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February 2013 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

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

CMS Issues Final Rule on Physician Sunshine Act

THURSDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued a final rule requiring drug and device manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) to report payment or gifts of more than $10 to physicians, hospitals, and other providers, and necessitating manufacturers and GPOs to report ownership or investment interests held by physicians or their family members.

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Obesity, Physical Activity Linked to Risk in Subset of Colorectal CA

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity and physical inactivity are associated with a higher risk of WNT/β-catenin (CTNNB1)-negative colorectal cancer, but are not associated with CTNNB1-positive cancer risk, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in Cancer Research.

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Advanced Breast CA Incidence Up for U.S. 25- to 39-Year-Olds

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- For U.S. women aged 25 to 39 years, the incidence of breast cancer with distant involvement has increased since 1976, according to research published in the Feb. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Approves Expanded Use of Stivarga for GI Stromal Tumors

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the expanded use of the multi-kinase inhibitor Stivarga (regorafenib) to treat patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) that cannot be surgically removed and do not respond to other treatments. The drug was granted orphan product designation because it is intended to treat a rare disease.

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FDA: Omontys Injection Pulled From Market

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Affymax Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif., and Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Limited of Deerfield, Ill., have voluntarily recalled all lots of Omontys Injection, used to treat anemia in adult dialysis patients, following reports of serious and fatal hypersensitivity reactions, according to a safety recall issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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List of Five Unnecessary Vascular Tests Released

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The Society for Vascular Medicine (SVM) has published "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" in vascular medicine, a list of five tests and procedures that are commonly used but can be unnecessary or even harmful.

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Preparation Underway for Implementation of ACA in 2014

TUESDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- As the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) nears, states are preparing for some of its provisions, including expanded access to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the use of information technology, according to a report issued by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Novel Chemotherapies More Often Used On- Than Off-Label

MONDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In contemporary practice, medical oncologists use novel anticancer agents on-label more often than off-label, according to a study published online Feb. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Low-Dose CT Screening Could Avert ~12,000 Lung CA Deaths

MONDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Adoption of low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening regimens, as outlined in the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), could potentially prevent more than 12,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year, according to research published online Feb. 25 in Cancer.

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CDC: 1.5 Million New Cancers Diagnosed Annually

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In 2009, approximately 1.5 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States, with an annual incidence rate of 459 cases per 100,000 population, according to research published in the Feb. 22 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA Approves Kadcyla for Late-Stage Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine), a new treatment for patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive, metastatic (late-stage) breast cancer.

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Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits Expanded

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In a final rule, which will make purchasing health coverage easier for consumers, mental health and substance use benefits will be expanded to 62 million Americans, according to a report published Feb. 20 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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No Lasting Survival Benefit With BRCA in Ovarian Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Although patients with invasive ovarian cancer carrying BRCA1/2 mutations have a short-term survival advantage compared with noncarriers, the advantage is short-lived and is no longer observed at 10 years post-diagnosis, according to a study published in the Jan. 16 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Adding Elesclomol to Paclitaxel for Advanced Melanoma Studied

FRIDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels may be predictive of success in treating chemotherapy-naive patients with advanced melanoma with a combination of elesclomol plus paclitaxel, according to research published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Model More Accurately Predicts Lung Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A new model to predict lung cancer risk is more accurate than previous criteria, according to a study published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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CMS Proposes Payment and Policy Updates for 2014

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Payment and policy updates have been proposed for 2014, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Advanced Notice and draft Call Letter published Feb. 15.

