February 2019 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for February 2019. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Mental Health Disorders Up After Head & Neck Cancer Diagnosis

THURSDAY, Feb. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with head and neck cancer (HNC), the prevalence of mental health disorders (MHDs) is significantly higher after cancer diagnosis, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Robotically Assisted Devices Not Approved for Cancer Surgery

THURSDAY, Feb. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The use of robotically assisted surgical devices for breast removal and other cancer-related surgeries is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because there is no proof of its safety or effectiveness in such cases, the agency says in a warning to doctors and patients.

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Performance Improvement Sustained After DBT Adoption

THURSDAY, Feb. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Performance improvements after adoption of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) relative to digital mammography (DM) performance have been sustained, regardless of DBT volume, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in Radiology.

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Intervention Can Reduce Racial Differences in Lung Cancer Care

THURSDAY, Feb. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An intervention that includes race-specific feedback and real-time electronic warnings can reduce racial differences in care for early-stage lung cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in Cancer Medicine.

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Lymphadenectomy Does Not Up Survival in Advanced Ovarian Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced ovarian cancer who have undergone intra-abdominal macroscopically complete resection and have clinically negative lymph nodes, lymphadenectomy is not associated with longer overall or progression-free survival, according to a study published in the Feb. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Adjuvant Tx for Early Testicular Cancer Does Not Harm Sperm

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For clinical stage I testicular cancer (TC) patients, adjuvant treatment after orchiectomy has no long-term significant effect on sperm production, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in the Annals of Oncology.

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Decline Observed in HPV Type 16/18 Cervical Precancers in U.S.

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The proportion of human papillomavirus (HPV) 16/18-positive cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grades 2 to 3 or adenocarcinoma in situ (CIN2+) declined from 2008 to 2014, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Tumor Control Durable With Pembrolizumab in Merkel Cell Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced Merkel cell carcinoma (aMCC), pembrolizumab is associated with durable tumor control and favorable overall survival, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Poor Food Intake Common in Hospitalized Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately one-third of adult inpatients are at risk for malnutrition and poorer outcomes due to not eating their meals, despite being allowed to eat, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

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Stereotactic Radiation Feasible for Oligometastatic Cancer

TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR) for recurrent oligometastatic cancer is a feasible and tolerable treatment option, according to a phase 2 study published in the January issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics.

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Single-Application FIT Moderately Sensitive, Specific for CRC

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Single-application fecal immunochemical tests (FITs) have moderate-to-high sensitivity and specificity for colorectal cancer (CRC), according to a review published online Feb. 26 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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FDA: Thermography No Substitute for Mammograms

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despite claims to the contrary, thermography should not be used in place of mammography for breast cancer screening, detection, or diagnosis, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Genetic Variant Tied to Leukemia Risk in Hispanic Children

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic variations have been identified in the ERG gene that are associated with an increased risk for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in Hispanic children, according to a study recently published in Blood.

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2014 to 2017 Saw Improvement in Burnout for U.S. Physicians

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- From 2014 to 2017, there was an improvement in burnout and satisfaction with work-life integration among U.S. physicians, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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National Health Spending Set to Increase 5.5 Percent Annually

FRIDAY, Feb. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- National health spending is projected to increase at an annual rate of 5.5. percent from 2018 to 2027, with fundamental economic and demographic factors the main drivers, according to a report published online Feb. 20 in Health Affairs.

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Most Patients Do Not Disclose Complementary Medicine Use

FRIDAY, Feb. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Just one-third of users of biologically based complementary medicine (CM) disclose their use to traditional health care providers, according to a review published online Feb. 7 in Scientific Reports.

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One-Third of PCPs Discuss Breast Cancer Treatments With Patients

FRIDAY, Feb. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- One-third of primary care providers (PCPs) report participating in breast cancer treatment decisions, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Cancer.

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44.4 Million Estimated to Be Diagnosed With Cervical Cancer by 2069

FRIDAY, Feb. 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In the absence of further intervention, in the next 50 years, an estimated 44.4 million women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer globally, according to a study published online Feb. 19 in The Lancet Oncology.

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FDA Advances Regulation to Ensure Sunscreen Safety, Efficacy

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took steps Thursday to tighten regulation of over-the-counter sunscreen products.

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8 More U.S. Communities to Be Assessed for PFAS Toxin Exposure

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Eight additional communities near current or former U.S. military installations that will be included in assessments of human exposure to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were announced Thursday by federal officials.

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U.S. Agencies Probing Johnson & Johnson Over Asbestos in Talc

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Johnson & Johnson is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over possible asbestos contamination of the company's baby powder and other talc-based products.

The New York Times Article
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Sacituzumab Govitecan Promising in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An antibody-drug conjugate, sacituzumab govitecan-hziy, shows promise in refractory metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, according to a study published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Rivaroxaban Does Not Reduce VTE Incidence in High-Risk Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In high-risk ambulatory patients with cancer, the incidence of venous thromboembolism or death due to venous thromboembolism during 180 days is not significantly reduced for rivaroxaban compared with placebo, according to a study published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Vertical Integration Has Little Impact on Quality Measures

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Vertical integration between hospitals and physicians has little impact on quality measures, while increased hospital market concentration is strongly associated with reduced quality in measures of patient satisfaction, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in Medical Care Research and Review.

