treatment since September 16, 2013, the day I was diagnosed with Malignant Ovarian Cancer stage 3c. Jim, my husband, looked for a way to have tumors tested to find the most effective treatment for my cancer.  That is when he came across, Store My Tumor, online. We are currently having my tumors tested from my last surgery. Moral of the story, take control of your medical care and you have a better chance to live a longer life


Andrea Ottaiano

Andrea Ottaiano currently working as a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach in addition to being a patient advocate for several cancer and oncology organizations. In 2010 I learned that my breast cancer had spread.  I once again looked into different treatment options and learned about Store My Tumor.  I coordinated all efforts between Store My Tumor and MSKCC where I was to have the mass in my liver removed. This cancer was caught at an early stage AND I have tumor tissue to ultimately have a vaccine made if necessary.  Had I not gone to this extreme but thorough measure I would not have a vaccine option. 


Carrie Gillotte

Carrie Gillotte is retired from Georgetown University in 2012 after a career supporting administrative systems for Higher Education.  Our active retirement (my husband Mike and myself) included lots of travel with sight-seeing, hiking, biking and kayaking.  My time at home was dedicated to my genealogy hobby, and to enjoying our 7 grandchildren (#8 in May!). Home in Virginia, an ER visit late Saturday night confirmed a diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer. As part of the discussion on surgery, Dr Barter highly recommended that we save some tissue from the surgery for StoreMyTumor, to be used later to create a personalized vaccine. So in April 2016 I flew to Tubingen, Germany, where I received the vaccine created from the tissue that StoreMyTumor had stored.  The coordinator from StoreMyTumor was very helpful in keeping the communication flowing between Germany and the US. 

Liz Fisher

Liz Fisher has more than 20 years’ experience as a natural food industry executive and entrepreneur. In 2011 Liz was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. That began a five year treatment journey that included saving her tumor in 2013 after having a reoccurrence and then having an autologous vaccine made form that viably stored tumor. Liz completed 6 doses of the vaccine and is reporting clean scans and good times now 2 full years after treatment. Her last medi-port was taken out three months ago!

Medical Library

Click Here to access your complete Medical Library

Oncology Medical Library

Through our medical library you will be able to access information and supportive services for a variety of topics and questions you may have.

Learn More

Medical Dictionary

Advanced Genomic Testing

Advanced Genomic Testing for Targeted Therapies

Brain Cancer

Breast Cancer

Cervical Cancer

Genomics (general)

Kidney Cancer

Leukemia

Liver Cancer

Lung Cancer

Multiple Myeloma

Neuroblastoma

Ovarian Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer

Prostate cancer

Uterine Cancer

    Clinical Trial Navigator


    Clinical Trial Navigator Toll Free Number:  1-844-893-5529 

    The steps are easy:

    1.     Fill out a short questionnaire to identify clinical trials looking for your specific diagnosis, stage and treatment history from the full national database of cancer treatment trials from all sponsors.

    2.     In a few minutes you can identify all clinical trials that match your profile and the closest trial sites. We can also update you when new studies open that match your profile.

    3.     Need help with your search or connecting with trial sites? Contact us to speak with your personal Clinical Trial Navigator today. We're here to help.

    Get started today! Don’t wait to discover all your options.


    Clinical Trials

    A Service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.  This is a database of clinical studies involving human participants.  This data base includes studies conducted in the U.S. and in other countries.  

    By Disease:

    Anal Cancer

    Bladder Cancer

    Breast Cancer

    Brain Cancer

    Cervical Cancer

    Colon Cancer

    Esophageal Cancer

    Eye Cancer

    Gastrointestinal Cancer

    Head and Neck Cancer

    HPV Related Cancers

    Kidney Cancer

    Leukemia

    Liver Cancer

    Lung Cancer

    Lymphoma

    Melanoma

    Multiple Myeloma

    Osteosarcoma

    Ovarian Cancer

    Pancreatic Cancer

    Prostate Cancer

    Testicular Cancer

    Thyroid Cancer

    Uterine Cancer


    Thyroid Cancer

    By State:

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    International Trials

    Biotechnology Data

    •  Georgia Tech Researchers Offer Open-Source Cancer Treatment Algorithm

    Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

    • Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

    U.S. Clinics

    International Clinics

    Acupuncture

     

    General


  •  

    Naturopathic Medicine

    Aim:  In France, it is not uncommon for women with a gynecological cancer to use naturopathy along with standard cancer treatments.  Naturopathy treats the patient as a whole and looks to solve the “root causes of the illness” (Legenne et al, 2016).  This qualitative study took place in France and was approved by the institutional review board. The purpose of this study was to examine the expectancies female cancer patients have regarding the use naturopathy.    Results:  The authors report that naturopathy is seen as a way to improve the patient’s quality of life.  The authors also report that the use of naturopathy helps a patient feel they have a more active role in their cancer care.

    Keywords:  cancer, naturopathy, gynecological cancer

    Legenne, M., Chirac, A., Ruer, F., & Filbet, M. (accessed Oct. 2016).  Perception of naturopathy for female patients with metastatic gynecological cancer: A qualitative study.  Palliative         &          Supportive Care, 13(6), 1663-1668.

    Body (chiropractic and osteopathic medicine, massage, yoga, other body movement therapies)

    • Diet and Herbs (dietary supplements, herbal medicine, nutrition)

       Aim:    The authors set out to examine the effects of Qingrejiedu, Huoxuehuayu and Fuzhengguben (QHF) on liver cancer cells.  This study did not involve human participants.  Results:   The results demonstrated that QHF may decrease the ability of liver cancer cells to metastasize.  The authors recommend further studies. 

      Keywords:  cancer, Chinese herbal formula, QHF, liver cancer

      Tao, C., Wang, Q., Li, Y., Huang, H. & Hu, W.  (2016).  Chinese herbal formula QHF inhibits liver cancer                     cell invasion and migration.  Experimental & Therapeutic Medicine, 11(6), 2413-2419.    Doi:10.3892/etm.2016.324

      Essential Oils


      External Energy (electromagnetic therapy, reiki, qigong)

      HyperthermiaTreatment

    Mind (meditation, spiritual, hypnosis, biofeedback)

    Senses (art, dance, music, visualization)

    Aim:   The authors’ purpose was to review studies involving the use of music-based interventions in palliative care. Results:  Findings demonstrated that music can play a role in easing cancer patients’ symptoms.  Data from studies show that music can decrease symptoms of anxiety, mood disturbances, and pain.  The authors also review studies demonstrating improvements in quality of life resulting from music-based interventions.  Limitations: Some limitations of this review are the following:  lack of quantitative data in studies reviewed, small sample sizes in studies reviewed and difficult to control for variation in studies.

    Keywords:  music, cancer, palliative

     Archie, P., Bruera, E. & Cohen, L. (2013).  Music-based interventions in palliative care:  a review of quantitative studies and neurobiological literature.  Supportive Care in Cancer, 21(9), 2609-2624.  Doi: 10.1007/s00520-013-1841-4  

  • Advocacy in the Healthcare System

    Advocacy Groups


  • The Emerging Role of Patient Health Advocates

    One nurse's professional and personal journey to becoming a patient-first fighter.

    By Terri Dreher, RN, CCRN, iRNPA

    Although I worked for 38 years as a nurse, it wasn't until my father-in-law fell critically ill on a cruise ship off the coast of Belize that I came face-to-face with the terror and frustration that people experience when a family member has an acute medical crisis. In my case, I was able to successfully intervene when a hospital in Belize was set to release my father-in-law despite what I knew was a life-threatening blood clot. While helping navigate the complicated health system on my father-in-law's behalf, I realized how difficult it must be for families without my professional background and training. That event is what prompted me to create my company, North Shore Patient Advocates in the fall of 2011.

    Because of my father-in-law's health crisis, I had a chance to view the "hospital experience" from the inside out, as a family member. This completely foreign vantage point was a valuable learning experience: an epiphany of sorts. Over six weeks, in various hospitals in both Belize and Illinois, I saw some of the best and worst of modern healthcare. Communication problems between practitioners, multiple crises requiring emergent surgical procedures, allergic reactions to medicines, an instance of almost bleeding to death, dangerous new clotting episodes, and several ICU admissions convinced me of the great need for professional advocacy.

    Fighters in Patients' Corners

    What would have happened if I had not been there when disaster struck? The family agreed that he would have died. I was thinking of little else but standing guard, watching and observing, asking all the right questions and asserting myself when necessary. I knew my father-in-law better than any of the care providers did, plus I had the advantage of advanced clinical expertise. I was a seasoned ICU nurse who also had worked as a cardiovascular nurse clinician for a busy interventional cardiologist. I was comfortable handling complex medical and surgical patients with multi-system pathology. Not many families have the luxury of having someone like that in their corner. Fortunately, my father-in-law had a positive outcome. He is healthier today than he was six years ago. Not everyone is so fortunate.

    When I returned to work after our family's six-week ordeal, I had a new empathy for families, and I began to advocate even more strongly for patient safety. Many years previously, I came close to being fired over strongly advocating for a patient who suffered multiple complications from a major surgery. When I asked the doctor why my patient was not being sent for scans and exploratory surgery for multiple episodes of bleeding, I soon found myself on a ten-day suspension from work for a "charting omission." I was satisfied in my heart that I had taken the right stand, but I heard the message loud and clear: Don't make waves.

    Nurses have a bill of rights just as patients do, and one of our rights states that we should not be persecuted for advocating for patients. But medicine is big business, and advocacy can come with a price. Nurses who go up against big money-making surgeons and threaten the image of the hospital by drawing attention to errors can quickly find themselves "expendable." Many nurses are playing it safe these days, keeping their heads down and not making waves unless they have to. Nurses are ambassadors for the hospitals, expected to provide quality care, avoid errors and make the hospital look good.

    This shift has opened the door for private patient advocates, independent professionals who work on behalf of families. These professionals not only help families navigate the complicated healthcare system, but also provide a trained set of eyes that can reduce hospital errors and improve patient outcomes.

    Dangerous Errors

    Since 1999, when the landmark study "To Err Is Human" rocked the medical establishment to its core, patient safety and medical errors have been top concerns in hospitals throughout the country. The first and largest study of its kind, "To Err is Human" found that an alarming 20 to 30% of patients who entered hospitals experienced some kind of "adverse medical outcome," as medical errors are called within the system. In 2013, another large study published in the Journal of Patient Safety revealed that the original estimates were low, and that what the hospital industry had been doing over the past 14 years had been largely ineffective in resolving the problem. Surprising? Not to those of us who worked in hospitals. Medical error is now the third leading cause of death, behind cancer and heart disease.

