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June 2013 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Monday, July 1, 2013 (Last Updated: 07/02/2013)

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for June 2013. 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.

Most Cancer Survivors Have Good Psychological Outcomes

FRIDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Certain factors predict anxiety, depression, and comorbid anxiety-depression at one year in adult cancer survivors, according to research published online June 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Avoidable Health Care Costs Exceed $200 Billion in 2012

FRIDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- In 2012, avoidable health care costs in the United States exceeded $200 billion, according to a report published by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

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Marine n-3 PUFA Inversely Linked to Breast Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3-PUFA) intake is inversely associated with the risk of breast cancer, according to a review published online June 27 in BMJ.

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Melanoma Mortality Higher for Males Than Females

FRIDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- White males with melanoma are more likely to die from the disease compared with white females with melanoma, according to a study published online June 26 in JAMA Dermatology.

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Bipartisan Recommendations Can Strengthen Health System

THURSDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Leaders of the Bipartisan Policy Center Health Care Cost Containment Initiative have developed a series of recommendations to strengthen the U.S. health care system, according to a sounding board piece published online June 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA Approves Rixubis for Prophylactic Tx in Hemophilia B

THURSDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Rixubis (coagulation factor IX recombinant) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent routine bleeding episodes in people aged 16 and older with hemophilia B, the agency said in a news release.

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Radiologists' Performance Consistent on CT Colonography

THURSDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Performance on adenoma and advanced neoplasia detection is consistent among radiologists at computed tomographic (CT) colonography screening, according to a study published in the July issue of Radiology.

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Adults With Chronic Conditions Earn C+ for Meds Adherence

WEDNESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- On average, adults with chronic conditions earn a C+ for medication adherence, according to a report published June 25 by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

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Hospital Teaching Intensity Affects Readmission Rates

WEDNESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital teaching intensity significantly affects readmission rates for the most common inpatient diagnoses, particularly for safety-net hospitals, according to a study published in the July issue of Medical Care.

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HHS Launches Insurance Marketplace Website, Call Center

WEDNESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched the Health Insurance Marketplace education effort, with a consumer-focused website and a consumer call center, to help Americans prepare for enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplace.

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8.5 Million Enrollees to Receive Health Insurance Rebates

WEDNESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- About 8.5 million enrollees will receive a rebate of about $100 per family as part of the Affordable Care Act "80/20" rule, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Ibrutinib Promotes Remission in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

WEDNESDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- A new drug that targets interactions with the tumor microenvironment promotes remission in patients with relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia, according to a study published online June 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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High-Tech Therapies Up in Men With Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- The use of advanced treatment technologies increased in men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2004 and 2009 who were at low risk of dying from the disease, according to research published in the June 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gene Mutation Influences Aspirin's Colon Cancer Benefit

TUESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Regular aspirin use is associated with a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer, but only cancers without mutations in the BRAF oncogene, according to a study published in the June 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Funding Influences Exposure and Review of Cancer Research

TUESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Abstracts submitted to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting by researchers who have financial relationships with commercial interests are more prominently placed and more favorably scored by peers, according to research published online June 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Publicly Reported Mortality Predicts Hospital Performance

TUESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital performance on publicly reported medical conditions is indicative of overall hospital mortality rates, according to a study published online June 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Growing Mismatch in Med School Graduates, GME Places

TUESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although the number of medical school enrollees and graduates is increasing, the number of U.S. graduate medical education (GME) programs has not increased at the same rate, and consequently physician shortages are likely to become more apparent, according to a perspective piece published online June 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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AH: Most Acute Care Costs Not Avoidable for High-Cost Patients

MONDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- For high-cost Medicare beneficiaries, only a small percentage of costs are related to preventable emergency department visits and hospitalizations, according to a study published online June 24 in the Journal of the American Medical Association to coincide with presentation at the Annual Research Meeting of AcademyHealth, held from June 23 to 25 in Baltimore.

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FDA Approves Vibativ for Certain Bacterial Pneumonias

MONDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- The antibiotic Vibativ (telavancin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria when other treatments aren't suitable.

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Survival of England's National Health Service Questioned

MONDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Recent criticism of England's National Health Service (NHS) has called its survival into question, according to a perspective piece published online June 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Guide Issued for Tying Primary Care to Regional Organizations

MONDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has developed a new guide to help primary care practices to assess readiness for connecting electronic health records (EHRs) to regional health information organizations (RHIOs).

