March 2015 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for March 2015. 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.

Mobile Health App Use Continuing to Increase

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The number of mobile health apps is continuing to increase and doctors are embracing this trend, with more than one-third of physicians recommending their use in the past year, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Androgen Deprivation Therapy Has Lasting Impact on Function

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with prostate cancer, androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) has a lasting impact on physical function, according to a study published online March 24 in Cancer.

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New Breast CA Subtype Data Could Improve Risk Stratification

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Classifying breast cancers according to tumor subtypes could help improve treatment of the disease, according to a new statement from four major medical groups focused on the disease. The report was published online March 30 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Small, Steady Decline in Cancer Rates in U.S. Over Past Decade

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- America is making slow but steady progress against cancer, with a continuing decline in cancer deaths, according to a new report published online March 30 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The report was coauthored by experts from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

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2015 Match Sees High Proportion of Unmatched Seniors

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- About 6.1 percent of U.S. allopathic medical school seniors in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) were not placed into first-year residency positions, with a higher percentage of unmatched seniors than in 2014, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

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Individual Short-Term Responses to Antiplatelet Therapy Vary

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with ischemic heart disease, responses to antiplatelet therapy (APT) vary between pre-discharge and one week after discharge from hospital, according to a study published online March 21 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Multiple, Inappropriate Meds Taken by Older Cancer Patients

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A pharmacist-led comprehensive medication assessment shows that a high number of older oncology patients use multiple and/or inappropriate medications. The findings were published online March 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Diabetes May Predispose to More Advanced Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Women with diabetes may have an increased risk of being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, according to a new study published online March 17 in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

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Fish, ω-3 PUFAs Linked to Survival After Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- High intake of fish and long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is associated with reduced all-cause mortality after breast cancer, according to a study published online March 24 in Cancer.

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Less Aggressive Guidelines Issued for Pancreatic Cysts

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- New, less aggressive guidelines have been developed for management of pancreatic cysts. The guidelines were published in the April issue of Gastroenterology.

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Early Palliative Care Improves Survival in Advanced Cancer

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Early initiation of palliative care (PC) interventions improves survival and caregiver burden in advanced cancer, according to two studies published online March 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Three Alcoholic Drinks Daily Can Up Risk of Liver Cancer

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- People who have three or more alcoholic drinks per day could be raising their odds for liver cancer, according to a report from a panel of experts. On the other hand, the report, from the World Cancer Research Fund International, found "strong evidence" that drinking coffee might actually lower a person's odds for liver cancer.

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Cancer Risk Down for Men With High Midlife Fitness

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fit middle-aged men appear less likely to develop lung and colorectal cancer in later life than their out-of-shape peers. And if they do develop cancer, they are more likely to beat it, a new study suggests. The report was published online March 26 in JAMA Oncology.

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Intraperitoneal Chemo Offers Lasting Benefit in Ovarian Cancer

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy offers lasting benefit for patients with advanced ovarian cancer, according to a study published online March 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Physicians Should Be Aware of Signs of Burnout

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Burnout can be prevented if physicians are aware of the warning signs, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

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Patients Expect More Info About Tests Involving Radiation

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There is a considerable gap between patient expectations and current practices for provision of information relating to radiation use in medical imaging tests, according to a special report published online March 24 in Radiology.

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Lasting Benefit for Stress Mgmt Post Breast Cancer Surgery

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For women with early-stage breast cancer, cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM) delivered after surgery is associated with long-term psychological benefits, according to a study published online March 23 in Cancer.

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Pulmonologist Management Beneficial in NSCLC

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with early-stage and advanced-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with pre-existing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonologist management is positively associated with rates of stage-specific treatment, according to a study published online March 11 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

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New Urine Biomarkers Identified for Renal Cell Carcinoma

MONDAY, March 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Urine aquaporin-1 (AQP1) and perilipin-2 (PLIN2) seem to have utility as biomarkers for diagnosing malignant clear cell or papillary renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in a screening paradigm, according to a study published online March 19 in JAMA Oncology.

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Electronic Solutions Underway for Rx Prior Authorizations

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Efforts are underway to offer technological solutions to the burdens associated with prior authorizations, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Fracture Rate Higher Following Stem Cell Transplant

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence rate of fractures is significantly higher in patients following hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) compared to the general U.S. population, according to a study published online March 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Smoking, Drinking Prolong Gastrostomy Tube Requirement

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with head and neck cancer undergoing prophylactic gastrostomy tube (GT) insertion before definitive radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy, current smoking and current heavy alcohol consumption are predictive of prolonged GT requirements, according to a study published online March 19 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Minority Women Less Involved in Choices for Breast CA Surgery

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Minority patients are less actively involved in surgeon and hospital selection for breast cancer surgery, according to a study published online March 19 in JAMA Oncology.