    The move in the past 15 years to electronic charting and hospitals' insistence on documenting everything have taken nurses away from the bedside, increasing the chance of errors. Nurses must have keen powers of observation and are expected to quickly and critically analyze tests and clinical findings, yet excessive charting requirements designed to protect the hospitals' liability has impacted nurses' ability to do what they were trained to do. The new mantra has become, "If it did not get charted, it did not happen." Nurses now are taught to cover their behinds above all else and the focus has shifted from the patient to the computer. It is no wonder that the potential for medical errors continues to grow. A looming shortage of nurses and primary care physicians is predicted to peak in 2018. It will be interesting to watch how the hospital industry endeavors to fill the gaps as well as how the shortages will affect patient care.

    The future, however, is not all grim. Private professional health advocates are now beginning to come out of the woodwork to give patients and families a personal option to improve their odds of avoiding the pitfalls of modern healthcare. I am a strong believer that people are in need of some extra guidance when their family members are either in the hospital or going through a chronic, problematic healthcare challenge. Why should people hire their own advocate instead of relying upon the hospital's patient advocate? One word: allegiance. Hospital advocates work for the risk management department of that particular hospital. Their job is to smooth out complaints and keep the hospital from being sued. Risk managers show up when doctors leave sponges in patients during surgery, or patients' families complain about quality of care issues. They get their paychecks from the hospital. Though they are great at handling small complaints and negotiating bills when obvious errors have been made, risk managers and hospital-based advocates are there for one reason: to save the hospital millions of dollars per year in legal fees and protect the hospital's public image. The same is true for insurance company employees who call themselves patient advocates. Their job is to promote positive relations with customers while saving their company millions of dollars every year by limiting payment of claims. So it's a matter of money. Whoever is paying the advocate's salary is going to reap the greatest benefit.

    Personal Advocates

    That's where private advocates come in. Private professional advocates are paid consultancy fees by the client to work the system to achieve better outcomes. Nurse advocates with strong clinical backgrounds are street-smart and savvy about whom to go to in hospitals to get what they want for their clients. They review medical records and see red flags in charts that the average non-medical client would never notice. They know how to stand up for their clients and how to interact with medical professionals in a non-threatening way to get what their client needs, keeping him or her at the center of the healthcare model. A professional patient advocate is focused on three main priorities: quality care, preventing medical error and protection of patient rights. They also can save their clients thousands of dollars when negotiating with insurance companies, not to mention saving lives and bringing peace of mind to families in crisis.

    Besides helping patients, professional advocates benefit hospitals by reducing hospital readmissions, preventing medical error and providing improved communication and education to families in crisis. Nurses have long been at the top of the Barna research group's poll in the "most trusted profession," and I believe it is for good reason. We see it all, we know the danger spots, we understand patient rights and we protect our own families when they are going through healthcare crises. We know who to talk to in hospitals to get the most appropriate attention and understand the hierarchy of healthcare in a way that the general public cannot. That's why nurses are poised to play a major role in the burgeoning field of patient advocacy. While some may see hiring an outside advocate as adversarial, many doctors actually welcome the relationship. Busy doctors would rather spend five minutes updating a medical professional than 20 minutes with an overwhelmed patient. They know the advocate will educate the patient.

    Oversight of Patient Advocates

    The new field of private professional patient advocacy has great potential for helping people navigate the complex world of healthcare, but there are things the general public needs to know right from the start. First, there is no national accreditation process in place yet. The National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants has recently developed a set of recommendations called Best Practices and Standards, including Ethical Guidelines that will be a first step in the national accreditation process. These guidelines were presented at the NAHAC national conference in Chicago in October of 2014.The three main advocacy associations, NAHAC, the Association of Professional Health Advocates and the PPAI, (Private Professional Advocate Institute) are presently collaborating to decide what qualifications shall be required of professional patient advocates as well as what the testing and national accreditation process will look like. This process is predicted to take another 2-3 years.

    Right now there are several large and well-qualified educational training programs throughout the country for those wishing to enter the field. Unfortunately, there are also people who call themselves private professional health advocates with questionable qualifications and very slick marketing campaigns. Some are strictly business/marketing people who will charge large monthly maintenance fees to cover "all of your healthcare needs," though they lack personal mentoring or physicians or nurses working alongside them who even know what good healthcare looks like. Because professional advocates vary in their educational background and training, people should ask about their credentials and experience when they interview them.

    It's important for people to know what their needs are before hiring an advocate. Perhaps they need someone to simply negotiate with their insurance company to pay their medical bills. Perhaps they need a physician or nurse who has sharp clinical skills to oversee the entire medical crisis. People shouldn't go looking for an advocate without a clear sense of what their family needs, and they should pay attention to their instincts when they meet the company representative. They should ask about their experience with successfully advocating in situations similar to their own challenge. Finally, they should read the contract carefully before signing on the dotted line. Services rendered (not covered by health insurance) typically run between $125 and $500 per hour. People should get a quote for services that they feel may be bundled together. The key is for people to ask any questions that they can think of beforehand. Some private advocates will work alongside their clients and teach them how to be a more effective advocate for themselves, thus saving their clients time and money in the long run.

    With today's complicated healthcare system and its often over-burdened employees, everyone needs a healthcare advocate these days. Nurses' professional training and natural role as patient advocates makes them prime candidates to play a major role in this growing field.

    Teri Dreher, RN, CCRN, iRNPA is founder of the Chicago area's North Shore Patient Advocates, LLC, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants and a member of the Association of Professional Health Advocates.

    Healthcare Cost Containment

    The annual cost of unnecessary medical procedures is estimated at over $100 billion per year!

    Experience and subspecialty expertise prevents unnessary diagnostic studies, procedures and surgeries. Some physicians that treat complex conditions sometimes do not have enough experience in treating such conditions. We resolve this issue by providing you with highly qualified specialists and subspecialists. According to a recent analysis of 300 oncology cases by Partners Healthcare in Boston, 12% of the cases reviewed resulted in changes in diagnosis, while 90% resulted in either a new plan or a significant change in prior treatment plan.

    Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Prevention

    In addition, obtaining second opinions may assist in detection and prevention of healthcare fraud and abuse.

    Everyone pays the price for health care fraud through higher health plan dues and out-of-pocket costs. It also results in reduced health plan benefits and coverage to make up for higher costs.

    Health care fraud costs an estimated $68 billion to $226 billion annually. According to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, each family in the U.S. pays more than $800 extra in health care costs every year because of health care fraud.

    Employer Services

    Second Opinion reviews are seen as a tool to reduce costs of complex cases. Second opinion medical services can be an effective cost-containment tool for employers as treatment costs for complicated cases (such as cancer and serious or other complex conditions) and those requiring expensive procedures are increasing. Misdiagnoses are discovered in up to 20 - 30 % of medical cases and treatment changes are recommended in 50-60 % of them, according to recent insurance and provider data.

    Home Health Guidelines for Quality Care

    Immunotherapy and Vaccine Treatments

    There are multiple types of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, is a type of cancer treatment designed to boost the body's natural defenses to fight the cancer. It uses substances either made by the body or in a laboratory to improve or restore immune system function. Immunotherapy may work in the following ways:
    • Stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells
    • Stopping cancer from spreading to other parts of the body
    • Helping the immune system work better at destroying cancer cells

    Immunotherapy and Vaccine treatments:

    Anal Cancer

    Bladder Cancer

    Brain Cancer

    Cervical Cancer

    Colorectal Cancer

    Gastric Cancer

    Head and Neck Cancer

    Immunotherapy (general)

    Kidney

    Leukemia

    Liver Cancer

    Lung Cancer

    Melanoma

    Mesothelioma

    Multiple Myeloma

    Neuroblastoma

    Osteosarcoma

    Ovarian Cancer

    International Treatment Options

    Latest Pharmaceutical Developments of New Immunotherapy Cancer Drugs

    Nutrition

    Nutrition  

    Nutrition is an important part of cancer treatment. Eating the right kinds of foods during and after treatment can help you feel better and stay stronger. Good nutrition is especially important if you have cancer because both the illness and its treatment can affect your appetite.

    Cancer and the treatments you receive, such as chemotherapy, can also affect your body's ability to tolerate certain foods and use nutrients. Learn more about your loved one’s nutrition needs and how to cope with treatment side effects that may affect their appetite.

    Studies

    Aim:  Cachexia is the loss of muscle and weight leading to weakness and fatigue.  It can be a side effect of cancer treatment, regardless of the type of cancer.  The author sets out to define what cachexia is and possible causes.  Results: The author reports that,” Evidence suggests that nutritional care promotes weight gain, improves immune response and helps to attenuate cachexia”(Holmes, 2011, p.318).  Different methods of improving nutrition intake are discussed. 

    Keywords:  cachexia, cancer, nutrition

    Holmes, S. (2011).  Nutrition in the care of patients with cancer cachexia.  British Journal of Community Nursing, 16(7), 314-323.


    Aim:  Women with ovarian cancer are more at risk of malnutrition due than women diagnosed with other gynecologic cancer. The exact reasons are unknown, though it is thought due to the symptoms of ovarian cancer which include the feeling of fullness and bloating.  The authors set out to review literature to evaluate the effects of providing nutrition interventions preoperatively and postoperatively in ovarian cancer patients.  Results: The authors report that introducing fluids and foods by mouth early to the patients following surgery resulted in shorter hospital stays.  It is also reported that there was “no difference in postoperative complication rates in comparison with women who had a traditional postoperative feeding regimen” (Billson etal, 2013).  Limitations:  The main limitation was the small sample size of this review study.   

    Keywords:  ovarian cancer, malnutrition, nutrition

    Billson, H.A., Holland, C., Curwell, J., Davey, V.L., Kinsey, L., Lawton, L.J., & Burden, s.  (2013).  Perioperative nutrition interventions for women with ovarian cancer.      The Cochrane database of Systematic Reviews, (9), CD009884.          Doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009884.pub2


    Medical Error Reduction

    Preventable medical errors - the 6th biggest killer in America!

    Preventable medical errors kill and seriously injure hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. SecondOpinions.com service is important in preventing medical errors. As a result we help lower health care costs, reduce doctors’ insurance premiums and protect the health and well-being of patients.

    Many recent studies report that the majority of Americans are concerned about medical errors. According to the Journal of Cancer, it has been discovered that up to 30% of cancers are misdiagnosed or missed by doctors. Other research shows that more than 50% of breast cancer patients who received a second-opinion had a change in their recommended treatment plan. The Journal of Radiology published a study claiming that error rates can be as high as 30%, even in the vital diagnosis of cancer.

    While it is not always the case, when they do occur, these errors, missed-findings, misinterpretations and improper recommendations lead to delayed medical treatment, or no treatment at all, which may lead to a horrible experience for the patient. Obtaining a medical second opinion helps to eliminate the possibility for misinterpretation or missed findings.