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Experimental Test May Quickly Diagnose Sepsis

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A blood test that can quickly diagnose dangerous sepsis infections has been developed, according to research published in the Feb. 1 issue of Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

CNN Article
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New Kaiser Permanente Medical School Plans to Waive Tuition

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new medical school to be opened by California-based health system Kaiser Permanente will waive tuition for all students in its first five graduating classes.

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Structural, Clinical Barriers Prevent Cancer Trial Participation

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Structural and clinical barriers prevent most cancer patients from participating in clinical trials, according to a review published online Feb. 19 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Black-White Cancer Mortality Gap Decreasing in Some Age Groups

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer death rates are decreasing faster in blacks than whites in the United States, according to a report published online Feb. 14 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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Glottic Carcinoma Can Be HPV-Related Disease in Young Adults

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An increased incidence of glottic carcinoma related to human papillomavirus (HPV) has been documented in recent years among young patients, according to a study published online Jan. 27 in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology.

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Combo Regimens Effective for Tx of Metastatic Renal Cell Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For first-line therapy of metastatic renal cell carcinoma, pembrolizumab plus axitinib and avelumab plus axitinib both show improved survival versus sunitinib, according to two studies published online Feb. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, held from Feb. 14 to 16 in San Francisco.

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FDA Warns About 'Miracle' Young Blood Infusion Treatments

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The use of plasma infusion therapies (often called "vampire" treatments, in which people undergo infusions of a young donor's blood) is on the rise across the United States, often costing thousands of dollars per treatment, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Inappropriate Use of Fentanyl Preps Seen Despite Awareness

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Despite adequate levels of prescriber, pharmacist, and patient knowledge regarding transmucosal immediate-release fentanyls (TIRFs), the rates of inappropriate use are high, according to a study published in the Feb. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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USPSTF Says Screen Women With Higher Risk for BRCA Mutations

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for women at increased risk for carrying a BRCA1/2 mutation as well as genetic counseling and testing as indicated for those screening positive. These recommendations form the basis of a draft recommendation statement published online Feb. 19 by the USPSTF.

Draft Evidence Review
Draft Recommendation Statement
Comment on Recommendation

Oncotype DX Not Cost-Effective for Low-Risk Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The multigene expression test Oncotype DX (ODX) is not cost-effective for women with breast cancer who are at low risk for recurrence, according to research published online Jan. 22 in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

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Hospital Prices Growing Faster Than Physician Prices

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Growth in hospital prices and payments outpaced growth in physician prices and payments from 2007 through 2014, according to a report published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

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Artificial Intelligence Predicts Survival in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Artificial intelligence software can predict prognosis in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) above established prognostic methods, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Nature Communications.

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Risk Factors ID'd for Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Mortality

FRIDAY, Feb. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Age, stage, and Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) are risk factors for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)-specific death in older patients, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Cancer.

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Cancer Death Risk Up for Kidney Transplant, Dialysis Patients

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Dialysis and kidney transplant patients have more than a 2.5-fold increased risk for cancer death, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Physical Activity Down Across Chronic Disease Subgroups

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People with a wide variety of chronic diseases are less physically active than individuals without chronic diseases, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

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p, p'-DDT Exposure Linked to Breast Cancer Through Age 54

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- p, p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is associated with breast cancer through age 54 years, according to a study published online Feb. 13 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Autologous Stem Cell Transplant May Aid Some With Nodal PTCL

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) may be beneficial for some patients with nodal peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) in the first complete remission (CR1), according to a study published online Jan. 29 in Cancer.

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Drug Company Payments Over Time May Influence Rx Practices

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians treating certain cancers who consistently receive payments from a cancer drug's manufacturer are more likely to prescribe that drug instead of other treatments, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in The Oncologist.

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Obesity Linked to Adverse Events in Children With Leukemia

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), obesity is associated with an increased risk for adverse events during premaintenance chemotherapy, according to a study published in the February issue of Pediatric Blood & Cancer.

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HRQoL Scores Decrease With Treatment Line in Multiple Myeloma

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with multiple myeloma (MM), health-related quality of life (HRQoL) scores decrease with treatment line, according to a study published in the January issue of Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma & Leukemia.

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Neoadjuvant PD-1 Blockade Seems Effective in Glioblastoma

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Neoadjuvant administration of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) blockade seems to enhance local and systemic antitumor immune response in glioblastoma, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Nature Medicine.

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CDC: Student Tobacco Use Increased From 2017 to 2018

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- From 2017 to 2018, there was an increase in any tobacco use, especially electronic cigarette use, for high school and middle school students, according to research published online Feb. 11 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Health Care Spending Per Person Increased to $5,641 in 2017

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In 2017, health care spending per person reached $5,641, according to the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) annual Health Care Cost and Utilization Report.

Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

Many Systematic Reviews Do Not Fully Report Adverse Events

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many systematic review protocols in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) do not include adverse event reporting, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.

