November 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 November 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.

FDA Approves Empliciti for Multiple Myeloma

MONDAY, Nov. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Empliciti (elotuzumab), in combination with two other drugs, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat multiple myeloma. The drug is only approved for patients who have already been given one to three prior therapies for the disease.

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Telephone Counseling Benefits Overweight Breast CA Survivors

MONDAY, Nov. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Telephone weight-loss counseling is similarly effective to in-person counseling for breast cancer survivors with a body mass index ≥25 kg/m², according to a study published online Nov. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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AAFP Recommends Doctors Explore Use of Social Media

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The use of social media channels and associated benefits for physicians are highlighted in a recent article published by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). And guidelines are provided for physicians wishing to become active in social media.

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Early-Stage Cervical CA Diagnoses in Young Women Up Since ACA

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More early-stage cervical cancers have been diagnosed among young U.S. women since a key provision of the Affordable Care Act went into effect, according to a research letter published in the Nov. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Impact of Recurrence Score Assay Varies With Patient Age

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For women with early-stage breast cancer, the impact of receipt of the 21-gene recurrence score (RS) assay varies with patient age, according to a study published online Nov. 23 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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FDA Approves Portrazza for Advanced Squamous NSCLC

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Portrazza (necitumumab), in combination with two other chemotherapy drugs, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced squamous non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), the agency said Tuesday in a news release.

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FDA Approves Opdivo for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Opdivo (nivolumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma.

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Music Can Help Doctors Develop Relationships With Patients

TUESDAY, Nov. 24 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For one physician, writing songs has improved her self-awareness and strengthened her relationships with patients, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

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ACP: Physicians Should Prescribe Generic Meds If Possible

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should prescribe generic medications whenever possible, keeping in mind that generics have comparable effectiveness to brand name medications and are associated with reduced costs and increased adherence, according to new guidelines published online Nov. 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Bowel Function Index Valid for Opioid-Induced Constipation

MONDAY, Nov. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Bowel Function Index (BFI) is a simple assessment tool for opioid-induced constipation, which is responsive to changes in symptom severity and has a threshold indicating constipation, according to consensus recommendations published online Nov. 19 in Pain Medicine.

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Citywide Colon Cancer Control Coalition Ups Screening in NYC

MONDAY, Nov. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A citywide colon cancer control coalition can increase colorectal cancer screening and address health disparities, according to a report published online Nov. 23 in Cancer.

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Yoga May Help Maintain Quality of Life for Prostate Cancer Patients

FRIDAY, Nov. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Yoga may benefit men who are undergoing radiation therapy for prostate cancer, according to a small study. The research was presented at the Society of Integrative Oncology's international conference, held from Nov. 14 to 16 in Boston.

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Terlipressin Therapy Can Induce Hyponatremia

FRIDAY, Nov. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Terlipressin therapy can induce hyponatremia, according to a case report published online Nov. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

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FDA Approves Ninlaro for Multiple Myeloma

FRIDAY, Nov. 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Ninlaro (ixazomib), in combination with two other drugs, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with multiple myeloma who have had at least one prior treatment with a different therapy.

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E-Portfolio Developed to Assess Millennial Med Students

THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic portfolios are being used to transform medical students' assessments and track progress as students advance through medical training, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Relative Survival Up Over Time for Stage I to III Cervical Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For women with stage I to III cervical cancer, relative survival has improved over time, although no significant improvements have been seen for women with stage IV tumors, according to a study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Strategy Can Up Odds for Intact Sexual Function Post Radiation

THURSDAY, Nov. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For long-term prostate cancer survivors, sexual dysfunction following radiation therapy (RT) can be classified into three symptom domains: erectile dysfunction, orgasmic dysfunction, and pain, and chances for intact sexual functionality may be increased if dose to the total penile structure can be restricted for these domains in the planning of RT. These findings were published online Nov. 13 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

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Nicotine, Toxicants Up With Smokeless Tobacco Exposure

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Smokeless tobacco users have higher levels of nicotine and carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines compared with exclusive cigarette smokers, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Germline Mutations ID'd in 8.5 Percent of Children With Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Germline mutations are found in cancer-predisposing genes in 8.5 percent of children and adolescents with cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Burnout Reduces Readiness to Change Teaching Approaches

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Occupational burnout appears to reduce clinical faculty members' readiness to change teaching approaches, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

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Robotic Surgery May Be Superior to Laparoscopic for Uterine CA

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For women with uterine cancer, robotic surgery is more costly but is associated with decreased length of hospital stay and higher rate of lymph node dissection, according to a study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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AAFP: Expected 0.5 Percent Pay Increase Reduced to Zero

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A small but promised Medicare pay increase has effectively been reduced to zero for all physician specialties, according to the final 2016 Medicare physician fee schedule and a report published by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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Prostate Cancer Screening, Detection Both Down in U.S.

