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CMS unveils draft LCD for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic tests
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a draft local coverage determination (LCD) allowing limited coverage for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing, both individually and as part of multi-gene panels. According to the draft, BRCA tests will not be covered unless they have undergone a technical assessment and been received favorably by the Molecular Diagnostics Services (MolDx) Program by Palmeto GBA, a Medicare administrative contractor.
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BREAST CANCER


Study suggests dense breast tissue isn't always a high cancer risk
The New York Times
A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine offers help to patients and doctors who are trying to deal with mammogram results that many women consider troubling and confusing: the finding of “dense” breast tissue. Not only is breast density linked to an increased risk of cancer, it also makes cancer harder to detect because dense tissue can hide tumors from X-rays. But the new research indicates that not all women with dense breasts are at very high risk.
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ENDOMETRIAL CANCER


Bevacizumab combination safe, effective for endometrial cancer in phase 2 trial
Healio
The addition of postoperative bevacizumab to chemotherapy and pelvic intensity-modulated radiotherapy induced high survival rates in patients with high-risk endometrial cancer, according to prospective study results published in Cancer. The regimen also appeared well tolerated. “This prospective phase 2 trial demonstrated that using pelvic IMRT concurrently with bevacizumab and cisplatin is feasible and has low rates of bevacizumab-specific toxicities,” Akila N. Viswanathan, MD, MPH, senior physician and director of gynecologic radiation oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and an associate professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School, told HemOnc Today.
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WELLNESS


Medical resident burnout reaches epidemic level
Medscape (Free login required)
Burnout rates among medical residents are reaching epidemic levels, new research suggests. A survey conducted by investigators at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, showed that approximately 70 percent of residents met criteria for burnout.
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CERVICAL CANCER


Laparoscopic staging may detect more advanced cervical cancer
2 minute medicine
This randomized controlled trial published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology evaluated the impact of surgical staging of locally advanced cervical cancer in women undergoing clinical and surgical staging compared to those undergoing clinical staging alone prior to chemoradiation therapy. Clinical staging included abdominal CT and/or MRI and/or PET-CT plus chest imaging. Both treatment arms received subsequent chemoradiation. Upstaging occurred in 33 percent of patients undergoing surgical staging. The rate of complications was 1.6 percent intra-operatively and 7.3 percent post-operatively. Mean time between surgical staging and initiation of chemoradiation was 13 days.
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GENETICS


Tumor sequencing study highlights benefits of profiling healthy tissue as well
Health Canal
As the practice of genetically profiling patient tumors for clinical treatment decision making becomes more commonplace, a recent study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center suggests that profiling normal DNA also provides an important opportunity to identify inherited mutations that could be critical for patients and their families. Preliminary findings from this ongoing study will be presented June 1 at the American Society for Clinical Oncology 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago.
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HEALTH POLICY


Cancer screening: An example of when less can be more, experts say
Los Angeles Times
Americans get too many tests to screen for common types of cancer, and the American College of Physicians wants them to stop. New clinical guidelines from the medical group include a litany of statistics that illustrate our obsession with cancer screening. Among them: 69 percent of women who had their cervix removed during a hysterectomy still got tested for cervical cancer. The guidelines cover five common types of cancer — breast, prostate, colorectal, cervical and ovarian.
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Women's Cancer News
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Jessica Taylor, Senior Medical Editor, 202-684-7169  
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