Women's Cancer News
Mar. 4, 2015

UnitedHealthcare restricts use of nonvaginal hysterectomies
Medscape (Free login required)
Giant insurer UnitedHealthcare will require prior authorization for all hysterectomies except those performed vaginally on an outpatient basis beginning April 6. By creating this restriction, the insurer has joined the backlash against the use of laparoscopic power morcellators that have been shown to disperse undiagnosed uterine cancer in abdominal cavities. The devices shred tissues so they can be removed piecemeal through laparoscopic incisions.More

Six Industry Supported Symposia offered at 2015 SGO Annual Meeting

Six Industry Supported Symposia (ISS) will be offered at the 2015 SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer March 28-31, in Chicago. ISS are unique forums for presenting educational information to Annual Meeting attendees, free of charge. Symposia sessions are scheduled during lunch time, allowing participants the opportunity for education and networking. Visit sgo.org for more information and to pre-register. SGO does not offer CME for any of the ISS.More

Algorithm ups successful resection in ovarian cancer
MedPage Today
An algorithm developed at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston has dramatically increased complete resection rates in advanced ovarian cancer, giving patients the best possible chance of survival in this otherwise unforgiving disease, researchers said. Since surgeons at the center introduced the "Anderson Algorithm," in mid-2013, complete resection rates have climbed to 84 percent from 20 percent pre-inception for patients who are eligible for surgery first, according to a study published in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology. More

CDC panel gives thumbs up to vaccine against nine HPV types
ScienceNews
A federal vaccine advisory committee voted Feb. 26 to recommend use of an expanded version of the human papillomavirus shot marketed as Gardasil. The move, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, clears the way for the broader-coverage vaccine, called Gardasil 9, to be used in the clinic. Current vaccines offer protection against up to four types of HPV, which causes cervical cancer and is linked to other cancers. The new shot expands protection to nine types of HPV.More

Botched exposé of HPV vaccine's 'dark side' reveals dark side of news business
The Washington Post
The Toronto Star’s front-page feature on the “dark side” of a widely used HPV vaccine had all the makings of a blockbuster: a grim, gripping headline, vivid accounts from teenagers who died or were debilitated, a wrenching image of a woman holding a framed photo of her dead daughter. But it lacked a crucial component of any scientific investigation: good data. “It’s too bad there isn’t a vaccination to prevent journalistic misstep,” wrote the paper’s public editor, Kathy English, who called the story “alarmist.” “I suspect we’d all line up for that shot about now.”More

FDA guidance highlights inappropriate use of power morcellation, but concern about interpretation lingers
Healio
An FDA warning about the use of laparoscopic power morcellators to treat uterine fibroids has polarized the gynecologic oncology community. The agency’s “immediately in effect” guidance warns against the use of morcellators in hysterectomies or myomectomies in the majority of women due to the potential that they can spread undetected uterine sarcomas. Yet, intense debate rages among surgeons and clinicians about whether FDA intended for power morcellation to be abandoned entirely, or if the agency intentionally left its guidance vague enough to allow surgeons to perform the procedures in patients who provide informed consent.More

Transfusion indications for patients with cancer
Oncology Nurse Advisor
Anemia may occur in 90 percent of patients with cancer. Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is a vital component in their care. Patients with cancer use approximately 34 percent of the RBC supply. The indications for RBC transfusion in these patients are similar to that of other patient populations: to alleviate symptomatic anemia. In addition, cancer treatments often cause effects that lead to anemia (eg, loss, destruction, and decreased production of RBCs). Platinum-based therapies — used in the treatment of lung and gynecologic cancers — also may cause anemia.More

Refining prognosis and identifying targetable pathways for high-risk endometrial cancer; a TransPORTEC initiative
Modern Pathology
This study aimed to investigate whether molecular analysis can be used to refine risk assessment, direct adjuvant therapy, and identify actionable alterations in high-risk endometrial cancer. TransPORTEC, an international consortium related to the PORTEC3 trial, was established for translational research in high-risk endometrial cancer. In this explorative study, routine molecular analyses were used to detect prognostic subgroups: p53 immunohistochemistry, microsatellite instability and POLE proofreading mutation.More

Infiltration of dendritic cells and T lymphocytes predicts favorable outcome in epithelial ovarian cancer
Cancer Gene Therapy
Researchers aimed to analyze the association between the distribution of dendritic cells (DC) with expression of tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes and clinicopathologic parameters with prognosis in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Thirty-three EOC patient samples were surgically resected, and pathology was examined for clinicopathological variables. Expression of S-100, CD1a, CD45RA and CD45RO was detected using the avidin–biotin complex immunohistochemical technique.More

Benefits of tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention vary among at-risk women
Healio
Although most women who use tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention will derive benefit, more attention must be paid to the risk–benefit profiles of certain subgroups of at-risk women who may be more likely to experience serious side effects, according to study results published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. These subgroups include older women, black women and women who have an intact uterus. Tamoxifen — which received FDA approval in 1998 for primary prevention of breast cancer for women who meet specific age and risk criteria — is not widely used, primarily due to an increased risk for serious adverse effects. Less than 1 percent of eligible women in the United States use tamoxifen for prevention of breast cancer, according to study background.More

Physician age may affect beliefs about breast cancer screening
Cancer Network
A physician’s age may have an effect on his or her opinions about the effectiveness of certain breast cancer screening methods, including self-examination and mammography, the results of a small study indicated. In the study, older physicians were more likely to believe self breast examination was effective and less likely to feel that mammography at all ages was effective. More