    Diagnosis Error Is Costliest and Most Common Medical Mistake

    According to a recent study conducted by the National Practitioner Data Bank that examined 25 years of malpractice payments, diagnostic errors are the leading cause of death due to medical errors. It is also estimated that 40,000 -80,000 Americans die from incorrect diagnoses each year. The study found:

    • Among claims filed for medical malpractice, misdiagnosis was the most routine and the most dangerous medical mistake made in the U.S. over the past 25 years, a study found.
    • Death was the outcome more often in malpractice allegations related to diagnostic errors than in any other category of malpractice allegation.

    Among 350,706 medical malpractice payments reported to a national database over a quarter-century, researchers found that 100,249 (28.6%) were the result of diagnosis errors, while 27.2% were from treatment errors and 24.2% were from surgery-related errors, wrote David E. Newman-Toker, MD, of Johns Hopkins Hospital, and colleagues. Diagnostic errors resulted in 40,000 to 80,000 deaths, they said, and cost $38 billion in malpractice claims payouts.

    Dollars better spent on patient safety

    The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has, in recent years, recognized the potential for financial savings by reducing medical errors. CMS has stopped paying for hospital and practitioner errors, and thus created a financial incentive for hospitals to embrace patient safety.

    Recent Patient Surveys

    Almost a third of Americans reported experiencing (or a close friend or family member) a medical error, according to several recent consumer survey. Such errors include wrong diagnosis which results in wrong treatment or surgey. Completed in July 2012, this survey consisted of telephone interviews with U.S. consumers. Over 70% of them reported being very concerned or somewhat concerned about medical mistakes, and more than 20% reported having been misdiagnosed by a clinician.

    Many Americans are taking additional steps to help minimize mistakes. 66% said they did their to have done their own research to validate a diagnosis or treatment plan. Over half (56%) sought a second opinion. Some other steps taken to prevent medical errors includeded delaying procedures until a day when a clinician might be more rested or focused, writing information down for the doctor or nurse, and, surprisingly, asking a clinician or nurse to wash their hands (18% of respondents admitted having to ask). Women are more likely than men to do research and get a second opinion.

    This recent survey also showed that many patients have strong confidence in technology being able to help reduce medical errors. 68% of those surveyed agreed that technology has had a positive impact in reducing the chance for medical mistakes.

    Recent Physician survey

    In a recent survey of over 6,000 medical doctors, 50% of them said diagnostic errors occur in their office every month, and many of those errors cause direct harm to the patients.

    Patients may be able to reduce diagnostic errors by seeking a second opinion. Many trust their physicians, but when a doctor fails to properly diagnose the patient in a timely manner, they could be guilty of medical malpractice. According to a study, radiologists at Johns Hopkins found that almost 8% of radiological scans they reviewed had significant discrepancies. After the final diagnosis was given, the second opinion was found to be correct 84% of the time.

    Medical Journal Publications on New Cancer Studies

    Medical Journal Publications on New Cancer Studies

    Bile Duct Cancer

    Bladder Cancer

    Brain Cancer

                                                                                  Without Toxicity for Neurons or Astrocytes  

                Aim:   Glioblastoma is a malignant brain tumor. Because it can be made up of different cell types, treatment can be .  In this study, researchers examine the use of nanoparticles to directly affect the glioblastoma cells.  Results: This study conducted on rat fetuses, demonstrates that glioblastoma cells can be destroyed with limited or no damage to  non-cancerous cells.    

                Keywords:  glioblastoma, brain tumor

                Janiszewska, J., Posadas, I., Jativa, P., Bbugaj-Zarebska, M., Urbanczyk- Lipkowska, Z., & Cena, V. (2016).    Second amphiphilic         poly-lysine  dendrons inhibit glioblastoma cell proliferation without toxicity for neurons or  astrocytes.   Plos ONE, 11(11), 1-21.       Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0165704  

    Effects of Supervised Multimodal Exercise Interventions on Cancer-Related Fatigue: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

    Aim:  Cancer-related fatigue is a common complaint during and after cancer treatment.  The authors’ purpose in this review is to determine what effects, if any, exercise interventions may have on cancer-fatigue. The experimental group’s exercise “included aerobic, resistance and stretching exercise”(Gonzalez-Jiminez et al, 2015, p.2).  The control group participants were not involved in any exercise intervention programs.   Results:  The review analysis did show that those participants involved in the exercise intervention saw improvement in their cancer-related fatigue symptoms.  The authors reported that the results were significant, “especially in patients receiving chemotherapy” and that additiona studies are warranted ”(Gonzalez-Jiminez et al, 2015, p.10).  Limitations: Two limitations of this review are the following:  risk of bias in the scores and lack of similarity between studies reviewed.

    Keywords:  exercise, cancer, cancer-fatigue

    Gonzalez-Jiminez, E., Meneses-Echavez, J.F. & Ramirez-Velez, R.  (2015).  Effects of       supervised multimodal exercise interventions on cancer-related fatigue: systematic        review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.  Biomed Research             International, 2015 1-13. Doi: 10.1155/2015/328636

    • Combining Immunotherapy with Radiation for the Treatment of Glioblastoma   

    Aim:  Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive brain cancer with generally a poor prognosis.  The authors’ aim was to review literature involving the treatment of GBM using a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.  Results:  Based on the literature reviewed, results demonstrate that a combination of immunotherapy and radiation have antitumor effects.  The authors raise questions involving which type of radiation and which immunotherapy treatment should be used and suggest further studies are warranted.

     Keywords:  cancer, radiation, glioblastoma, immunotherapy 

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11060-015-1762-9

    Chow, K.H., Hara, W., W. lim., & Li, G.  (2015). Combining immunotherapy with radiation for the treatment of glioblastoma.  Journal of Neuro-Oncology, (3), 459. doi:10.1007/s11060-015-1762-9 

    •   Combining Immunotherapy with Radiation for the Treatment of Glioblastoma   

    Aim:  Glioblastoma (GBM) is an aggressive brain cancer with generally a poor prognosis.  The authors’ aim was to review literature involving the treatment of GBM using a combination of radiation and chemotherapy.  Results:  Based on the literature reviewed, results demonstrate that a combination of immunotherapy and radiation have antitumor effects.  The authors raise questions involving which type of radiation and which immunotherapy treatment should be used and suggest further studies are warranted.

    Keywords:  cancer, radiation, glioblastoma, immunotherapy 

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11060-015-1762-9

    Chow, K.H., Hara, W., W. lim., & Li, G.  (2015). Combining immunotherapy with radiation for the treatment of glioblastoma.  Journal of Neuro-Oncology, (3), 459. doi:10.1007/s11060-015-1762-9 

    Breast Cancer

    Cancer Studies (general)

    Aim:   The authors had two purposes in conducting this study on a small sample (30 participants) of cancer patients in Canada.  The first purpose was to try to find out the “barriers and facilitators to exercise” cancer patients experience.  The second purpose was to determine if different cancer types play a role in what barriers and facilitators the cancer patient experiences.   Results: Results of this study were similar to others in that side effects of treatments, such as fatigue, are a barrier to physical activity regardless of cancer type. The researchers did determine that patients diagnosed with “breast cancer were more often educated about the importance of PA during cancer treatment by a health care professional and, hence, were more aware of the need to exercise during cancer treatment” (Amlani et al, 2015, p.41).  Limitations: Two limitations of this review are the following:  risk of recall bias due to study type, small sample size and lack of diversity in sample. 

    Keywords:  cancer, physical activity

    Amlani, N., DeMilleVille, C., Fernandez, S., Franklin, J., Lawson, D., & Smith, J. (2015).  Physical activity and cancer: a cross-sectional study on the barriers and facilitators to exercise during cancer treatment.  Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 25(1), 37-48.              Doi:10.5737/23880762513742

    This study published May 16, 2012 was conducted by researchers at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida.  Aim:  The authors purpose was to examine an alternative mechanism by which cancer cells can be destroyed. This study looks at a peptide, string of amino acids, called CT20p, to determine if it can play a role in cancer cell death.   Participants:  There were no human participants in this study.   This study involved mice.  Results:  Researchers found that CT20p can induce cancer cell death.  Researchers conclude that CT20p has “potential application with apoptisis-inducing agents in combination therapies to activate multiple death pathways (Boohaker et al 2012).”    Limitations:  The study did not include humans. 

    Keywords:  necrosis, nanoparticles, CT20p, lipid membranes

    Boohaker, R., Khaled, A., Lee., M., Nemec., Perez, J. &  Santra, S.  (2012).  Rational Development of a cytotoxic peptide to trigger cell death. Molecular Pharmaceutics, 9(7), 2080.  


    •  Dealing with Chemotherapy-Related Symptoms at Home: A Qualitative Study in Adult Patients with Cancer   

    Aim:  Because chemotherapy is usually given in an outpatient setting, cancer patients most often face the side effects of treatment at home.  Cancer patients can be faced with barriers in managing their chemotherapy side effects at home. The purpose of this study was to examine how adult cancer patients deal with chemotherapy treatments.    Results:   Overall the authors determined that how patients deal with the symptoms of chemotherapy are “influenced by their beliefs about possible control” (Coolbrandt et al, 2016).  The authors recommend cancer patients be provided with better support in regards to the symptoms experienced related to the chemotherapy treatments.  The main limitation was the possibility of selection bias.  

    Keywords:  cancer, chemotherapy-related symptoms 

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ecc.12303/abstract;jsessionid=28A9B16014D3D8E5C1BABDF631607527.f04t01

    Coolbrandt, A., De Casterle, B.D., Wildiers, H., Aertgeerts, B., Van Der Elst, E., Van Achterberg, T., & Milisen, K.  (2016).  Dealing with chemotherapy related symptoms at home:  a qualitative study in adult patients with cancer.  European Journal of Cancer Care, 25(1), 79-92. doi:10.1111/ecc.12303

    Cannabinoids

    Aim:  Cannabinoids are compounds found only in marijuana plants.  Cannabinoids have known medicinal properties which include use as an antiemetic, appetite stimulant and pain reliever.  Research has pointed towards cannabinoids having anti-cancer properties.  The authors of this review do point out that a couple of studies demonstrate cannabinoids promoting cancer growth.  This review study examines whether cannabinoids may be helpful in treating breast cancer.   Results:   The results demonstrated that, “There is compelling evidence showing that cannabinoids have anti-tumor activity in preclinical models of breast cancer” (Caffarel et al, 2012).  The authors recommend further studies. 

