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The Search for Mechanisms Underlying Fatigue Through Gene Expression Profiling

2016    Kord Kober, PhD, is this year’s winner of the Fatigue Study Group’s Junior Investigator Award for his research on gene expression profiling of inflammation and immune response pathways in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. In July, Kord and his colleagues, including MASCC members Christine Miaskowski and Judy Mastick, published their paper, “Gene Expression Profiling of Evening Fatigue in Women Undergoing Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer,” in Biological Research for Nursing. The report contains extensive details regarding methodology and gene expression analyses that we cannot include here, but the paper is available for free download.*

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Integration of Oncology and Palliative Care Programs: An International Consensus

Many national and international professional organizations have called for increased integration of oncology and palliative care in order to meet the supportive care needs of cancer patients, but to date, there has been a lack of a global consensus on an acceptable level of integration of oncology and palliative care. Study Group members initiated a Delphi survey (three iterations) to develop an international consensus on indicators for the integration of specialty palliative care and oncology programs for hospitalized advanced cancer patients. Respondents, mostly from North America and Europe, reached consensus on 13 major and 30 minor indicators. Major indicators were related to clinical structure (e.g., presence of palliative care inpatient team), processes (e.g., early palliative care referral), outcomes (e.g., median time from diagnosis to palliative care consultation), and education (e.g., routine rotation of oncology fellows to palliative care). The indicators can be used to identify centers with a high level of integration and to facilitate benchmarking, quality improvement, and research.

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fda-approves-single-dose-fosaprepitant

2016    In February, 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a single-use injection of fosaprepitant dimeglumine (Emend®) to prevent delayed nausea and vomiting in adults receiving an initial or repeat course of moderately emetogenic chemotherapy. The drug was already approved for highly emetogenic chemotherapy. The approval was based in part on a phase III trial comparing a single IV infusion (150 mg) of fosaprepitant dimeglumine in combination with ondansetron and dexamethasone with a control regimen ondansetron and dexamethasone alone. 

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FDA Approves Rolapitant for Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

2015    On September 2, 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved rolapitant (Varubi™) for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). Rolapitant, developed by Tesaro, Inc., is a selective and competitive neurokinin 1 (NK-1) receptor antagonist and is relatively long-acting with a half-life of about 7 days). The approval was based on three phase III clinical trials conducted by a research team that included MASCC members Bernardo Rapoport, Martin Chasen, Allen Poma, Lee Schwartzberg, and Rudolph Navari. These randomized, double-blind, controlled trials established the safety and efficacy of rolapitant. The drug was associated with a significant reduction in vomiting and use of rescue antiemetic drugs. Patients treated with rolapitant also reported both fewer episodes of nausea that interfered with their day-to-day life.

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Docetaxel-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Breast Cancer Survivors

2015    It is well known that chemotherapy-induced symptoms, including peripheral neuropathy, often lead to the reduction or premature discontinuation of drug dosages in a large proportion of patients. This can mean that patients receive significantly less chemotherapy. The taxanes, paclitaxel and docetaxel, are one class of chemotherapeutic drugs with this effect.

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Predicting Diarrhea and Rash in Breast Cancer Patients Treated with Lapatinib and Capecitabine

2015    MASCC Skin Toxicity Study Group Co-Chair Mario Lacouture has collaborated with Dr. George Dranitsaris of Augmentium Pharma Consulting in Toronto, Ontario, on the development of models for predicting the risks of diarrhea and rash in breast cancer patients being treated with lapatnib and capecitabine.

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Diagnostic and Management Practices for Oral Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease (cGVHD)

2012    The Oral Care Study Group conducted a study on the diagnosis and treatment of oral chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). The study was designed to assess common practices, as well as to determine use of the National Institute of Health scale for the diagnosis and grading of oral cGVHD. The project was headed by Sharon Elad, DMD, MSc, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, University of Rochester Medical Center.

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