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Brentuximab Vedotin Ups Survival After SCT in Hodgkin's

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma, brentuximab vedotin is associated with improved progression-free survival when given as early consolidation after autologous stem-cell transplant, according to a study published online March 18 in The Lancet.

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C-Reactive Protein Independent Prognostic Marker in Melanoma

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are an independent prognostic marker in melanoma, according to a study published online March 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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WBC, Neutrophil Counts Predict Stroke Risk in Older Asian Men

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Higher total white blood cell (WBC) and neutrophil counts are independent predictors of stroke in older Japanese-American men, according to a study published online March 4 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Accuracy High for Pathologists Interpreting Breast Biopsy

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Individual pathologists' interpretations of a single breast biopsy slide generally concur with expert consensus-derived reference diagnoses, according to a study published in the March 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Genetic Variation Impacts Aspirin/NSAID Link to CRC Risk

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified which confer differential benefit for aspirin and/or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use in relation to colorectal cancer risk, according to a study published in the March 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Cancer Odds Up 40 Percent in Obese Women

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity takes a huge toll on health, and a new British study finds that obese women have a 40 percent higher risk for cancer than thinner women.

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More Than 16 Million Americans Have Gained Coverage Under ACA

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama Administration reported Monday the largest drop in the number of Americans without health insurance since the Johnson administration expanded health coverage through Medicare and Medicaid 50 years ago.

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Gender-Specific Variation in Medical Specialties

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medical specialties vary by gender, with obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics dominated by female residents and specialties such as surgery, emergency medicine, and anesthesiology dominated by males, according to a report published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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CDC Releases Estimates of Cancer Incidence, Survival for 2011

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Estimates of cancer incidence for 2011 in the United States show that about two-thirds of those with cancer survive five or more years after diagnosis, according to a report published in the March 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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HHS Wants to Help Restore Joy of Medicine

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is listening to physicians and wants to address the regulatory burdens they face, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Frequency of Germline TP53 Mutations ID'd in Early-Onset CRC

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with early-onset colorectal cancer, germline TP53 mutations occur at a frequency of 1.3 percent, according to a study published online March 12 in JAMA Oncology.

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Where You Live May Impact Use of Unnecessary Imaging

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with low-risk prostate or breast cancer may have higher or lower odds of getting an unnecessary imaging based on geography, according to a new study published online March 12 in JAMA Oncology.

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Tetanus Shot Ups Survival With Brain Tumor Immunotherapy

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Adding a simple tetanus shot to dendritic cell immunotherapy for glioblastoma dramatically extended some patients' survival in a small new study. The study was published online March 11 in Nature.

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Coalition Calls for Increased Colorectal Cancer Screening

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Boosting older adults' colorectal cancer screening rates to 80 percent by 2018 would lead to 21,000 fewer deaths from the cancer each year in the United States by 2030, according to research published March 12 in Cancer.

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Getting Heard May Be Key to Getting New Job

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Your voice may be the key to landing a new job, researchers report in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.

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No Higher Odds of Breast Cancer in Transgender Patients

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- While concerns remain regarding the long-term health effects of hormonal therapy on transgender patients, new research indicates that there is no higher risk of breast cancer in this group than in the general population.

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Clinical Trial Data Often Not Reported in Timely Manner

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers are not promptly reporting the results of clinical trials to ClinicalTrials.gov, according to an article published in the March 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Restrictive Transfusion Threshold No Better Post Cardiac Surgery

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing nonemergency cardiac surgery, a postoperative restrictive transfusion threshold is not superior to a liberal threshold, according to a study published in the March 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physicians Should Plan Exit Strategy in Advance

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should begin planning their exit strategy three to five years in advance, according to the American Medical Association.

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Psychosocial Phone Counseling Aids Cervical Cancer Survivors

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A psychosocial telephone counseling (PTC) intervention can be beneficial for cervical cancer survivors, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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CVD Risk Up With Androgen Deprivation Tx in Prostate Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For men with prostate cancer (PCa), the risk for incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) is increased with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), according to a study published online March 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Persistent EHR Nonadoption Could Mean Lower Payment

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Persistent nonadopters of electronic health records (EHRs) tend to be older, and are employed in smaller practices, according to a letter published in the March 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Frustrated by Regulations, Doctors Increasingly Miserable

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The nationwide Physician Misery Index is 3.7 out of 5, with the vast majority of physicians reporting that the business and regulation of health care has worsened the practice of medicine, according to a report published by Geneia.

