Oncology News Round-Up: ASA 2021 Updates, Chemo-Induced Alopecia, and More

Each week on DocWire News, editors bring you the latest hematology and oncology news and research. In case you missed it, here are this week’s top headlines:

Keep reading for the breakdown on these top stories.

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Telemedicine in Oncology: RT Patients Report High Satisfaction

Patients receiving radiotherapy reported high satisfaction with telemedicine in their oncology consultations, according to a survey. The researchers surveyed patients with cancer receiving radiotherapy between December 2019 (in-person) or April 2020 (telemedicine) through June 2020. Ninety-one percent of telemedicine patients reported high quality explanations from their physician, compared with 84% of in-person visitors. Most patients said that telemedicine is either similar or better than in-office visits regarding confidence in their physician (90%), understanding of their treatment (88%), and confidence that their cancer will be treated appropriately (87%).

“These findings provide some evidence that there is a role for telemedicine beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and that it can be a particularly useful tool for certain patients—especially those who may have challenges coming on-site for an appointment,” said co-author Narek Shaverdian, MD.

Telemedicine in Oncology: RT Patients Report High Satisfaction

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Taxane-Containing Chemo Associated With Persistent Alopecia

Persistent chemotherapy-induced alopecia is more severe in patients who receive a taxane-containing chemotherapy for breast cancer, but a significant proportion of patients see improvement in hair density with standard alopecia treatments, according to a study in JAMA Dermatology.

The researchers report that most patients had diffuse nonscarring alopecia (39%), female pattern hair loss (55%), or male pattern hair loss (six patients). Cicatricial alopecia was seen in six patients. Most patients underwent taxane-containing regimens (92%), which were associated with more severe alopecia versus regimens not containing taxanes. The majority of patients (88%) had trichoscopic signs indistinguishable from those of androgenetic alopecia. Histopathological features were also characteristic of androgenetic alopecia. Hair density improved with both topical and oral minoxidil, sometimes combined with antiandrogen therapy.

Taxane-Containing Chemo Associated With Persistent Alopecia

RELATED: Mayo Clinic Advocates new Approach to Breast Cancer Prevention

ASA: Dexamethasone Use During Cancer Surgery May Reduce Mortality

Administration of dexamethasone during cancer surgery for prevention of nausea and vomiting after surgery is associated with reduced 90-day mortality, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

The researchers found that 0.83% and 3.2% of the patients who received dexamethasone and who did not receive dexamethasone, respectively, died within 90 days after surgery. Intraoperative administration of dexamethasone was associated with a reduced risk for 90-day mortality after adjustment for a priori defined covariates including patient demographics, comorbidities, and intraoperative factors (adjusted odds ratio, 0.68). In subgroup analyses, robust effects were seen for patients undergoing surgery for treatment of breast cancer and gynecologic malignancies of the reproductive organs (ovary, uterus, and cervix; adjusted odds ratios, 0.22 and 0.33, respectively).

ASA: Dexamethasone Use During Cancer Surgery May Reduce Mortality

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Lung Cancer Treatment May Impact Daily Function in Older Adults

Older adults with lung cancer may experience declines in life-space mobility during treatment, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The researchers found that on average, life-space assessment (LSA) declined 10.1 points from pretreatment to one month and remained stable at six months. There was an association between the pretreatment LSA score and several demographic, clinical, geriatric assessment, and symptom characteristics.

“Incorporating LSA into clinical cancer care may help older adults concretely visualize how treatment might impact their daily function to allow for informed decision making and identify early changes in mobility to implement supportive interventions,” the authors write.

Lung Cancer Treatment May Impact Daily Function in Older Adults

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Hematology & Oncology