ASH 2010 Conference Coverage

Landmark Medicare law had little impact on reducing chemotherapy cost

Legislation passed in 2003 intended to slow the spiraling costs of drugs paid for by the federal government to treat Medicare patients has not proved to be a success.

Early palliative care reduces hospital readmissions by 23% for patients with cancer

Researchers designed a collaborative approach in cancer care that decreased the number of patients readmitted.

For nonadherent patients, individualized testing does not increase colorectal cancer screening rates

Patients who know individual risk for colorectal cancer are not sufficient to convince previously nonadherent patients.

70-Gene signature not likely to be cost-effective for breast cancer

Findings in comparative economic analysis of patients with node-negative breast cancer showed the 70-gene signature is unlikely to be cost-effective for guiding adjuvant chemotherapy decision making.

Follow-up colonoscopies too frequent and overused by endoscopists

A retrospective study has uncovered an overuse of colonoscopies for colorectal cancer screening and surveillance.

Current therapy for hypothyroidism endorsed by new guidelines

A recent review has found insufficient consistent data exist to recommend a change in use of levothyroxine as the only drug needed to treat hypothyroidism.

Breast cancer is more accurately diagnosed after PET/CT imaging in younger patients

A change in diagnosis resulted from PET/CT imaging of patients who were younger than 40 years with an initial diagnosis of stage I-III breast cancer, according to a retrospective analysis.

For patients with low-risk prostate cancer managed with active surveillance, obesity may increase risk of progression

Obesity is linked with increased risk of progression of low-risk prostate cancers in active surveillance.

Smoking increases risk of second primary lung cancer (SPLC)

Increased tobacco exposure is linked with a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancers (SPLCs).

Many clinicians feel mobile apps can improve patient outcomes

Many physicians believe digital communication technologies, including mobile apps, can be of benefit to their patients.

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