TUESDAY, Nov. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer U.S. men are being screened for prostate cancer, and fewer cases of the disease are being diagnosed nationwide. These findings, published in the Nov. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations have had an impact.

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MRI-Ultrasound Fusion Improves Prostate Biopsy Cancer Detection

TUESDAY, Nov. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Magnetic resonance imaging-ultrasound fusion targeted prostate biopsy (MRF-TB) improves detection and risk stratification of high-grade disease and limits detection of clinically insignificant prostate cancer, according to a study published in the December issue of the The Journal of Urology.

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Head Lice infestation Could Cause Iron Deficiency Anemia

TUESDAY, Nov. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Head lice infestation could cause iron deficiency anemia in the absence of any other cause, according to a case report published online Nov. 5 in BMJ Case Reports.

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Pre-Op Blood Tests May Predict Post-Op Morbidity in Ovarian CA

MONDAY, Nov. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with ovarian cancer, preoperative thrombocytosis and leukocytosis are associated with increased postoperative morbidity, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Impaired Kidney Function May Raise Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Nov. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Kidney failure and having a kidney transplant may increase the risk for certain types of cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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CDC: Adult Smoking Rate Falls to New Low in the United States

FRIDAY, Nov. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Under 17 percent of adults said they smoked in 2014, down from nearly 21 percent in 2005. And the average number of cigarettes smoked daily fell from nearly 17 to fewer than 14 by 2014. The latest numbers are published in the Nov. 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Suicide Risk Up for Head, Neck Cancer Patients

FRIDAY, Nov. 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Head and neck cancer patients may be at increased risk for suicide, according to research published online Nov. 12 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Noon Best Time to Get Vitamin D From Sun for Minimal Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Variations in ultraviolet (UV) A and B radiation with increasing latitude and during the day impact skin cancer risk, according to a study published online Nov. 6 in the International Journal of Dermatology.

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Incretin Use May Up Pancreatic CA Risk, but Only in Short Term

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of pancreatic cancer is increased in recent starters of incretins, but the elevated risk drops to baseline levels with prolonged use, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

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About Half of Pulmonologists Tend to Offer LDCT Screening

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- About half of pulmonologists have a propensity for guideline-concordant low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for lung cancer, according to a study published in the November issue of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

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Lower Costs for Hypofractionated Post-Mastectomy Radiotherapy

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing post-mastectomy radiotherapy (PMRT), hypofractionated (Hf)-PMRT is associated with reduced health care costs compared with conventionally fractionated (Cf)-PMRT, according to a study published online Oct. 29 in the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology.

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ACP Issues Guidance on 'Concierge' Practices

TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Direct patient contracting practices (DPCPs), in which patients pay out of pocket for some or all services provided by the practice, are growing in popularity, according to a position paper published online Nov. 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Surgery Can Benefit 'Ineligible' High-Risk Lung Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- One in five patients with early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer are deemed high-risk or ineligible for lung surgery, but these patients may benefit from the procedure, according to research published online Nov. 9 in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

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FDA Approves Cotellic for Advanced Melanoma

TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cotellic (cobimetinib) in combination with another chemotherapy, vemurafenib (Zelboraf), has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat melanoma skin cancer that has spread or cannot be surgically removed, and that has a BRAF V600E or V600K mutation, the agency said Tuesday in a news release.

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Insufficient Evidence on Silicone Breast Implant Safety

TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- After years of study, a new analysis finds there is still insufficient evidence on whether silicone breast implants are linked to any long-term health effects. The report, published online Nov. 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, is the latest round in the long debate over silicone breast implant safety.

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Self-Managing Anticoagulation May Benefit Heart Valve Patients

TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with mechanical heart valves may benefit from managing their own oral anticoagulant therapy, according to a study published online Nov. 9 in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

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D-Dimer Levels Predict DVT in Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

TUESDAY, Nov. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute traumatic cervical spinal cord injury (SCI), D-dimer levels can predict the likelihood of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), according to a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of The Spine Journal.

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Barbecued, Pan-Fried Meat May Raise Renal Cell Carcinoma Risk

MONDAY, Nov. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cooking meats at high temperatures, as in barbecuing or pan-frying, may increase the risk for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), according to a study published online Nov. 9 in Cancer.