    Keywords:  cancer, breast cancer, cannabinoids

    Caffarel, M.M., Andradas, C., Perez-Gomez, E., Guzman, M., & Sanchez, C. (2012). .  New  drugs:  Cannabinoids:  A new hope for breast cancer therapy?  Cancer Treatment Reviews, 38911-918.  Doi:10.1016/j.ctrv.2012.06.005

    Aim:    The authors reviewed studies that examined cannabinoids and anticancer properties.  In the literature, they found evidence of cannabinoids causing cell-death and decreasing the ability of cancer cells to form new blood vessels.  Results:   While the authors found some research indicating cannabinoids may increase cancer activity, most reviewed research demonstrated the opposite.  Velasco et al state, “a large body of scientific evidences strongly support THC and other cannabinoid agonists exert anticancer actions in preclinical models of cancer (including immunocompetent mice) through a well-established mechanism of action” (2016).  The authors suggest that more studies need to be conducted to confirm anticancer properties both in single and combination therapies.

    Keywords:  cancer, cannabinoids

    Velasco, G., Hernandez-Tiedra, S., Davila, D. & Lorente, M. (2016).  The use of cannabinoids as anticancer agents.  Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 64259- 66.  Doi:10/1016/j.pnpbp.2015.05.01

    Aim:   Cannabinoids have been used as palliative therapy for many years.  They have proved effective to help with symptoms of nausea and pain.  In this review study, the authors examine whether cannabinoids have any anti-tumor effects.  Results: The authors reviewed studies examining cannabinoids and breast cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer, intestinal cancer and reproductive cancer.  “Despite a small number of reports that state their inefficacy, the vast majority of independent pre-clinical studies report a sustained anti-tumour activity for cannabinoids” (Javids et al, 2016).  More studies are recommended especially due to the lack of toxic side effects as a result of the use of cannabinoids.  The authors do mention that because brain function is altered when using cannabinoids, using them broadly in therapies is limited.

    Keywords:  cannabinoids, cancer

    Javid, F.A., Phillips, R.M., Afshinjavid, S., Verde, R., & Ligresti, A.  (2016).  Review: Cannabinoid pharmacology in cancer research: A new hope for cancer patients?  Eurpoean Journal of Pharmacology, 7751-14.   doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2016.02.010

    Caregivers and Family of Cancer Patients

    •  Investigating Coping Strategies and Social Support Among Canadian Melanoma Patients:  A Survey Approach  

    Aim:  The purpose of this study was to examine if the coping skills of melanoma patients in this study were related to their levels of social support.  There were forty-six participants in this study.  Results:  Results demonstrated that patients with higher levels of social support had better coping strategies for dealing with their melanoma diagnosis.  Limitations of this study include the small participant size.  The authors recommend continuing studies involving a larger and more diverse participant group.  

    Keywords:  cancer, melanoma, social support, coping strategies

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26642495

    Cyr, A., Gregorio, N., Kalbfleisch, M., & Nyhof-Young, J. (2015). Investigating coping strategies and social support among Canadian melanoma Patients:  A survey approach.  Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, (25)1, 60-72.  

    Aim:  The main goal of the authors’ review was to examine the impact a parental diagnosis of cancer has on a child under the age of 18.  Prior research has shown that children with parents diagnosed with cancer are negatively stressed.  Forty-nine studies were reviewed.   Results: The review demonstrated that children with a parent with cancer was impacted.  Some of the impacts were increased anxiety, depression and decreased self-esteem (Morris et al, 2016).  Good communication between parent and child resulted in decreased stress and better coping skills (Morris et al, 2016).   Limitations:  The sample sizes were small in the studies examined, and the strength of the studies was not evaluated. 

    Keywords:  cancer, children, parent with cancer

    Morris, J.N., Martini, A., & Preen, D. (2016).  The well-being of children impacted by a parents    with cancer: an integrative review.  Supportive Care in Cancer, (7), 3235.      Doi:10.1007/s00520-016-3214-2

    Aim:  The authors’ purpose in this article to explore existing literature regarding the use of web-based interventions to help support caregivers.  “Traditional interventions have porvedn to be beneficial” (Haines et al, 2015, p. 156). The reason for exploring the use of web-based interventions is because they can be less-time consuming and costly for caregivers.  Caregivers can use the web-based interventions at their leisure without worry of loss of work or schedule interference.  Results:  The authors report that some studies showed that web-based interventions can be beneficial to a caregiver’s social and psychological outcome (Haines et al, 2015, p. 162). Limitations: Articles dated after February 1, 2014 were not included in the review.  The authors also acknowledge that studies demonstrating negative findings are less likely to be published and therefore not included in this review. 

    Keywords:  caregivers, web-based, intervention

    Haines, A.J., Kaltenbaugh, D.J., Klem, M.L., Lingler, J., & Turi, E. (2015).  Using web-based interventions to support caregivers of patients with cancer: a systematic review.  Oncology Nursing Forum, 42(2), 156-164.  Doi:  10.1188/15.ONF.156-164

    This study took place in Bologna, Italy.   In Italy, a no-profit foundation called National Tumors Foundation provides free medical, nursing, psychological and social home care for all of their hospital cancer patients.   Aim:  The researchers examined the well-being of patient caregivers, amount of caregiver worry, and if and how this worry could have a negative impact on the caregivers’ health.  Participants:  Participants comprised of 100 family caregivers of cancer patients.  Seventy-three women and 27 men took part in this study.  All participants lived with the patient.  Results:  Results showed a correlation between negative physical symptoms and worry.  The results also demonstrated that caregivers worry about their work and having an “aimless future”.  Limitations:  The measuring of worry can be subjective and difficult to accurately measure.  The sample size is small.

    Brighetti, G, Miglietta, E., Pannuti, R., Pannuti, F., Varani, S., & Zavagli, V.(2016). 

    Associations between caregiving worries and psychophysical well-being.  An  investigation on home-cared cancer patients family caregivers.  Supportive Care in   Cancer:  Official Journal of the Mutlinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 24(2), 857- 883.  Doi:10.1007/s00520-015-2854-y 


    Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

    • The Effects of Music Therapy on Anxiety and Depression on Cancer Patients

              Aim:  In this study, the researchers discuss the history of the use of music therapy.  While studies have demonstrated that music therapy can improve    symptoms of depression and anxiety in patients undergoing cardiac surgery in patients with alzheimers, there are limited studies on the role music therapy plays on cancer patients’ depression and anxiety.  The researchers’ aim is to examine whether music therapy is associated with improved levels of depression and anxiety in patients with cancer.   Results: This study shows that music therapy can help decrease levels of anxiety and depression in cancer patients.  Researchers point out that further studies should be conducted but in the meantime, recommend the integration of music therapy into a cancer patient’s care.

                  Keywords:  cancer, music therapy, depression, anxiety

                  Jasemi, M., Aazami, S., & Zabihi, R. (2016).  The effects of music therapy on anxiety and depression of cancer patients. Indian Journal of Palliative Care, (4). 

    • Acupuncture Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

    Aim:  The authors’ purpose is to summarize clinical trials’ results involving the use of acupuncture to help control cancer-related symptoms.  Results:  There were varying results in the studies.  Acupuncture was not found to improve shortness of breath but did improve dry mouth.  Acupuncture was also shown to improve symptoms of lymphedema in a study involved participants with breast cancer.  A study involving lung cancer patients may demonstrate a correlation between acupuncture and a decrease in pain resulting from a thoracotomy.  Limitations: All of the clinical trials included in this review were comprised of small sample sizes.

    Keywords:  acupuncture, cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, thoracotomy

    Cassileth, B. & Javdan, B. (2015). Review article:  acupuncture research at Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer center. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies,8.p. 115-121. Doi:10.1026/j.jams.2015.03.005


    • Acupuncture for Treating Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Patients: An Updated Meta-Analysis  

                  Aim:  Hot flashes are a common complaint of breast cancer survivors.  The source of treating hot flashes, hormone therapy, is     not recommended because they can cause cancer.  The goal of this review is to examine the effect acupuncture may have on         hot flashes in this population.  Results: The results of this review demonstrate an inability to show that acupuncture helps relieve    symptoms of hot flashes in breast cancer survivors. 

                  Keywords:  breast cancer, acupuncture, hot flashes

                  Salehi, A., Marzban, M., Zadeh, A.R. (2016).  Acupuncture for treating hot flashes in breast cancer patients: an updated meta-     analysis.  Supportive Care in Cancer, (12), 4895. Doi:10.1007/s00520-016-3345-5

      Yoga as an Alternative and Complimentary Treatment for Cancer: A Systematic Review

    Aim:  The authors’ purpose is to examine any effects yoga a may have on psychological and physical factors associated with cancer.  Results:  There were varying results in the studies examined.  In one study, it was noted that quality of life scores were higher for those in a yoga group.  In this same study, they reported that “trait anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and depression remained stable over time between groups, with no significant changes” (Haider et al, 2013, p.  871).  Another reviewed study reported that ”emotional wellbeing, fatigue, and cortisol levels improved significantly in the yoga group compared with the control group” (Haider et al, 2013, p.871).  Limitations: Some limitations of this review are the following:  lack of published studies, small sample sizes in studies reviewed, and weak methods of measurement.

    Keywords:  yoga, cancer, alternative

    Haider, T., Knowlden, A.P., & Sharma, M. (2013).  Yoga as an alternative and complimentary       treatment for cancer:  a systematic review. Journal of Alternative and Complimentray    Medicine, 19(11), 870-875.  Doi:10.1089/acm.2012.0632

    Aim:   According to the article, patients that use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are seeking to improve their quality of life, to gain hope and improve health status (Ben-Arye et al 2013).  CAM may help patients improve their spiritual well-being.  This article describes two different women’s experience in attending a clinic that uses both CAM and conventional medicine.    Results:   The authors recommend that healthcare providers should not only be aware of a cancer patient’s general health, but that they should also be aware that the cancer patient may have spiritual needs, as well.  

    Keywords:  cancer, spiritual well-being, spirituality 

    Ben-Arye, E., Steinmetz, D., & Ezzo, J. (2013).  Two women and cancer: The need for addressing spiritual well-being on cancer care.  Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 1 (S), 71- 77. doi:10.1037/2326-4500.1.S.71


    Aim:  According to data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, more than 65% of adult cancer survivors report using one or more forms of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).  The purpose of this study is to compare the use of CAM between cancer survivors and cancer-free adults.  Results:  The study demonstrates that a higher percentage of cancer survivors report use of CAM compared to cancer-free adults.  The use of CAM by cancer survivors adds to their out of pocket medical expenses.  According to John et al, “Newly diagnosed cancer survivors spent an average of $1107 to $1711 out-of-pocket for medical services and supplies in the first year following diagnosis, with average annual costs thereafter ranging from $747 to $1451” (2016).  These estimates do not include the costs associated with  CAM.  The authors recommend that healthcare providers recognize the high use of CAM by cancer survivors and that the use of CAM is not for curative purposes but instead is used for their overall wellness.