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Mortality Similar for Single and Multiple Primary Melanomas

MONDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Mortality is similar for patients with single primary melanomas (SPMs) and multiple primary melanomas (MPMs), but relative mortality is considerably higher for patients with thicker SPMs versus thicker MPMs, according to a study published online June 19 in JAMA Dermatology.

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AMA Awards Grants for Medical Education Innovation

FRIDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association (AMA) has awarded funding to 11 U.S. medical schools in response to their proposals regarding educational innovations aimed at transforming how future physicians are trained.

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Gene Patenting Ruling Unlikely to Really Impact Oncology Care

FRIDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- The Supreme Court decision in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad is not likely to have much immediate impact the practice of oncology, according to a special communication published online June 13 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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AHRQ Offers Strategies to Prevent Adverse Drug Events

FRIDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Strategies to prevent adverse drug events (ADEs) have been recommended and published in a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

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Screening Colonoscopy-ID'd CA Tied to Improved Outcomes

FRIDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients identified with colon cancer through screening colonoscopies have both lower-stage disease on presentation and also better outcomes independent of their staging, according to research published online June 19 in JAMA Surgery.

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FDA Approves First Genotyping Test for Hepatitis C

FRIDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- A new test to help doctors identify the genotype of a person's hepatitis C infection has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Obesity Is a Disease, Says American Medical Association

THURSDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- The American Medical Association has adopted policy that recognizes obesity as a disease, a step that the association hopes will help focus more attention on treatment and prevention efforts, and that some suggest may lead to greater acceptance by insurance providers to cover treatment.

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Bolus Iron Dosing Ups Infection Risk in Hemodialysis Patients

THURSDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- For hemodialysis patients, bolus dosing of iron is associated with an increased risk of infection-related hospitalization, compared with receiving maintenance iron dosing, especially for patients with a catheter or with recent infection, according to a study published online June 20 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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HPV Antibodies Signal Higher Risk for Oropharyngeal Cancer

THURSDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- In plasma samples obtained prior to diagnosis, the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 E6 antibodies was more likely to be detected in patients with oropharyngeal cancer than in controls, according to research published online June 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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CMS Implementing Physician Quality Reporting System

THURSDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- To promote the reporting of quality information by eligible professionals, the Physician Quality Reporting System is being implemented, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Surgeon Error Linked to Skin Tumor Recurrence

THURSDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Errors in surgeons' interpretation of histological slides are strongly associated with tumor recurrence after Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS), according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Practices Are Not Prepared for Implementation of ICD-10

THURSDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Physician practices have made little progress in preparing for implementation of the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), according to a report published by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

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Serum miR-21 Putative Biomarker for Colorectal Cancer

THURSDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- The oncogenic microRNA (miRNA) miR-21 is a potential biomarker for detection and prognosis of colorectal cancer (CRC), according to a study published in the June 19 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Flu Shot Averted About 13 Million Illnesses Over Six Years

THURSDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza vaccination likely prevented over 13 million illnesses and more than 100,000 hospitalizations from 2005 to 2011, according to a study published online June 19 in PLOS ONE.

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Ibrutinib Active in Refractory or Relapsed Mantle-Cell Lymphoma

WEDNESDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- The Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor ibrutinib is active in relapsed or refractory mantle-cell lymphoma, with a response rate of 68 percent, according to a study published online June 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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New Rule Proposes Insurance Program Integrity Guidelines

WEDNESDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- A new proposed rule, which provides program integrity guidelines for Affordable Insurance Exchanges, or Health Insurance Marketplaces (Marketplaces), has been released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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EHR Implementation First Step Toward Quality Improvement

WEDNESDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) is a first step toward quality improvement and should be accompanied by use of new payment models to allow physicians to see a return on their investments, according to Farzad Mostashari, M.D., of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, who was recently interviewed by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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Potential of Mobile Remote-Presence Devices Discussed

WEDNESDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Mobile remote-presence devices have the potential to increase access to and improve delivery of health care in the developed and developing world, according to an innovations report published online June 17 in CMAJ, the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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State-Based Health Care Price Websites Lacking

TUESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- State-based, patient-oriented websites reporting health care prices need to be improved, according to a research letter published in the June 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Racial Discrepancy in Oncologic Outcomes for Low-Risk PCa

TUESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Among men with very-low-risk prostate cancer (PCa) who meet criteria for active surveillance but undergo radical prostatectomy, African-American race is associated with poorer outcomes, with higher rates of disease upgrading and adverse pathology, according to a study published online June 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Unauthorized Immigrants Make Up 1.4% U.S. Medical Spending

TUESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Unauthorized immigrants have substantially lower health care expenditures than legal residents, naturalized citizens, and U.S. natives, according to a study published online June 12 in Health Affairs.