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Study Explores Comfort With Non In-Person Test Results

MONDAY, Nov. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients have different preferences for non in-person receipt of test results, with preferences varying by test, according to a study published in the November-December issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

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Expanding Rooming, Discharge Office Protocols Can Save Time

MONDAY, Nov. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Expanding protocols for rooming and discharge can allow physicians to free up an hour or more of time per day, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Web-Based CBT Program Cuts Suicidal Ideation in Interns

MONDAY, Nov. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A web-based cognitive behavioral therapy (wCBT) program is effective for preventing suicidal ideation among medical interns, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in JAMA Psychiatry.

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Add-On Ultrasonography Ups Mammogram Sensitivity

FRIDAY, Nov. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For young women aged 40 to 49 years, the addition of ultrasonography to mammography increases sensitivity and the detection rate of early breast cancers, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in The Lancet.

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Loss of Heterozygosity Validated As Marker for Oral Cancer

FRIDAY, Nov. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Specific loss of heterozygosity (LOH) is a marker for oral cancer risk, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in JAMA Oncology.

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Specific Genetic Alterations in Papillary Renal-Cell Carcinomas

FRIDAY, Nov. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Type 1 and type 2 papillary renal-cell carcinomas are characterized by specific genetic alterations, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Updated Checklist for Reporting Diagnostic Accuracy Studies

FRIDAY, Nov. 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An updated list of 30 essential items should be included in every report of a diagnostic accuracy study, according to the Standards for Reporting Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (STARD) 2015. These new guidelines have been published in several journals, including Radiology, Clinical Chemistry, and The BMJ.

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Doctors Who Order More Tests Have Fewer Malpractice Claims

THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) --The more tests and treatments U.S. doctors order for patients, the less likely they are to be sued for malpractice, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in The BMJ.

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Poll: Americans Want Health Care Costs Kept in Check

THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Most Americans now support aggressive regulation to keep health care costs in check -- including price caps on drugs, medical devices, and payments to doctors and hospitals, a new HealthDay/Harris Poll has found.

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CDC: Tapeworm Implicated in Case of Malignant Transformation

THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer cells transmitted from a common tapeworm appear to have caused cancer-like tumors in a Colombian man with HIV -- the first known case of malignant transformation, U.S. health officials report in the Nov. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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ACP Joins Amicus Curiae Brief to Supreme Court

THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Physicians (ACP) has joined other organizations in an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court, urging the court to uphold considerations of race and ethnicity in the medical school admissions process.

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Significant Variation in Tx Costs for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There is significant cost variation between competing treatments for low-risk prostate cancer, according to a study published online Nov. 2 in Cancer.

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Doctors Should Consider Financial Factors Before Career Change

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Financial and other factors should be considered before physicians change career direction, according to a report published in Medical Economics.

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AMA: 6 Steps to Help Ensure Patients Get Preventive Care

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Panel management, or population health management, can help physicians provide necessary preventive and chronic care to all patients regardless of their visit frequency, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Prescription Medication Use on the Rise in the United States

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More Americans than ever are taking prescription drugs, as well as using more of them, according to research published in the Nov. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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HIV Does Not Worsen Outcomes of Liver Transplant in HCC

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- HIV infection has no impact on prognosis of liver transplantation (LT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to a study published online Oct. 30 in Hepatology.

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New Electronic Health Record Regulations Released

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- New electronic health record (EHR) regulations modify Stage 2 of the meaningful use program and finalize requirements for Stage 3, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Age at Menopause, Hormone Therapy Linked to BCC Risk

TUESDAY, Nov. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Late age at natural menopause and menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) use are associated with increased risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC), according to a study published online Nov. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Prescribing Drugs 'Off-Label' Can Pose Serious Safety Risks

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Off-label drug use puts patients at risk for serious side effects, especially when scientific evidence is lacking, according to a study published online Nov. 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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ASCO Updates Guidelines for Antiemetics During Chemo

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients receiving chemotherapy, the use of the oral combination of netupitant (a neurokinin 1 receptor antagonist) and palonosetron (a 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 receptor antagonist) is beneficial for prevention of acute and delayed nausea and vomiting, according to a focused guideline update published online Nov. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Competition for Fellowships Broke Records in 2015

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- According to the American Medical Association (AMA), 2015 was a record-breaking year for fellowship applications.

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Vitiligo Can Mask Symptoms of Acanthosis Nigricans

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Vitiligo can mask symptoms of acanthosis nigricans (AN), according to a case report published in the November issue of the International Journal of Dermatology.

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Displaying Prices to Providers Seems to Reduce Order Costs

MONDAY, Nov. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Displaying order prices to physicians seems to reduce order costs, according to a review published online Oct. 23 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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