     Keywords:  cancer, complementary and alternative medicine, CAM 

    John, G.M., Hershman, D.L., Falci, L., Shi, Z., Tsai, W., & Greenlee, H.  (2016). Complementary and alternative medicine use among US cancer survivors.  Journal of Cancer Survivorship, (5), 850. doi:10.1007/s11764-016-0530-y


    Aim:    The authors set out to examine the effects of Qingrejiedu, Huoxuehuayu and Fuzhengguben (QHF) on liver cancer cells.  This study did not involve human participants.  Results:   The results demonstrated that QHF may decrease the ability of liver cancer cells to metastasize.  The authors recommend further studies. 

    Keywords:  cancer, Chinese herbal formula, QHF, liver cancer

    Tao, C., Wang, Q., Li, Y., Huang, H. & Hu, W.  (2016).  Chinese herbal formula QHF inhibits      liver cancer cell invasion and migration.  Experimental & Therapeutic Medicine, 11(6), 2413-2419. Doi:10.3892/etm.2016.3247


    Aim:  According to data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, more than 65% of adult cancer survivors report using one or more forms of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).  The purpose of this study is to compare the use of CAM between cancer survivors and cancer free adults.  Results:  The study demonstrates that a higher percentage of cancer survivors report use of CAM compared to cancerfree adults.  The use of CAM by cancer survivors adds to their out of pocket medical expenses.  According to John et al, “Newly diagnosed cancer survivors spent an average of $1107 to $1711 out-of-pocket for medical services and supplies in the first year following diagnosis, with average annual costs thereafter ranging from $747 to $1451” (2016).  These estimates do not include the costs associated with CAM.  The authors recommend that healthcare providers recognize the high use of CAM by cancer survivors and that the use of CAM is not for curative purposes but instead is used for their overall wellness. 


     Keywords:  cancer, complementary and alternative medicine, CAM  


     John, G.M., Hershman, D.L., Falci, L., Shi, Z., Tsai, W., & Greenlee, H.  (2016).  Complementary and alternative medicine use among US cancer survivors.  Journal of Cancer 

    Survivorship, (5), 850. doi:10.1007/s11764-016-0530-y 


    Aim:  In France, it is not uncommon for women with a gynecological cancer to use naturopathy along with standard cancer treatments.  Naturopathy treats the patient as a whole and looks to solve the “root causes of the illness” (Legenne et al, 2016).  This qualitative study took place in France and was approved by the institutional review board. The purpose of this study was to examine the expectancies female cancer patients have regarding the use naturopathy.    Results:  The authors report that naturopathy is seen as a way to improve the patient’s quality of life.  The authors also report that the use of naturopathy helps a patient feel they have a more active role in their cancer care.

    Keywords:  cancer, naturopathy, gynecological cancer


    Legenne, M., Chirac, A., Ruer, F., & Filbet, M. (accessed Oct. 2016).  Perception of naturopathy for female patients with metastatic gynecological cancer: A qualitative study.  Palliative & Supportive Care, 13(6), 1663-1668.  


    Genomic Testing

    Aim:   Genomic testing in cancer (GTC) has helped create targeted therapies for cancer, as well as serve as a type of early warning for individuals with inherited cancer genes. According to Blanchette et al, the purpose of this study is to examine cancer patients’ “knowledge, attitudes and expectations toward GTC” (2014).  Results:   Results demonstrate that participants were interested in GTC but may “overestimate expectations” (Blanchette et al, 2014).  A large portion of the participants, 86%, were also in favor of bio-banking their tissue to use for scientific research.  The authors recommend that improved genetic testing education and counseling should be implemented in patients with cancer.  

    Keywords:  cancer, genomic testing in cancer 

    Blanchette, P.S., Spreafico, A., Miller, F.A., Chan, K., Bytatutas, J., Kang., S. &…Siu, L.L.  (2014).  Genomic testing in cancer:  patient knowledge, attitudes, and expectations.  Cancer, 120(19), 3066-3073. doi:10.1002/cncr.28807


    Immunotherapy

    •  Radiation Therapy Plus Anti-Programmed Death Ligand 1 Immunotherapy:  A Review on Overall Survival

    Aim:  Scientists know that low doses of radiation therapy can help boost a cancer patient’s immune system (Krcik 2015).  In this review, the author sets out to examine if combining immunotherapy with radiation therapy in advanced melanoma and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer patients improves survival.  Nivolumab is the immunotherapy examined.  Results:  In this study, using Nivolumab and radiation concomitantly were found to “have the potential to extend the lives of advanced melanoma and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer patients (Krcik 2015).  The limitations of this study are that, “data analyzed in this literature review were limited to preclinical trials on mice and two early clinical trials” (Krcik 2015).  Further studies are recommended.

    Keywords:  cancer, radiation therapy, Nivolumab, melanoma, lung cancer

    Krcik, E.  (2016).  Radiation therapy plus anti-programmed death ligand 1 immunotherapy: a review on overall survival.  Radiation Therapist, (25)2, 123-128.  

    Aim:    Oncolytic viruses are those viruses, naturally occurring or engineered, that are used to promote anti-cancer immunity activity in cells.  The aim of this review is to discuss oncolytic viruses, the field of oncolytic viruses and current studies involving oncolytic viruses.   Results:   Evidence has shown that oncolytic viruses, “have demonstrated themselves to be excellent potential partners to boost existing and emerging immunotherapies” (Keller & Bell, 2016).  The authors discuss the need to continue funding studies involving oncolytic viruses.

    Keywords:  cancer, immunotherapy, oncolytic-viruses

    Keller, B.A. and Bell, J.C. (2016).  Oncolytic viruses-immunotherapy on the rise. Journal of Molecular Medicine (9), 979. doi:10.1007/s00109-016-1453-9


    Aim:  This review study’s aim was to examine the use of DNA methyltransferase inhibitors to increase the efficacy of immunotherapy in cancer patients.  Results:  The authors report that using DNA methyltransferase inhibitors may “break immune tolerance and promote antitumor immunity” (Goldberg et al 2015).  

     

    Keywords:  cancer, immunotherapy, DNA methyltransferase inhibitors

    Goldberg, M., Saleh, M., & Wang, L. (2015). Improving cancer immunotherapy with DNA methyltransferase inhibitors. Cancer Immunol Immunotherapy (65)787-796.  Doi: 10/1007/s00262-015-1776-3


    Kidney Cancer

                Aim:  The purpose of this study was to examine any relationship between the “use of statins, metformin, and NSAIDs and survival in patients” diagnosed with kidney cancer (Nayan et al, 2016).  Results : The study showed an association between the use of statins and improved mortality rates.  Researchers recommend further studies to examine the effect statins may have on the mortality of diabetic patients with kidney cancer.

               Keywords:  kidney cancer, diabetes, statins

                Nayan, M., Macdonald, E.M., Juurlink, D.N., Austin, P.C., Finelli, A., Kulkarni, G.S., & Hamilton, R.J. (2016). Medication use and survival in diabetic patients with kidney cancer:  A population-based cohort study. Pharmacological  Research, 113468-474.doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2016.09.027  


    Leukemia

    Aim:    The authors set out to examine whether adult patients diagnosed with B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia benefit from the treatment of rituximab.  Rituximab has proven effective in treating patient with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  There were 209 participants with 105 in the rituximab or experimental group.  The remaining participants were in the non-rituximab group or control group.  Results:   The rituximab group had an improved outcome compared to those in the control group. 

    Keywords:  cancer, adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia

    Maury, S., Chevret, Sylvie,M.D., PhD., Thomas, Xavier,M.D., PhD., Heim, D., M.D., Leguay, T., M.D., Huguet, F., M.D., …Dombret, H., M.D. (2016). Rituximab in B-lineage adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The New England Journal of Medicine, 375(11), 1044-1053. Retrieved from  http://ezproxy.lib.uwf.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.uwf.edu/docview/1819 95857?accountid=14787

    Liver Cancer

                Aim:  Liver cancer does not have a high five year survival rate.  Most liver cancer  patients are not diagnosed until late stage, making treatment more difficult.  In this study, researchers set out to examine which miRNAs are involved in liver cancer.  Results:  Results demonstrate that miR-1297 may play a role in the  development and growth of liver cancer. They point out that this discovery may lead to a “potential therapeutic target for liver cancer” (Chenyong et al, 2016).

                 Keywords:  liver cancer, micro RNAs  

              Chengyong, L., Chunyng, W., Ji, W, & Haibin, H. (2016). miR-1297 promotes cell  proliferation by inhibiting RB1 in liver cancer.  Oncology Letters, 12(6), 5177- 5182.  Doi:10.3892/ol.2016.5326

                Aim:  Recently, immunotoxins have been discovered as a means to treat liver cancer.  This review provides an overview of immunotoxin therapies.   Results: The review examines immunotoxins effects on liver cancer to be a liver cancer treatment  option. 

                 Keywords:   recombinant immunotoxin, glypican-3 (GPC3), hepatocellular carcinoma, liver cancer, monoclonal antibodies

            Fleming, B.D., and Ho, M. (2016).  Glypican-3 targeting immunotoxins for the treatment of liver cancer. Toxins, 8(10), 1- 3. Doi:10.3390/toxins8100274

     


    Lung Cancer

    Aim:   The authors sought to investigate whether the use of low-dose aspirin by lung cancer patients after diagnosis reduced mortality.  In other studies, the use of aspirin is associated with lower rates of cancer recurrence and mortality in patients with a history of rectal, breast and prostate cancer. Data was collected from 3,635 lung cancer patients listed in several data registries in the United Kingdom.  Results:   The authors “did not find evidence of a protective association between low-dose aspirin use” and a decrease in deaths from lung cancer.  Limitations: There were several limitations in this study.  For example, aspirin use compliance was unknown.  The authors also did not take cancer staging into consideration.

    Keywords:  low-dose aspirin, cancer, lung cancer

    Cardwell, C.R., Hughes, C.M., McMenamin, U.C., & Murray, L.M. (2015).  Low-dose aspirin     and     survival from lung cancer:  a population-based cohort study.  BMC Cancer, 151.  Doi:10.1186/s12885-015-1910-9

    Nutrition 

    •  Nutrition, Metabolism, and Integrative Approached in Cancer Survivors

    Aim:  The authors’ purpose of this review study is to examine literature pertaining to the role that nutrition, metabolism and integrative care plays in the cancer survivor.   Results:  The authors acknowledge that cancer therapy can have a negative impact on a cancer patient’s nutritional status causing side effects such as loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Because poor nutritional status can “contribute to cancer-related cachexia, delay in healing, immune risk of suppression, risk of cancer progression or recurrence, and general degradation on quality of life measures”, it is important cancer patients receive nutritional support from their healthcare professionals.  The authors also acknowledge that nutrition recommendations for cancer patients are ongoing.  