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About 15 Percent of People Currently Uninsured in U.S.

TUESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- In 2012, nearly 15 percent of U.S. people of all ages were currently uninsured, according to a data brief published online June 18 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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FDA Discusses Cybersecurity for Medical Devices, Hospitals

MONDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Medical device manufacturers and health care facilities should ensure appropriate safeguards are in place to reduce the potential harms that may result from cyberattacks, according to a safety communication issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Oncological Outcomes Similar Despite Timing of Prostatectomy

FRIDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Outcomes are similar between men with histologically comparable prostate cancer who receive a radical prostatectomy after a period of active surveillance and those with low-risk disease who undergo immediate prostatectomy, according to a study published in the July issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Obesity Linked to Higher Risk of Colorectal Cancer in Men

FRIDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity is associated with significantly increased risks for incidence of colorectal adenoma and colorectal cancer in middle-aged and older men who are screened with sigmoidoscopy, according to research published online May 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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New Treatments Outperforming Placebo Becoming Less Common

FRIDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- The efficacy of new medical treatments compared with placebo has sharply declined over the last few decades, suggesting that comparative effectiveness studies are needed, according to a study published in the June issue of Health Affairs.

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Radiation + Tamoxifen Lowers Risk of Locoregional Recurrence

FRIDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Over the long term, treatment with radiation plus tamoxifen for early-stage breast cancer leads to a small benefit in locoregional recurrence, but not in an advantage for overall survival, distant disease-free survival, or breast preservation, according to a study published online May 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Many Smoke Exposed in Home/Car Despite Smoke-Free Rules

FRIDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Many U.S. adults report voluntary smoke-free rules for private settings, such as homes and vehicles, but millions of people are still exposed to secondhand smoke in these environments, according to research published online May 16 in Preventing Chronic Disease.

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Converting Urology Practice Affects Cancer Treatment

THURSDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Converting a urology practice to an integrated prostate cancer center (IPCC) results in greater use of intensity modulated radiation therapy and lower use of androgen deprivation therapy, according to research published in the July issue of The Journal of Urology.

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FDA Approves Xgeva for Rare, Non-Malignant Tumor

THURSDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Xgeva (denosumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat giant cell tumor of the bone (GCTB), a rare tumor that's most often non-cancerous.

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Survey Examines Physician Satisfaction With EHRs

THURSDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- About three-quarters of physicians report that their practice either has a fully implemented electronic health record (EHR), uses a hospital or corporate EHR, or is in the process of implementing an EHR, according to a technology survey published by Physicians Practice.

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SALL4 Protein Reexpressed in Subset of Patients With HCC

WEDNESDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- The oncofetal protein SALL4 is expressed in a subgroup of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, with overexpression of proliferative and metastatic genes observed in SALL4-positive hepatocellular carcinomas, according to a study published in the June 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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PCA3 Assay Ups Predictive Accuracy for Repeat Biopsy

WEDNESDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- For men with at least one prior negative biopsy, urinary PCA3 scores, together with serum prostate-specific antigen and other clinical information, improve the prediction accuracy for repeat biopsy outcome, according to a study published in the July issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Screening Has Not Affected Breast CA Mortality in England

WEDNESDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Mammographic screening, introduced in England in 1988, has not had a significant impact on breast cancer mortality, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

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Fertility Preservation Guidelines for Cancer Patients Reviewed

WEDNESDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- No major, substantive revisions were necessary, but clarifications were added to update the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guidelines on fertility preservation for children and adults with cancer, according to a report published online May 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Use of EHRs Can Enhance Doc-Patient Communication

WEDNESDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic health records (EHRs) can be used during clinical encounters to enhance the physician-patient relationship, encouraging communication during the clinical encounter, according to a viewpoint published in the June 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Switch to Vegetable Fat May Cut Death Risk in Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- For men with non-metastatic prostate cancer, the risks of lethal prostate cancer and all-cause mortality are significantly reduced with replacement of carbohydrates by vegetable fats, according to a study published online June 10 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Doctors Do Not Spend Enough Time Planning Their Finances

TUESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians do not spend enough time reviewing their finances, and half are behind in their retirement planning, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA) Insurance Agency.

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Most Doctors Feel They Are Under-Using Mobile Apps

TUESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Most physicians feel they are not maximizing use of mobile applications, and would utilize additional electronic health record (EHR) functionalities if they were available, according to poll conducted by Black Book Market Research.