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Direct-Acting Antivirals Cut Mortality in Chronic Hepatitis C

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- For adults with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, direct-acting antivirals are associated with a reduced risk for mortality and hepatocellular carcinoma, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in The Lancet.

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Aspirin Underused for Advanced Colorectal Polyps

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin is underused to reduce the risk for colorectal cancer among patients with advanced colorectal polyps, according to a study recently published in The American Journal of Medicine.

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Use of Watchful Waiting Up for Low-Risk Localized Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- From 2010 to 2015, there was an increase in use of active surveillance or watchful waiting (AS/WW) rates in men with low-risk and intermediate-risk localized prostate cancer, according to a research letter published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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More Than a Half Million Deaths From Breast Cancer Averted

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- From 1989 to 2018, between 384,046 and 614,484 cumulative breast cancer deaths are estimated to have been averted, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Cancer.

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Walgreens Worst Violator in Tobacco Sales to Minors, FDA Says

FRIDAY, Feb. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Walgreens' high rate of violations for selling tobacco products to minors has led U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., to ask for a meeting with the company to discuss the issue.

CNN Article
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Johnson & Johnson to Provide Drug Prices in TV Ads

FRIDAY, Feb. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In a drug industry first, Johnson & Johnson will start giving the list prices of its prescription drugs in television ads.

AP News Article

Country-Specific Norms Created for Cancer-Related Quality of Life

FRIDAY, Feb. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Country-specific norms have been established for the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) questionnaire to measure the self-reported quality of life of cancer patients, according to a study published in the January issue of the European Journal of Cancer.

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FDA: Number of U.S. Women With Breast Implant-Caused Cancer Has Increased

THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- There has been an increase in the number of U.S. women diagnosed with a cancer caused by breast implants, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

NBC News Article
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Letter to Health Care Providers

Conservative Management Feasible for Adnexal Masses

THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The risk for malignancy and acute complications is low for patients with an adnexal mass with benign ultrasound morphology who are managed conservatively, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the The Lancet Oncology.

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Most Americans Concerned About Weight, Link to Heart Health

THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most Americans are concerned about their weight and understand the connection between weight and cardiovascular health, but a substantial proportion of them are not doing much to lose excess weight, according to a Cleveland Clinic survey.

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FDA Approves Cablivi for Rare Blood-Clotting Disorder

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Cablivi (caplacizumab-yhdp) injection has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP).

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Blood Type A2 to B Kidney Transplant Feasible

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Outcomes are similar for blood type A2 to blood type B and B to B deceased donor kidney transplantation (DDKTx), according to a study published online Jan. 30 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

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USPSTF Still Recommends Against Pancreatic Cancer Screening

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against screening for pancreatic cancer in asymptomatic adults. These findings form the basis of a draft recommendation statement published online Feb. 5 by the USPSTF.

Draft Recommendation Statement
Draft Evidence Review
Comment on Recommendation Statement

Outcomes Good for Autologous Reconstruction After Implant Fail

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Autologous breast reconstruction after failed implant-based reconstruction seems safe and is associated with improved patient outcomes, according to a study published in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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No Increased Risk for Cancer for ART-Conceived Children

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Children conceived by assisted reproductive technology (ART) do not appear to have a significantly increased cancer risk, according to a study published online Feb. 4 in Human Reproduction.

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Evidence of Therapeutic Efficacy Substantial for Cannabis Use

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most qualifying conditions for which patients are licensed to use cannabis medically have substantial or conclusive evidence of therapeutic efficacy, according to a report published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

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Cancer Survivors Face Hardship Over Medical Bills

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer survivors carry greater financial burdens related to medical debt payments and bills versus patients without a cancer history, and younger survivors face the greatest hardships, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in Cancer.

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Expanded Recall of Warfarin Level Monitoring Test Strips

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Certain lots of Roche Diagnostics test strips should not be used with CoaguChek test meter devices to check levels of the blood thinner warfarin because patients may get inaccurate results and be at risk for serious injury or death, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says in an updated recall notice.

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Sponge Cytology-Sampling Device Promising for Barrett Esophagus Dx

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A swallowable cellular retrieval capsule sponge cytology-sampling device, EsophaCap, in combination with a methylation biomarker panel represents a promising strategy for diagnosing Barrett esophagus (BE), according to a study published online Jan. 22 in Clinical Cancer Research.

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Some Obesity-Related Cancers Increasing in Younger Adults

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of some obesity-related cancers is increasing in younger generations, according to a study published online Feb. 3 in The Lancet Public Health.

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E-Cigarette Use Linked to Cigarette Initiation in Adolescents

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic cigarette use is associated with an increased risk for cigarette initiation and use in adolescents, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in JAMA Network Open.

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Use of Image Analysis to ID HER2 Status in Breast Cancer Outlined

FRIDAY, Feb. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Recommendations have been developed to improve accuracy, precision, and reproducibility in the interpretation of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) immunohistochemistry (IHC) results for breast cancer with use of quantitative image analysis (QIA); the guideline was published online Jan. 15 in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.

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