    Keywords:  cancer, nutrition, metabolism

    http://www.seminarsoncologynursing.com/article/S0749-2081(14)00091-6/abstract

    Campbell,C.,Frenkel,M., McKee, J., Levine, L., Lian, S., & Sierpina, V.  (2015).  Nutrition, metabolism, and integrative approaches in cancer survivors.  Seminar in Oncology Nursing, (31)1, 42-52.    

    Aim:  Cachexia is the loss of muscle and weight leading to weakness and fatigue.  It can be a side effect of cancer treatment, regardless of the type of cancer.  The author sets out to define what cachexia is and possible causes.  Results: The author reports that,” Evidence suggests that nutritional care promotes weight gain, improves immune response and helps to attenuate cachexia”(Holmes, 2011, p.318).  Different methods of improving nutrition intake are discussed. 

    Keywords:  cachexia, cancer, nutrition

    Holmes, S. (2011).  Nutrition in the care of patients with cancer cachexia.  British Journal of  Community Nursing, 16(7), 314-323.


    Aim:  There is evidence that obesity is a health risk in the development of colon cancer.  Some scientists hypothesize that hyperinsulinemia may cause cancer (Fuchs et al, n.d.).  Because recent studies suggest that a diet high in sugar may be associated with an increased risk of colon cance recurrence, the authors’ aim is to examine whether sugar-sweetened beverages have an effect n cancer recurrence and mortality.  This study enrolled 87 participants diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer.   Results:  The results of this study demonstrate an association between 2 or more sugar-sweetened beverages per day and an “increased risk of cancer recurrence or mortality” (Fuchs et al, n.d.).  The authors recommend further studies.

    Keywords:  cancer, colon cancer, sugar 

    Fuchs, M., Sato, K., Niedzwiecki, D., Ye, X, Saltz, L., Mayer, R., &…Meyerhardt, J. (n.d.). Sugar-swetteend survivival in CALGB 89803 (Alliance), Plos One, 9(6).  


    • Lycopene:  Features and Potential Significance in the Oral Cancer and Lesions  

    Aim:   Lycopene is a pigment found in many fruits such as tomatoes, watermelon and guava. It is looked at as being an antioxidant, helping to prevent disease.  Some studies have demonstrated that lycopene may have “beneficial benefits” treating oral cancer and lesions (Lu et al, 2011).  Results:   Though there is some evidence that lycopene has therapeutic effects, many studies are not large enough to “strongly support the association between the lycopene intake and reduced risk of diseases of oral cavity” (Lu et al, 2011). 

    Keywords:  cancer, oral cancer, lycopene 

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0714.2010.00991.x/abstract

    Lu, R., Dan, H., Wu, R., Weng, W., Liu, N., Jin, X. &…Chen, Q.(2011).  Lycopene: features and potential significance in the oral cancer and precancerous lesions.  Journal of Oral Pathology & Medicine, 40(5), 361. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0714.2010.00991.x 


    Ovarian Cancer

    The authors of this study dated December 2015 are from various universities in China.  This study was conducted in China.  Aim:  The study sought to determine the effects that different amounts of aspirin may have on inhibiting ovarian cancer growth.  Participants:  There were no human participants in this study.   Twenty-eight mice were used in this study.  Results:  Researchers found that aspirin did inhibit ovarian cancer growth in the mice.  According to the study, tumor size was greatly reduced with a higher concentration of aspirin provided per the study protocol.    Limitations:  The sample size was small and did not include humans. 

    Lin, L., Xiaogang, M., Xiamon, Q., Min, Z., Hui, X., Fan D., &…Wenhui, Z.  (2016).  Aspiring inhibits growth of ovarian cancer by regulating caspace-3 and downregulating bcl-2.  Oncology Letters, 12(1),     93-96.  Doi:10.3892/ol.2016.4607

    • Safety, Feasibility and Effects of an Individualized Walking Intervention for Women Undergoing Chemotherapy for Ovarian Cancer: A Pilot Study

      Aim:  Exercise has been recommended to cancer patients as a means to help improve side-effects caused by cancer treatments.  Prior to this study, all studies regarding exercise in cancer patients have not involved those with ovarian cancer diagnoses.  The authors set out to examine the effects of a walking intervention for those women diagnosed with ovarian cancer that are undergoing chemotherapy treatment.  Results:  It was found that the walking intervention had a positive effect on the women’s side effects. Walking as prescribed “was associated with improvements in physical functioning, physical symptoms and ovarian cancer-specific QoL” (Beesley et al, 2011, p.7). Limitations:  The small sample size and type of study are its limitations.  Based on the results, the authors recommend further studies. 

      Keywords:  ovarian cancer, walking, chemotherapy

      Beeseley, V., Eakin, E., Gordon, L., Hayes, S., Janda, M., Obermair, A., Newton, M., Webb, P.,   & Wyld, D.  (2011).  Safety, feasibility and effects of an individualized walking         intervention for women undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer: a pilot study.              BMC Cancer 11(1)389-397. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-389

    • ASCO University: 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting Ovarian Cancer Abstracts

    •  Olarib for the Treatment of BRCA-Mutated Advanced Ovarian Cancer 
    Aim:  The authors’ purpose is to review the pharmacological aspects of Olarib, such as efficacy, dosing and cost, as it relates to being a therapy used in patient with BRCA-mutated advanced ovarian cancer.  Results:  The authors report that Olarib is “efficacious and well-tolerated” by patients.  
    Keywords:  cancer, ovarian cancer, BRCA
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27385701

    Kolesar, J. and Munroe, M. (2016).  Olarib for the treatment of BRCA-mutated advanced ovarian cancer.  Amercan Journal of Health-System Pharmacists (73)14, 1037-1041.

    This study was completed by researchers with the University of Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain.  Aim:  The study sought to determine the outcome and any toxicity after ovarian cancer patients received adjuvant whole abdominal radiotherapy (WART).   Participants:  Ten patients participated in the study.  All patients were classed as intermediate risk.  They all received chemotherapy and WART.  Results:  Results demonstrated that WART helped control ovarian cancer in localized regions with a “low rate of gastrointestinal toxicity”.    Limitations:  The sample size was small.    

    Biete, A., Casas, C., Conill, C., Farrus, B., Rovirosa, A., & Valduvieco, I.  (2010).  Whole abdominal Radiotherapy in Ovarian Cancer.  Results of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy, 15(2), 27-30.  DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rpor.2010.02.004

    Aim:  Women with ovarian cancer are more at risk of malnutrition due than women diagnosed with other gynecologic cancer. The exact reasons are unknown, though it is thought due to the symptoms of ovarian cancer which include the feeling of fullness and bloating.  The authors set out to review literature to evaluate the effects of providing nutrition interventions preoperatively and postoperatively in ovarian cancer patients.  Results: The authors report that introducing fluids and foods by mouth early to the patients following surgery resulted in shorter hospital stays.  It is also reported that there was “no difference in postoperative complication rates in comparison with women who had a traditional postoperative feeding regimen” (Billson etal, 2013).  Limitations:  The main limitation was the small sample size of this review study.    

    Keywords:  ovarian cancer, malnutrition, nutrition

    Billson, H.A., Holland, C., Curwell, J., Davey, V.L., Kinsey, L., Lawton, L.J., & Burden, s.          (2013).  Perioperative nutrition interventions for women with ovarian cancer.  The        Cochrane database of Systematic Reviews, (9), CD009884. Doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009884.pub2


    • Niraparib Maintenance Therapy in Platinum-Sensitive, Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

    Aim:    The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy and safety of niraparib in patients with platinum-sensitive, recurrent ovarian cancer.  This phase 3, randomized placebo-controlled study was comprised of 555 participants.    Results:   Results demonstrated that, “the duration of progression-free survival in patients with platinum-sensitive, recurrent ovarian cancer was significantly longer in the niraparib group than in the placebo group” (Agarwal et al, 2016).  

    Keywords:  ovarian cancer, niraparib, platinum-sensitive

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1611310#t=article

    Agarwal, S., Balser, J., Benigno, B., Buscema, J., Christensen, R.,…& Vergote, I. (2016).  Niraparib maintenance therapy in platinum-sensitive, recurrent ovarian cancer.  The New England Journal of Medicine. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1611310

    Palliative Care

    Aim:  The main goal of the authors was to examine if vulvar cancer responds to electro-chemotherapy (ECT).  The 25 participant sample was comprised of elderly women with a median age of 85 years. The authors report that they were unable to discover any other study of this type.  Results: According to the data results, ECT provided a “significant reduction of pain and improvement of local symptoms” (Perrone et all, 2015).  Limitations:  The sample size was limited to only 25 participants. 

    Keywords:  cancer, vulvar cancer, electro-chemotherapy

    Perrone, A.M., Cima, S. Pozzati, F., Frakulli, R., Cammelli, S., Tesei, M., & DeLaco, P. (2015).    Palliative electro-chemotherapy in elderly patients with vulvar cancer: A phase II trial.    Journal of Surgical Oncology, 112(5), 529-532.  doi:10.1002/jso.24036

    Aim:  Due to the lack of information on the, “the prevalence of anxiety and depression of cancer patients in home-based palliative care and their family caregivers”, the main goal of the authors was to examine the quality of life and stress that cancer patients and their family experience (Gotze et al, 2014).  Results:  The authors found that half of the cancer patients were depressed.  The depression was, for the most part, unrelated to sociodemographics factors but instead related to advanced and stage of disease.  The authors also discovered that family caregivers had higher anxiety levels compared to the patient participants.  The authors recommend that family caregivers, especially spousal, be provided mental support. Limitations:  The main limitation was the sample size.     

    Keywords:  cancer, palliative care

    Gotze, H., Brahler, E., Gansera, L., polze, N, & Kohler, N.  (2014).  Psychological distress and                  quality of life of palliative cancer patients and their caring relatives during home care.    Supportive Care in Cancer, 22(10), 2775-2782. Doi:10.1007/s00520-014-2257-5

    Aim:   The authors sought to investigate whether palliative care improves quality of life (QOL) for patients with cancers of the blood.  Palliative care has been shown in studies to improve QOL in those patients with solid tumors.  Eighty-one patients received palliative care intervention, while 79 patients received standard care.  Results:   The authors found that palliative care interventions at two weeks and three months post-transplant demonstrated “significant improvements in QOL, depression, anxiety, and symptom burden” (El-Jawahri & Johnstone, 2016).  The authors recommend further studies targeting patients with cancers of the blood. 