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Report Discusses Impact of ACGME 2011 Requirements

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although many residency program directors approve of individual components within the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Common Program Requirements introduced in 2011, less than half express overall approval, according to a perspective piece published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Extended Dabigatran Effective for Venous Thromboembolism

THURSDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with venous thromboembolism, extended treatment with dabigatran is noninferior to warfarin, according to a study published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Pros, Cons of Medical Marijuana for Metastatic Cancer Explored

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Some physicians favor while others advocate against the use of medical marijuana, according to a case vignette published online Feb. 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Faster Adoption of Electronic Health Records Needed

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by health providers for Medicare is increasing, but not quickly enough to avoid penalties in 2015, according to a letter published in the Feb. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Erlotinib + Celecoxib Effective in Head and Neck Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The combination of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) erlotinib with the cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor celecoxib shows promise as a chemoprevention regimen for patients at high risk of developing head and neck cancer, according to research published online Feb. 19 in Clinical Cancer Research.

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Opioids Involved in Most Medical Overdose Deaths

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Opioid analgesics are involved in the majority of pharmaceutical-related overdose deaths, frequently involving drugs prescribed for mental health conditions, according to a research letter published in the Feb. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Redefinition of Positive CT Result for Lung Cancer Explored

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing the threshold for defining a positive result in computed tomography (CT) screening for lung cancer could reduce the need for further work-up but must be weighed against the potential for delayed diagnosis, according to a study published in the Feb. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Compound Localizes Recurrent Brain Tumor During Surgery

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- A fluorescent compound can help localize the spread of recurrent glioblastoma multiforme during surgery, according to a case report published online Feb. 19 in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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CMS: Unnecessary Medicare Regulations to Be Reformed

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare regulations which are unnecessary, obsolete, or excessively burdensome on hospital or health care providers will be reformed, according to a rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the President's instructions in Executive Order 13563.

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Multimodality Approach Needed to Reengineer Health Care

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A multimodality approach focusing on reengineering the U.S. health care system may provide a way to improve quality and reduce costs, according to a viewpoint published in the Feb. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Lynch Syndrome Better ID'd With Universal Screening

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A universal screening approach for all newly diagnosed colorectal cancer (CRC) patients improves identification of Lynch syndrome, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Patient Care

TUESDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Use of an artificial intelligence (AI) framework can improve patient outcomes at one-third of the costs of the current standard of care, according to a study published online Jan. 2 in Artificial Intelligence in Medicine.

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Therapy-Related Leukemia Risk Varied From 1975 to 2008

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Since the 1970s, the risk of developing therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (tAML) after chemotherapy has varied over time, depending on the initial cancer type and treatment practices, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in Blood.

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Two-Step Irradiance OK for Superficial Skin Cancer Lesions

MONDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A two-step irradiance protocol with topical δ-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) and photodynamic therapy (PDT) minimizes pain while maintaining comparable clinical outcomes for the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer lesions, according to a study published online Feb. 6 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Health Care-Associated Infections Decreased in 2011

FRIDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In 2011, decreases were noted for some health care-associated infections (HAIs), according to a report prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Alcohol Contributes to About 3.5 Percent of Cancer Deaths

FRIDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol consumption remains a major contributor to cancer mortality and years of potential life lost (YPLL), according to research published online Feb. 14 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Psychological, Sexual Impact of Female Breadwinners Explored

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For couples in which the wife earns more than the husband, there may be psychological and sexual implications, according to a study published in the March issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

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IOM Urges International Action to Eradicate Fake Drugs

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Falsified and substandard medications pose public health problems around the world, and international action should be taken to combat the phenomenon, according to a report published Feb. 13 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

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Cancer Type Affects Quality of Care Survivors Receive

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with control patients without cancer, survivors of some cancers receive different quality of care on certain chronic and acute indicators, according to research published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Selumetinib Ups Radioiodine Uptake in Thyroid Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase (MEK) 1 and MEK2 inhibitor selumetinib generates clinically meaningful increases in iodine uptake and retention in patients with radioiodine-refractory thyroid cancer, according to a study published in the Feb. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Oregon Experiment Will Provide Insight Into ACO-Based Reform

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The outcome of the Oregon experiment, an ambitious program centered on a model of an accountable care organization (ACO), will offer important lessons for the wider implementation of ACOs as cost-saving mechanisms, according to a perspective piece published online Feb. 13 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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IBCERCC: Prioritize Prevention to Reduce Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Seven recommendations have been proposed highlighting the need for coordinated efforts to identify and mitigate the environmental causes of breast cancer, according a report from the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee (IBCERCC).

