The Brief
Feb. 11, 2015

Physical signs of impending death for cancer patients pinpointed in study
Modern Healthcare
The onset of certain physical changes in patients with advanced cancer may signal that death is likely within three days, according to new research that could lead to improvements in the quality of care the patients receive at the very end stages of the disease. Researchers identified eight changes, mainly neurological and neuromuscular, that were strong predictors of impending death.More

One-third of mastectomy patients with locally advanced breast cancer do not receive postoperative radiation therapy as recommended by experts
American College of Surgeons
Breast cancer patients who undergo a mastectomy should receive subsequent radiation treatment if their cancer has spread to four or more nearby lymph nodes; however, according to a new study, only 65 percent of these women are getting the recommended postmastectomy radiation therapy. The researchers looked at nearly 57,000 cases of breast cancer, and their study has been published as an "article in press" on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website in advance of print publication this spring.More

Just announced: Pursuing Excellence through NAPBC Accreditation
April 24, Denver

Plan now to join us on April 24 at the Westin Westminster Denver-Boulder Hotel for the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) Pursuing Excellence through NAPBC Accreditation workshop. Attending this program — taught by experienced NAPBC committee members, board members, surveyors and staff — will give you the knowledge to develop and operate a high-quality breast center and achieve and maintain NAPBC accreditation. Registration for this program will open soon, so please watch for an email that contains detailed program information.More

Breath of fresh air: Medicare to cover lung cancer screening
NBC News
Medicare said recently it will pay for lung cancer screening for people at the highest risk — a decision advocates say will save tens of thousands of lives. It's been a controversial issue and some doctors question how many people will benefit from pricey, computed tomography scans to look for early evidence of lung cancer — by far the No. 1 cancer killer in the United States. But Medicare, the federal health insurance plan for people over 65, says the benefits are clear. More

Cancer navigators: Guiding you to good care
U.S. News & World Report
Staying busy is the M.O. for Patricia Vitelli, 57, chief financial officer at a Yonkers, New York-based nonprofit. In October, Vitelli learned she had breast cancer. Accustomed to being healthy and in control, in some ways the sheer disruption of cancer care was nearly as upsetting for her as the diagnosis itself. Vitelli's lumpectomy surgery was the beginning. "You go from finding out you have a cancerous tumor that has to be removed, and you're thrown into the million things you have to do to get treated," she says. "When should I see the oncologist? When should I see the radiologist?" More

What most Americans get wrong about their cancer risk
Which are you more worried about when it comes to your cancer risk: Avoiding things like food additives and nuclear power or eating a poor diet and not exercising enough? If you're like most Americans, you chose the former. And you'd be wrong. Most people don't recognize the true risks of obesity, an unhealthy diet, and a lack of exercise, according to a new report from the American Institute for Cancer Research.More

Save the dates: NCDB Workshop and Survey Savvy

Plan now to attend two important education events that will help you comply with the Commission on Cancer accreditation standards. Join your peers and colleagues in Chicago to attend Using the NCDB Quality Tools to Inform Decisions in Your Cancer Program (June 17) and/or the 2015 Commission on Cancer Survey Savvy (June 18–19). Registration is due to open on Feb. 16, so watch your email for detailed program and registration information. More

Of cancer and chaos: Single base mutation induces cancer-like gene profile and major unexpected impact on phenotype
Medical Xpress
Recently, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute published a paper reporting that a single base substitution in one allele of a gene in a human breast epithelial cell not only leads to a gene expression profile similar to that of basal breast cancer, but also causes extensive remodeling of gene signatures that are not known to be connected to the activity of that gene. In other words, they say, "a cancer-specific mutation... has an unexpectedly deep and broad impact on the phenotypic properties of the cell." More

New screening tool could speed development of ovarian cancer drugs
University of Chicago Medical Center via Medical Xpress
University of Chicago Medicine researchers have built a model system that uses multiple cell types from patients to rapidly test compounds that could block the early steps in ovarian cancer metastasis. Their three-dimensional cell-culture system, adapted for high-throughput screening, has enabled them to identify small molecules that can inhibit adhesion and invasion, preventing ovarian cancers from spreading to nearby tissues.More

It's final: CMS to cover lung cancer screening
Medicare will pay for lung cancer screening with low-dose CT for eligible patients, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced recently. The coverage is effectively immediately. The final national coverage determination had been anticipated since the agency made a preliminary decision to cover the screening in November 2014.More

Plan to attend Best Practices for Breast Centers

Plan to attend Best Practices for Breast Centers presented by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) and National Quality Measures for Breast Centers (NQMBC). Experts in the many clinical disciplines represented in breast centers have been asked to provide practical solutions and quality metrics to achieve best practice in each area.

This conference immediately follows the three-day meeting of the National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCoBC) in Las Vegas on March 17. Discounts apply to those attending the NCoBC conference. Please review the brochure describing the full agenda by clicking here.More