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Use of Pediatric CT Scans Increased From 1996 to 2005

TUESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- The use of computed tomography (CT) in children increased through 2005, with pediatric scans projected to cause future cancers, according to a study published online June 10 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Fidaxomicin Ups Outcome of C. difficile-Tied Diarrhea in Cancer

MONDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with cancer with Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD), fidaxomicin treatment is associated with improved outcomes compared with vancomycin treatment, according to research published online May 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Age, Sex Predict Neoplasia Risk in CT Colonography Screening

MONDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals undergoing screening computed tomographic colonography (CTC), age and sex, but not body mass index (BMI) or family history, are independent predictors of advanced neoplasia risk, according to a study published online June 10 in Cancer.

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Demographic Variation in Early PET Scan Use for NSCLC

MONDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare beneficiaries with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), demographic differences in the rates of positron emission tomography (PET) scan use persisted from 1998 to 2007, according to research published in the June issue of Radiology.

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Oncologists, PCPs Differ in Cancer Follow-Up Concerns

MONDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- Medical oncologists (MOs) and primary care physicians (PCPs) report different barriers/concerns in cancer follow-up care to be problematic, according to research published online May 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Methylphenidate, Nurses Calls Don't Improve Cancer Fatigue

FRIDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced cancer, methylphenidate (MP) or a nursing telephone intervention (NTI), alone or combined, offer no benefit over placebo for improving cancer-related fatigue (CRF), according to a study published online May 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Background MRI Enhancement Up in Premenopausal Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Quantitative measurement of background enhancement (BE) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is significantly higher in premenopausal women with breast cancer compared to postmenopausal women with breast cancer, according to a pilot study published in the June issue of Radiology.

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Biological Sex Trait Influences Melanoma Survival

FRIDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Melanoma progression and survival seem to be substantially influenced by a biologic sex trait, even in advanced disease, according to research published online May 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Women Being Recruited to Join Specific Cancer Registry

FRIDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Women, with and without cancer, are being recruited to join a cancer registry in an effort to better understand and more effectively treat cancers that primarily affect women, according to a Cedars-Sinai initiative.

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Esophageal CA Not Often Cause of Death in Barrett's Esophagus

THURSDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with Barrett's esophagus who die within 10 years of diagnosis, approximately 2 percent of deaths are caused by esophageal cancer, and other causes such as ischemic heart disease are much more frequent, according to research published in the June issue of Gastroenterology.

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Statins May Lower Esophageal Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Statins may lower the risk of esophageal cancer, particularly in patients with Barrett's esophagus, according to a review published in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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HHS: Marketplaces Open New Insurance Options for Consumers

THURSDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Health Insurance Marketplaces, due to be introduced in October 2013, will increase the coverage options for many consumers, according to a memo released by the U.S. Department of Human & Health Services.

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Coaching by Phone Benefits Colorectal Cancer Survivors

THURSDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- A telephone-delivered intervention, known as CanChange, positively influences certain health and behavioral outcomes among colorectal cancer survivors, according to research published online May 20 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Profitability Index Checks Financial Health of Practices

WEDNESDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- An overall downward trend in profitability has been identified based on a practice profitability index, developed to assess the financial health of U.S. physician practices, according to a report published by CareCloud.

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Few Physicians Meeting Meaningful Use in Early 2012

WEDNESDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- In early 2012, few physicians met meaningful use criteria, and using electronic health records (EHRs) for patient panel management was difficult, according to research published in the June 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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CDC: Small Drop in Those With Difficulty Paying Medical Bills

TUESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- There has been a slight decrease in the percentage of individuals aged younger than 65 years who are in a family with difficulty paying their medical bills, according to a June data brief issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Blood Transfusions in Cardiac Surgery May Up Infections

TUESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Transfusion of red blood cells (RBCs) during or after surgery may increase the risk of major infections, such as pneumonia and bloodstream infections, according to research published in the June issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

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Independent Payment Advisory Board's Future Questioned

MONDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Established as a part of the efforts of Affordable Care Act (ACA) to contain health care costs, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) has been surrounded by controversy, and still has no members, according to a perspective piece published online May 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Vegetarian Dietary Patterns Tied to Lower All-Cause Death

MONDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with non-vegetarians, vegetarians have reduced all-cause mortality, according to a study published online June 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Health of Nation Reviewed With Focus on Emergency Care

MONDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Recent trends in the health of the nation are described, with particular focus on emergency care, in the 36th annual report published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Drug Resistant Cancers Have Alternative Drug Target

MONDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Cancers that develop resistance to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) treatments often have amplification of the MET gene, which can be targeted by drugs to overcome resistance, according to a study published online June 2 in Cancer Discovery.

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