CoC Brief
Sep. 25, 2013

New strategy could eliminate most unnecessary thyroid biopsies
Oncology Nurse Advisor
Researchers are recommending a more selective approach to biopsy of thyroid nodules after finding that only three nodule characteristics found on thyroid ultrasound imaging were associated with the risk for thyroid cancer: microcalcifications, size greater than 2 cm, and an entirely solid composition. According to information in the UCSF statement, National Cancer Institute data indicate that an estimated 14,910 men and 45,310 women will have received a diagnosis of thyroid cancer in 2013 and that 1,850 of these patients will die as a result of the disease. More

CQIP is coming
The Commission on Cancer is planning to release the first edition of an annual Cancer Quality Improvement Program (CQIP) report on Nov. 30, 2013, to each of its accredited cancer programs. This data-driven report will be customized for each facility. The report is based on the data your cancer program has submitted to the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) and will include comparisons data from your facility to national data from all CoC programs. Only members of your cancer program will be able to view your individual report. To prepare for the release, you need to review your performance rates for the 2010 and 2011 CP3Rs and make any requisite corrections by Nov. 1, as your performance on these measures will be incorporated into the CQIP as of that date. Please work with your registry staff to review your current CP3R data and reconcile any incorrect or missing data. Thank you for your help in making CQIP a success.More

A brand new look for AJCC
Over the past year, AJCC volunteers and staff have worked to reaffirm and further define our mission to provide worldwide leadership in the development, promotion, and maintenance of evidence-based systems for the classification and management of cancer.

In the months ahead, we will announce many new changes and objectives for the organization.

We are pleased to introduce our new logo, website, and Twitter profile.

We hope you will enjoy AJCC's enhanced online presence as much as we do. We welcome your comments, thoughts, and suggestions. E-mail us or tweet using #AJCCLaunch.More

NAPBC education event — Lead Your Breast Program to Excellence
Plan today to attend the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) Lead Your Breast Program to Excellence Conference. This dynamic, two-day conference will include expert faculty who developed the standards. Hear how you can build quality programs into your multidisciplinary breast center by utilizing nationally recognized standards as your foundation. This two-day conference will be held November 15–16 in Chicago, IL. Last year’s program was sold out; don’t delay, registration is already filling up. Register TODAY! More

Cancer screen trials rarely tally harms
Investigators of cancer-screening interventions such as mammography and colonoscopy "seldom quantify the harms" of their efforts, according to the authors of a quantitative analysis of randomized trials. "We found that the harms were poorly reported," write the authors, led by Bruno Heleno, PhD, a fellow in the department of public health at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.More

Hormone therapy with, without chemotherapy linked to cognitive decline in early-stage breast cancer
HemOnc Today
Women with early-stage breast cancer who underwent hormone therapy alone, or chemotherapy followed by hormone therapy, were at increased risk for decline in cognitive function, according to results of a prospective study presented at the Breast Cancer Symposium. No other treatment or patient-related factors predicted cognitive decline, researchers wrote.More

Adult cancer patients younger than 50 with limited brain mets have improved SOS after SRS alone
Science Codex
When treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) that is not combined with whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT), adult brain cancer patients who were 50 years old and younger were found to have improved survival, according to research presented Sept. 23 at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's 55th Annual Meeting. Younger patients (under 50 years old) were also found to be at no greater risk of new brain metastases developing despite omission of WBRT.More

Two key questions may reveal depression in cancer patients
U.S. News & World Report
A simple two-question survey can accurately screen cancer patients for depression, according to a new study. The survey asks patients whether, in the last two weeks, they have experienced little interest or pleasure in doing things, or felt down, depressed, or hopeless. The patients are given a score based on their answers to the two questions. The screening test was assessed in a study that included 455 cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy at 37 centers in the U.S.More

Missing immune response may prove a vital link for new leukemia treatments
Medical News Today
Patients suffering from leukemia could have their immune system engineered to fight the disease, after scientists at the University of Birmingham discovered that they lacked an immune response to a certain class of proteins which, could be restored through stem cell transplants.More

New method for analyzing gene expression in single cells opens a window into tumors
Medical Xpress
A team of researchers affiliated with Ludwig Cancer Research and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden report in the current issue of Nature Methods a dramatically improved technique for analyzing the genes expressed within a single cell—a capability of relevance to everything from basic research to future cancer diagnostics.More

Specific sugar molecule causes growth of cancer cells
Oncology Nurse Advisor
The process of glycosylation, where sugar molecules are attached to proteins, has long been of interest to scientists, particularly because certain sugar molecules are present in very high numbers in cancer cells. It now turns out that these sugar molecules are not only present in malignant cells but actually aid in their growth. In the long term, this discovery is an important step toward a cure that can stop the growth of cancer cells.More

Inherited mutation linked to development of pediatric ALL
A mutation of the PAX5 gene has been found to play an important role in inherited cases of B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). The mutation was isolated in two unrelated families with high propensity for B-ALL. B-ALL is the most common pediatric malignancy, and children with affected siblings have between a twofold and fourfold higher risk of developing the disease. PAX5, a lymphoid transcription factor gene, is mutated in a variety of ways in approximately 30 percent of B-ALL cases.More

Future of cancer treatment or pricey mistake?
If you build it, will they pay? Plans to build a $235 million facility in New York City to treat cancer with proton-beam therapy are still proceeding — as are projects for new proton-beam centers around the country — even as some insurers balk at covering the pricier therapy for prostate cancers because of cost-versus-benefit concerns.More

Are obese people with cancer getting chemotherapy doses too small for them?
Obese people are less likely to survive cancer, and one reason may be a surprising inequality may be how the overweight are treated — or in this case, under-treated. Experts say doctors often short obese patients on chemotherapy by not basing the dose on size, as they should. That's because oncologists often measure their doses on ideal weight measurements, or they simply cap the dose out of fear for how much chemotherapy an obese patient can bear. Yet research shows that bigger people handle chemo better than smaller people do.More

Colonoscopy cuts the risk of colon cancer by 40 percent
Health Newsline
According to a new study, a standard recommendation of colonoscopy exam, to check for abnormalities inside the large intestine with a thin tube, could save thousands of lives worldwide by reducing the risk of developing colorectal cancer in those screened. The new study reinforces the need for people harboring an average risk of the malignancy to undergo a colonoscopy every 10 years.More