Oncology Nursing News Top Stories: September 2022

In September 2022, investigators published findings on an understudied stress associated with advanced cancer care—unmet death preferences. Many adolescent or young adult patients with cancer express that they would prefer to die at home; however, when combined with caregiver capabilities and necessary symptom management, most of these patients ultimately die in the hospital setting, underscoring an unmet need for this patient population.

Other topics in supportive care include a brief snapshot of cannabinoid products in the context of cancer-related pain management. During the 2022 ONS Bridge, Karen Hande, PhD(c), DNP, ANP-BC, CNE, FAANP, ANEF, offered an overview of what cannabinoid products are and what it means for patients to be taking consumed cannabidiol (CBD) vs marijuana , to improve cannabis-related dialogue between nurses and patients.

Moreover, September saw some key clinical updates in the gynecologic and genitourinary oncology spaces. Read below to see how immunotherapy is eliciting responses in urothelial carcinoma and how real-world patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer are achieving promising response with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) plus bevacizumab (avastin).

Innovative strategies are needed to ensure that adolescents and young adults with cancer who prefer to die at home can make that choice. Most adolescent or young adults (AYA) with advanced cancer prefer to die at home, according to results of a qualitative interview study published in JCO Oncology Practice.

Unfortunately, the desire of many of AYA patients is not realized with up to two-thirds of AYAs passing away in the hospital setting, underscoring an unmet need regarding death preferences in this population.

In a presentation during the 2022 ONS Bridge, Karen Hande, PhD(c), DNP, ANP-BC, CNE, FAANP, ANEF, provided an overview of what some of the popular cannabinoid products are that patients with cancer may be taking.

A combination of pembrolizumab and soluble EphB4-human serum albumin (sEphB4-HSA) may elicit superior overall survival and objective response rates in patients with platinum-refractory metastatic urothelial carcinoma than PD-1/PD-L1 therapy alone, according to findings from a phase 2 trial (NCT02717156) published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Thanks to advances in oncology, the number of long-term survivors is growing. However, this disease often saps patients and, by extension, nurses of their strength. The spoon theory has been widely used in chronic illnesses, but it can also be applied to cancer. In this opinion piece, Debi Fischer, MSW, BSN, BA, LCSW, RN unpacks spoon theories and explains its utility for patients with cancer.

Real-world data presented during the 2022 ESMO congress showed that pembrolizumab combined with the anti-VEGF agent bevacizumab plus oral metronomic cyclophosphamide displayed minimal toxicity in a significant number of patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer.

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