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Age, Race May Affect Tx Decision Regret in Prostate Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Age, race, and other factors may influence treatment decisional regret among men with prostate cancer, according to research published online March 3 in Cancer.

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FDA Approves Unituxin for High-Risk Neuroblastoma

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Unituxin (dinutuximab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat children with high-risk neuroblastoma.

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AAMC: Significant Shortfall of Physicians Projected for 2025

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The expected shortfall of physicians is projected to reach about 46,000 to 90,000 by 2025, according to a study conducted by IHS Inc. for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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No Link Found Between Vitamin D Level and Fatal Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Neither circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels nor common variations in vitamin D pathway genes appear to be associated with risk of fatal prostate cancer, according to research published online March 2 in Cancer.

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Digital Breast Tomosynthesis Beats Prone Stereotactic VAB

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical performance of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT)-guided vacuum-assisted biopsy (VAB) is superior to that of prone stereotactic (PS) VAB, according to a study published in the March issue of Radiology.

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Family Hx of Prostate CA May Increase Risk of Breast CA Too

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A family history of prostate cancer may be tied to a woman's risk of breast cancer, according to a new study published online March 9 in Cancer.

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Vegetarian Diet Tied to Reduced Risk of Colorectal Cancer

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A vegetarian diet might cut the risk of colorectal cancer by 20 percent, according to new research. For fish-eating vegetarians, the protective link is even stronger, according to a study published online March 9 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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FDA Approves First Biosimilar Drug in U.S.

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Zarxio (filgrastim-sndz), the first biosimilar product approved in the United States.

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Changes Being Made to Med School Applicant Assessment

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In accordance with the changes in graduate medical education to better prepare doctors for a changing health care system, changes are being made to medical school applicant evaluation, according to an article published Feb. 19 by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Most Cancer Patients Involve Family in Treatment Decisions

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most lung and colorectal cancer patients involve family members in treatment decisions, with substantial variation by race/ethnicity and language, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in Cancer.

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Confidence Gap Between Male and Female Med Students

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Female medical students perform at the same or higher level as men, but they lack confidence compared with men, according to a letter published in the March 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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National Hospital Rating Systems Rarely in Agreement

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- National hospital rating systems are rarely in agreement, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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FDA Launches First App to Identify Drug Shortages

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A mobile phone application (app) has been released to identify current drug shortages, resolved shortages, or discontinuations of drug products, according to a press release published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Goserelin Protects Against Ovarian Failure in Breast Cancer

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with breast cancer, use of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, goserelin, protects against ovarian failure, according to a study published in the March 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Rush University Adds Patient Scores to Doctor Profiles

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Rush University Medical Center's website has started adding the results of patient surveys to individual physician profiles, according to a report published by the medical center.

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Correlated Spectroscopy IDs Changes in BRCA1/2 Carriers

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Use of localized correlated spectroscopy (COSY) shows significant changes in women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, according to a study published online March 3 in Radiology.

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FDA: Opdivo Approval Expanded to Include Lung Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of Opdivo (nivolumab) has been expanded to include advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the agency said Wednesday in a news release. The drug was approved previously to treat advanced melanoma among people who don't respond to other medicines.

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HPV-16 Tied to Improved Survival in Advanced Esophageal Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced-stage esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), human papillomavirus (HPV)-16 infection is associated with improved survival and treatment response, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in the Journal of Digestive Diseases.

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Anemia Linked to Adverse Outcomes in Atrial Fibrillation

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with atrial fibrillation receiving anticoagulant treatment, the presence of anemia is associated with increased risk of thromboembolic events, bleeding complications, and mortality, according to research published online Feb. 13 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Research Measures Perceptions of Physician Compassion

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients prefer physicians who convey a more optimistic message, and perceive in them a higher level of compassion, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in JAMA Oncology.

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Hospital Design Has Little Effect on Patient Satisfaction

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital design has little effect on patient satisfaction, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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L858R Mutation in Circulating Free DNA Is Prognostic in NSCLC

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations, the L858R mutation in circulating free DNA (cfDNA) seems to be a prognostic marker, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in JAMA Oncology.

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