    Keywords:  palliative care, cancer

    El, Jawahri & Johnstone.  (2016).  Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium (PCOS) 2016. Abstract 103. Presented September 10, 2016.

    Aim:  The authors start this article explaining that palliative care is not the same as end of life care.  The article includes the Center to Advance Palliative Care’s definition:  “Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage of a serious illness. It can be provided at the same time as disease treatment to help people live as well as possible while facing“ (LeBlanc et al, 2016).  Results: Based on reviewed studies, the authors conclude that starting palliative care early helps improve patient outcomes. The authors saw improvements in many areas including patient’s mood, survival and their caregiver outcomes.  Based on the results of this study, the authors recommend further studies.

    Keywords:  palliative care, cancer

    LeBlanc, T.W., Nickolich, M.S., El-Jawahri, A., Myles, S.N., & Temel, J.S. (2016).  Discussing  the evidence for upstream palliative care in improving outcomes in advanced cancer.  American Society of Clinical Oncology Educationsl Book.ASCO.  American Society of Clinical Oncology.  Meeting, 35e534-e538.  doi: 10.14694/EDBK_159224

    Aim:   The author sought to examine and identify any factors that could predict whether palliative care was effective in patients with advanced cancer.  Palliative care can include medication and non-medication therapies.  The purpose of palliative care is to increase a patient’s quality of life.  This study was conducted in Thailand and included 240 participants with various cancer diagnoses.  Results: Results demonstrated “that patients who felt greater spiritual well-being and used a variety of palliative care strategies experienced enhanced effectiveness of care” (Chaiviboontham 2015).  Limitations: The limitation of this study is that it is does not determine cause and effect.  Further studies are recommended.

    Keywords:  palliative care, cancer

    Chaiviboontham, S. (2015). Factors predicting the effectiveness of palliative care in patients with    advanced cancer.  Palliative & supportive Care, 13(4), 997- 1003.  Doi:10.1017/S1478951514000856

    The authors briefly discuss the history of palliative care in this review before discussing evidence in support of the integration of palliative care into cancer care. In one study, it is described that patients that were provided palliative care early in their diagnosis not only reported a better quality of life but also reported “fewer depressive symptoms, less aggressive care at the end of life, improved longitudinal prognostic awareness, and longer survival” when compared to those that received cancer care alone.  The authors then go on describing recommendations on how better to provide palliative care to cancer patients.  Two of those recommendations are an improvement in communication between oncologists and palliative care professionals and a better understanding of the patients’ needs.  The review includes a discussion of how the terms supportive care and palliative care are viewed by oncologists play a role in patient referrals or lack of. 

    Keywords:  palliative care, supportive care,

    Hui, D., & Bruera, E. (2016). Integrating palliative care into the trajectory of cancer care. Nature Reviews. Clinical Oncology13(3), 159–171. http://doi.org/10.1038/nrclinonc.2015.201

    Aim:   The authors’ purpose was to review studies involving the use of music-based interventions in palliative care. Results:  Findings demonstrated that music can play a role in easing cancer patients’ symptoms.  Data from studies show that music can decrease symptoms of anxiety, mood disturbances, and pain.  The authors also review studies demonstrating improvements in quality of life resulting from music-based interventions.  Limitations: Some limitations of this review are the following:  lack of quantitative data in studies reviewed, small sample sizes in studies reviewed and difficult to control for variation in studies.

    Keywords:  music, cancer, palliative

     Archie, P., Bruera, E. & Cohen, L. (2013).  Music-based interventions in palliative care:  a review of quantitative studies and neurobiological literature.  Supportive Care in Cancer, 21(9), 2609- 2624.  Doi: 10.1007/s00520-013-1841-4 

    Pancreatic Cancer

    The targeted SMAC Mimetic SW IV-134 is a Strong Enhancer of Standard Chemotherapy in Pancreatic Cancer   

                 Aim:  Pancreatic cancer often gains resistance to chemotherapies.  This study  examines using a drug to sensitize cancer cells to gemcitabine, a chemotherapy.  This study is preclinical.  Results:  It is reported that using a combination therapy was more successful in prolonging the lives of the mouse model.  Further studies  are recommended.    

                Keywords:   recombinant immunotoxin, glypican-3 (GPC3), hepatocellular carcinoma, liver cancer, monoclonal antibodies

                 Hashim, Y.M., Vangveravong, S., Sankpal, N.V., Binder, P.S., Jingxia, L., Goedegebuure, S.P., & …Hawkins, W.G. (2017).  The targeted SMAC Mimetic SW IV-134 is a strong enhancer of standard chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer. Journal of Experimental Clinical Cancer Research, 361-10.  Doi:1186/s13046-106-0470-4

    •  Preoperative Predictors for Early Recurrence of Resectable Pancreatic Cancer
    •                  Aim: Pancreatic cancer is a cancer with a high mortality rate.  The five year survival rate is only 5% and not all pancreatic cancer patients are “candidate for potentially radical resection” (Kohei et al, 2017). Even with                          surgical intervention, a distant metastasis may be present.  Results: The results show that an elevated CA 19-9,a protein that is sometimes increased in persons with cancer, may be indicative of a distant                                         metastasis prior to surgery.  It is mentioned that these individuals should  receive per and post surgical therapy. 

                              Keywords:  cancer, pancreatic cancer, IORT, intraoperative radiation therapy

                      Kohei, N., Kenjiro, K., Ryosuke, A., Sadaaki, Y., Go., O., Bunzo, N., &  Masaichi, O. (2017).  Preoperative predictors for early recurrence of resectable pancreatic cancer.  World Journal of Surgical Oncology, 151- 10. Doi: 10.1186/s12957-016-1078-z.   


                            Aim: Surgically removing pancreatic cancerous tumors has not had any  substantial impact on long-term survival in                                   patients.  The aim of this study is to provide and update on the use of IORT in patients with pancreatic cancer.  Results:                             Research points out that patients that undergo IORT  may have improved outcomes.  Further studies should be put forth

                            Keywords:  cancer, pancreatic cancer, IORT, intraoperative radiation  therapy

                            Krempien, R. & Roeder, F. (2017).  Intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT)  in pancreatic cancer.  Radiation Oncology,                             121-8. Doi:1186/s13014-016- 0753-0


    Prostate Cancer


    Mental Health Consulting for Caregivers

    Caregivers  
     

    •  

    Studies

    Aim:  The main goal of the authors’ review was to examine the impact a parental diagnosis of cancer has on a child under the age of 18.  Prior research has shown that children with parents diagnosed with cancer are negatively stressed.  Forty-nine studies were reviewed.   Results: The review demonstrated that children with a parent with cancer was impacted.  Some of the impacts were increased anxiety, depression and decreased self-esteem (Morris et al, 2016).  Good communication between parent and child resulted in decreased stress and better coping skills (Morris et al, 2016).   Limitations:  The sample sizes were small in the studies examined, and the strength of the studies was not evaluated. 

    Keywords:  cancer, children, parent with cancer

    Morris, J.N., Martini, A., & Preen, D. (2016).  The well-being of children impacted by a parents    with cancer: an integrative review.  Supportive Care in Cancer, (7), 3235. Doi:10.1007/s00520-016-3214-2

    Aim:  The authors’ purpose in this article to explore existing literature regarding the use of web-based interventions to help support caregivers.  “Traditional interventions have porvedn to be beneficial” (Haines et al, 2015, p. 156). The reason for exploring the use of web-based interventions is because they can be less-time consuming and costly for caregivers.  Caregivers can use the web-based interventions at their leisure without worry of loss of work or schedule interference.  Results:  The authors report that some studies showed that web-based interventions can be beneficial to a caregiver’s social and psychological outcome (Haines et al, 2015, p. 162). Limitations: Articles dated after February 1, 2014 were not included in the review.  The authors also acknowledge that studies demonstrating negative findings are less likely to be published and therefore not included in this review. 

    Keywords:  caregivers, web-based, interventions

    Haines, A.J., Kaltenbaugh, D.J., Klem, M.L., Lingler, J., & Turi, E. (2015).  Using web-based interventions to support caregivers of patients with cancer: a systematic review.  Oncology Nursing Forum, 42(2), 156-164.  Doi:  10.1188/15.ONF.156-164


     

    This study took place in Bologna, Italy.   In Italy, a no-profit foundation called National Tumors Foundation provides free medical, nursing, psychological and social home care for all of their hospital cancer patients.   Aim:  The researchers examined the well-being of patient caregivers, amount of caregiver worry, and if and how this worry could have a negative impact on the caregivers’ health.  Participants:  Participants comprised of 100 family caregivers of cancer patients.  Seventy-three women and 27 men took part in this study.  All participants lived with the patient.  Results:  Results showed a correlation between negative physical symptoms and worry.  The results also demonstrated that caregivers worry about their work and having an “aimless future”.  Limitations:  The measuring of worry can be subjective and difficult to accurately measure.  The sample size is small.

    Brighetti, G, Miglietta, E., ., Pannuti, R., Pannuti, F., Varani, S., & Zavagli, V.(2016). 

    Associations between caregiving worries and psychophysical well-being.  An  investigation on home-cared cancer patients family caregivers.  Supportive Care in   Cancer:  Official Journal of the Mutlinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, 24(2), 857-         883.  Doi:10.1007/s00520-015-2854-y 

     

    News and Media

    News and Media

    Anal Cancer

    Appendix Cancer

    • San Diego Study: This Rare Type of Cancer is Being Overdiagnosed

    Bile Ducts Cancer

    Bladder Cancer

    Brain Cancer

      Breast Cancer

    • Cancer (general)

    • Carcinoid Cancer

      Caregivers


      Cervical Cancer

      Clinical Studies

      Colorectal Cancer

      Complementary and Alternative Medicine

      Endometrial Cancer


        Esophageal Cancer

        Head and Neck Cancer


        Histiocytic Sarcoma

        Immunotherapy (general)

        Kidney Cancer

        Leukemia

        Liver Cancer

        Lung Cancer 

        • Frontline Alecensa Approved for Lung Cancer Treatment

        Lymphoma

        Medical Marijuana

        Melanoma

        Mesothelioma

        Mobile Apps to Help Manage Your Fight 

        Multiple Myeloma

        Neuroblastoma

         

        Neuropathy

        Nutrition

        Oral Cancer

        Ocular Melanoma

        Ovarian Cancer

        Osteosarcoma

        Pain Management

        Palliative Care

        Pancreatic Cancer

        Prostate Cancer


      • Testicular Cancer


        Thyroid Cancer

        • Palliative Care


          Aim:  Due to the lack of information on the, “the prevalence of anxiety and depression of cancer patients in home-based palliative care and their family caregivers”, the main goal of the authors was to examine the quality of life and stress that cancer patients and their family experience (Gotze et al, 2014).  Results:  The authors found that half of the cancer patients were depressed.  The depression was, for the most part, unrelated to sociodemographics factors but instead related to advanced and stage of disease.  The authors also discovered that family caregivers had higher anxiety levels compared to the patient participants.  The authors recommend that family caregivers, especially spousal, be provided mental support. Limitations:  The main limitation was the sample size.     

