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High-Quality Cancer Care Faces Challenges says New IOM Report
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a new report, Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis. The IOM convened a committee of experts to examine the quality of cancer care in the United States and formulate recommendations for improvement. This report presents the committee’s findings and recommendations. You can download the full report or read the report online for free.
View Patient Stories and the Opportunity to Change Cancer Care.

ONS was proud to serve as one of the sponsors for this report. Nurses on the panel include ONS members Betty Ferrell, RN, PhD, MA, FAAN, and Mary McCabe, RN, MA.

ONS Urges Congress to Resolve Issues
As the U.S. Congress continues to debate the details of the federal budget, ONS urges Congress to find a solution to the economic issues and put America back on track to leading the way in providing health care, research, education, and workforce safety.

Latest News

Nurse Staffing, Education Affect Patient Safety
A new NIH National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR) study found that an abridged workload and emphasizing education in the hiring process would shift the hospital death rate. “This study emphasizes the role that nurses play in ensuring successful patient outcomes and underscores the need for a well-educated nursing workforce,” says NINR Director Dr. Patricia A. Grady. Read more on the research.

NIH study finds regular aspirin use may reduce ovarian cancer risk
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study saying that women who take daily doses of aspirin may reduce their risk of ovarian cancer by 20 percent. While more research needs to be completed before the NIH will make recommendations, Britton Trabert, Ph.D., and Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D., of NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, led the study, and added, “Our study suggests that aspirin regimens, proven to protect against heart attack, may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer as well. However intriguing our results are, they should not influence current clinical practice. Additional studies are needed to explore the delicate balance of risk-benefit for this potential chemopreventive agent, as well as studies to identify the mechanism by which aspirin may reduce ovarian cancer risk,” said Trabert. Read full NIH release on the study.

Adding chemotherapy following radiation treatment improves survival for adults with low-grade gliomas, a slow-growing type of brain tumor
An NIH clinical trial for adults with low-grade gliomas, a form of brain tumor, found that patients lived longer after receiving a chemotherapy regimen followed by radiation treatment. The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG), a section at NCI, showed the results which will be presented later at a science conference. “The results of this study are practice-changing,” said co-lead investigator Jan Buckner, M.D., professor of oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. “Additionally, ongoing analysis of patient tumor samples should allow us to further identify the patients who will, and who will not, benefit from chemotherapy, taking yet another step toward individualized therapy.” Furthermore, Jeff Abrams, M.D., clinical director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis said “these findings also are an example of how combining available treatments can produce a significant improvement in clinical outcome.” It is estimated that over 23,000 people will be diagnosed with primary brain tumors in the United States in 2014 and that 10 percent to 15 percent will have low-grade gliomas. Read more.

TCGA bladder cancer study reveals potential drug targets, similarities to several cancers
The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network, in conjunction with the NIH’s NCI and National Human Genome Research Institute, released a study showing some bladder cancers are molecularly similar to some types of breast, head, and neck and lung cancers. “TCGA Research Network scientists continue to unravel the genomic intricacies of many common and often intractable cancers, and these findings are defining new research directions and accelerating the development of new cancer therapies,” said NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D. This study was published in January’s edition of Nature, highlighting the deadliest forms of bladder cancer, which effects about 72,000 news cases annually. “This project has dramatically improved our understanding of the molecular basis of bladder cancers and their relationship to other cancer types,” said lead author John Weinstein, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. “In the long run, the potential molecular targets identified may help us to personalize therapy based on the characteristics of each patient’s tumor.” “The real excitement about this project is that we now have a menu of treatment and research directions to pursue,” said Seth Lerner, M.D., professor and chair in urologic oncology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and one of the senior authors of the paper. Read more.

The White House released an updated website
The new website provides greater details on access, affordability, and dates for the enrollment process. Additional information on the site includes benefits of coverage, protections, young adults, women, families, and insurance questions. Visit the site to better understand the options available to cancer patients.

NIH scientists map genetic changes that drive tumors in a common pediatric soft-tissue cancer
Through research funded by the NCI, scientists have mapped some genetic characteristics in a pediatric soft-tissue cancer, rhabdomyosrcoma. The finding were published in the January 23 issues of the journal Cancer Discovery. “These studies are very difficult to do because tissue acquisition and validation is so complex,” said Javed Khan, M.D., head of the Oncogenomics Section, Pediatric Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research. “It must be noted therefore that this work would not have been possible without our brave pediatric patients and their families. In the face of their life-threatening disease, they offered their tumors for study knowing that they would not personally benefit from this work but in the hope that investigators might learn lessons that would help children diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in the future.” For more on the research, visit http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jan2014/nci-23.htm Through research funded by the NCI, scientists have mapped some genetic characteristics in a pediatric soft-tissue cancer, rhabdomyosrcoma. The finding were published in the January 23 issues of the journal Cancer Discovery. “These studies are very difficult to do because tissue acquisition and validation is so complex,” said Javed Khan, M.D., head of the Oncogenomics Section, Pediatric Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research. “It must be noted therefore that this work would not have been possible without our brave pediatric patients and their families. In the face of their life-threatening disease, they offered their tumors for study knowing that they would not personally benefit from this work but in the hope that investigators might learn lessons that would help children diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in the future.” More on the research.