          Keywords:  cancer, palliative care

          Gotze, H., Brahler, E., Gansera, L., polze, N, & Kohler, N.  (2014).  Psychological distress and                  quality of life of palliative cancer patients and their caring relatives during home care.    Supportive Care in Cancer, 22(10), 2775-2782. Doi:10.1007/s00520-014-2257-5

          • 'Groundbreaking' Palliative Care Study: Not Just for Dying
          • Integrating Palliative Care Into the Trajectory of Cancer Care

            AIM: The authors briefly discuss the history of palliative care in this review before discussing evidence in support of the integration of palliative care into cancer care. In one study, it is described that patients that were provided palliative care early in their diagnosis not only reported a better quality of life but also reported “fewer depressive symptoms, less aggressive care at the end of life, improved longitudinal prognostic awareness, and longer survival” when compared to those that received cancer care alone.  The authors then go on describing recommendations on how better to provide palliative care to cancer patients.  Two of those recommendations are an improvement in communication between oncologists and palliative care professionals and a better understanding of the patients’ needs.  The review includes a discussion of how the terms supportive care and palliative care are viewed by oncologists play a role in patient referrals 

            or lack of. 

            Keywords:  palliative care, supportive care,

            Hui, D., & Bruera, E. (2016). Integrating palliative care into the trajectory of cancer care. Nature                 Reviews. Clinical Oncology13(3), 159–171. http://doi.org/10.1038/nrclinonc.2015.201

          • Discussing the Evidence for Upstream Palliative Care in Improving Outcomes in Advanced Cancer

            Aim:  The authors start this article explaining that palliative care is not the same as end of life care.  The article includes the Center to Advance Palliative Care’s definition:  “Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage of a serious illness. It can be provided at the same time as disease treatment to help people live as well as possible while facing“ (LeBlanc et al, 2016).  Results: Based on reviewed studies, the authors conclude that starting palliative care early helps improve patient outcomes. The authors saw improvements in many areas including patient’s mood, survival and their caregiver outcomes.  Based on the results of this study, the authors recommend further studies.

            Keywords:  palliative care, cancer

            LeBlanc, T.W., Nickolich, M.S., El-Jawahri, A., Myles, S.N., & Temel, J.S. (2016).  Discussing   the evidence     for upstream palliative care in improving outcomes in advanced cancer.        American Society of Clinical Oncology Educationsl Book.ASCO.  American Society of         Clinical Oncology.  Meeting, 35e534-e538.  doi: 10.14694/EDBK_159224

          Aim:  Due to the lack of information on the, “the prevalence of anxiety and depression of cancer patients in home-based palliative care and their family caregivers”, the main goal of the authors was to examine the quality of life and stress that cancer patients and their family experience (Gotze et al, 2014).  Results:  The authors found that half of the cancer patients were depressed.  The depression was, for the most part, unrelated to sociodemographics factors but instead related to advanced and stage of disease.  The authors also discovered that family caregivers had higher anxiety levels compared to the patient participants.  The authors recommend that family caregivers, especially spousal, be provided mental support. Limitations:  The main limitation was the sample size.     

          Keywords:  cancer, palliative care

          Gotze, H., Brahler, E., Gansera, L., polze, N, & Kohler, N.  (2014).  Psychological distress and                  quality of life of palliative cancer patients and their caring relatives during home care.    Supportive Care in Cancer, 22(10), 2775-2782. Doi:10.1007/s00520-014-2257-5


            Radiation Treatment

            Radiation therapy is one of the most common treatments for cancer. It uses high-energy particles or waves, such as X-rays, gamma rays, electron beams, or protons to destroy or damage cancer cells. Radiation can be given alone or used with other treatments, such as surgery or chemotherapy.


            Anal cancer

            Bladder Cancer

            Breast Cancer

              Cancer (general)

              Cervical Cancer

              Colorectal Cancer

              Esophageal

              Head and Neck Cancer

              Liver Cancer

              Lung Cancer


            • Melanoma

              Ovarian Cancer

              Pancreatic Cancer

              Prostate Cancer


              Studies

              Aim:  Scientists know that low doses of radiation therapy can help boost a cancer patient’s immune system (Krcik 2015).  In this review, the author sets out to examine if combining immunotherapy with radiation therapy in advanced melanoma and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer patients improves survival.  Nivolumab is the immunotherapy examined.  Results:  In this study, using Nivolumab and radiation concomitantly were found to “have the potential to extend the lives of advanced melanoma and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer patients (Krcik 2015).  The limitations of this study are that, “data analyzed in this literature review were limited to preclinical trials on mice and two early clinical trials” (Krcik 2015).  Further studies are recommended.

              Keywords:  cancer, radiation therapy, Nivolumab, melanoma, lung cancer 

              Krcik, E.  (2016).  Radiation therapy plus anti-programmed death ligand 1 immunotherapy: a          review on overall survival.  Radiation Therapist, (25)2, 123-128.  

              This study was completed by researchers with the University of Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain.  Aim:  The study sought to determine the outcome and any toxicity after ovarian cancer patients received adjuvant whole abdominal radiotherapy (WART).   Participants:  Ten patients participated in the study.  All patients were classed as intermediate risk.  They all received chemotherapy and WART.  Results:  Results demonstrated that WART helped control ovarian cancer in localized regions with a “low rate of gastrointestinal toxicity”.    Limitations:  The sample size was small.    

              Biete, A., Casas, C., Conill, C., Farrus, B., Rovirosa, A., & Valduvieco, I.  (2010).  Whole abdominal Radiotherapy in Ovarian Cancer.  Results of Practical Oncology and Radiotherapy, 15(2), 27-30.  DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rpor.2010.02.004

            • Targeted Therapies

              •  

              Bladder Cancer

              Brain Cancer

              Breast Cancer

              Colorectal Cancer

              Kidney Cancer

              Leukemia

              Lung Cancer

               

              Lymphoma

              Melanoma

              Multiple Myeloma

              Neuroendocrine

              Ovarian Cancer

              Pancreatic Cancer

              Prostate Cancer

              Sarcoma

              Testicular Cancer

              The Role of Physical Activity

              Physical Activity

              Studies

              Aim:   The authors had two purposes in conducting this study on a small sample (30 participants) of cancer patients in Canada.  The first purpose was to try to find out the “barriers and facilitators to exercise” cancer patients experience.  The second purpose was to determine if different cancer types play a role in what barriers and facilitators the cancer patient experiences.   Results: Results of this study were similar to others in that side effects of treatments, such as fatigue, are a barrier to physical activity regardless of cancer type. The researchers did determine that patients diagnosed with “breast cancer were more often educated about the importance of PA during cancer treatment by a health care professional and, hence, were more aware of the need to exercise during cancer treatment” (Amlani et al, 2015, p.41).  Limitations: Two limitations of this review are the following:  risk of recall bias due to study type, small sample size and lack of diversity in sample. 

              Keywords:  cancer, physical activity

              Amlani, N., DeMilleVille, C., Fernandez, S., Franklin, J., Lawson, D., & Smith, J. (2015).             Physical activity and cancer: a cross-sectional study on the barriers and facilitators to            exercise during cancer treatment.  Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 25(1), 37-48.              Doi:10.5737/23880762513742

              Aim:  Cancer-related fatigue is a common complaint during and after cancer treatment.  The authors’ purpose in this review is to determine what effects, if any, exercise interventions may have on cancer-fatigue. The experimental group’s exercise “included aerobic, resistance and stretching exercise”(Gonzalez-Jiminez et al, 2015, p.2).  The control group participants were not involved in any exercise intervention programs.   Results:  The review analysis did show that those participants involved in the exercise intervention saw improvement in their cancer-related fatigue symptoms.  The authors reported that the results were significant, “especially in patients receiving chemotherapy” and that additiona studies are warranted ”(Gonzalez-Jiminez et al, 2015, p.10).  Limitations: Two limitations of this review are the following:  risk of bias in the scores and lack of similarity between studies reviewed.

              Keywords:  exercise, cancer, cancer-fatigue

              Gonzalez-Jiminez, E., Meneses-Echavez, J.F. & Ramirez-Velez, R.  (2015).  Effects of       supervised multimodal exercise interventions on cancer-related fatigue: systematic        review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.  Biomed Research             International, 2015 1-13. Doi: 10.1155/2015/328636

              Aim:  Exercise has been recommended to cancer patients as a means to help improve side-effects caused by cancer treatments.  Prior to this study, all studies regarding exercise in cancer patients have not involved those with ovarian cancer diagnoses.  The authors set out to examine the effects of a walking intervention for those women diagnosed with ovarian cancer that are undergoing chemotherapy treatment.  Results:  It was found that the walking intervention had a positive effect on the women’s side effects. Walking as prescribed “was associated with improvements in physical functioning, physical symptoms and ovarian cancer-specific QoL” (Beesley et al, 2011, p.7). Limitations:  The small sample size and type of study are its limitations.  Based on the results, the authors recommend further studies. 

              Keywords:  ovarian cancer, walking, chemotherapy

              Beeseley, V., Eakin, E., Gordon, L., Hayes, S., Janda, M., Obermair, A., Newton, M., Webb, P.,   & Wyld, D.  (2011).  Safety, feasibility and effects of an individualized walking   intervention for women undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer: a pilot study.             BMC Cancer 11(1)389-397. doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-389

              Aim:  The authors’ purpose is to examine any effects yoga a may have on psychological and physical factors associated with cancer.  Results:  There were varying results in the studies examined.  In one study, it was noted that quality of life scores were higher for those in a yoga group.  In this same study, they reported that “trait anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and depression remained stable over time between groups, with no significant changes” (Haider et al, 2013, p.  871).  Another reviewed study reported that ”emotional wellbeing, fatigue, and cortisol levels improved significantly in the yoga group compared with the control group” (Haider et al, 2013, p.871).  Limitations: Some limitations of this review are the following:  lack of published studies, small sample sizes in studies reviewed, and weak methods of measurement.

              Keywords:  yoga, cancer, alternative

              Haider, T., Knowlden, A.P., & Sharma, M. (2013).  Yoga as an alternative and complimentary       treatment for cancer:  a systematic review. Journal of Alternative and Complimentray      Medicine, 19(11), 870-875.  Doi:10.1089/acm.2012.0632

              Tumor Tissue Storage for Future Treatment Options