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Health Insurance Exchanges Are Top Priority on U.S. Agenda

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The public's health care agenda places creation of a health insurance exchange or marketplace as a top priority, according to a report published by the Kaiser Family Foundation/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health.

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Targeted Beats Random Biopsy for Prostate Cancer Detection

TUESDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Targeted biopsy (TB) for prostate cancer performed on suspicious lesions identified using computerized transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) registration is associated with increased overall cancer detection rate, according to research published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

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International Disparity in Stage-Specific Lung Cancer Survival

TUESDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- For developed countries, there are wide disparities in stage-specific survival for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer, some of which can be explained by stage at diagnosis, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Thorax.

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FDA: Pomalyst Approved for Advanced Multiple Myeloma

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Pomalyst (pomalidomide) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat cases of multiple myeloma that have not responded to other therapies.

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Exercise Tied to Lower Prostate Cancer Risk in White Men

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Increased exercise is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer (CaP) in white men, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in Cancer.

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Statin Use Linked to Reduced Risk of Hepatocellular Cancer

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Statin use is associated with a reduced risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), most strongly in Asian populations, according to a meta-analysis published in the February issue of Gastroenterology.

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Increasing Patient Activation Tied to Lower Health Care Costs

MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patient activation is associated with improved outcomes and lower health care costs, according to a review published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

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Biopsy-Based Algorithm Found Accurate for Small Renal Masses

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with final pathology, biopsy of small renal masses (SRMs) can be accurately used in a treatment algorithm to direct management, according to research published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Final HIPAA Omnibus Rule Goes Into Effect March 26

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The final omnibus rule, which makes changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, goes into effect March 26, and physicians must be in compliance by Sept. 23.

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High Doses of Saw Palmetto Don't Impact Serum PSA

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with placebo, saw palmetto, even at a dose as high as 960 mg, does not affect serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in men with lower urinary tract symptoms, according to research published in the February issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Most Dietary Supplement Use Not Recommended by Docs

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Adults frequently use dietary supplements, including multivitamins, calcium, and omega-3 or fish oil, to improve or maintain their health, and less than one-quarter of this use is on the basis of health care provider recommendation, according to research published online Feb. 4 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Antimicrobial Washcloths Reduce Hospital Infections

THURSDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Bathing hospitalized patients with antimicrobial washcloths reduces the risk of acquiring multidrug-resistant organisms and the risk of developing hospital-acquired bloodstream infections, according to a study published in the Feb. 7 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

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Rivaroxaban Found Noninferior to Enoxaparin in Acutely Ill

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- In acutely ill hospitalized patients, standard-duration rivaroxaban has similar efficacy as enoxaparin in reducing the risk of venous thromboembolism, while extended-duration rivaroxaban has superior efficacy, according to a study published in the Feb. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Support for Biennial Over Annual Mammography in Older Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- For older women, biennial screening mammography is associated with similar rates of advanced disease and lower rates of false-positive recall, irrespective of comorbidity, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Corticorelin Acetate Has Steroid-Sparing Effect in Brain Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Corticorelin acetate (CrA) administration to patients with peritumoral brain edema (PBE) allows the reduction of steroid doses and is associated with reduced incidence and severity of steroid-induced myopathy and other steroid-related adverse effects, according to research published online Feb. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Physicians' Pay for Existing Patients Dropped in 2012

TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians' pay for existing patients dropped considerably in 2012, according to the results of the Fee Schedule Survey published Jan. 31 in Physicians Practice.

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Guidelines Updated for Young CA Survivors' Fertility Follow-Up

TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Current recommendations for the assessment and management of female reproductive complications following treatment of cancers in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood have been updated, according to a review published online Feb. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Alternative PSA Screening Strategies Could Reduce Harm

TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with standard screening, alternative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening strategies could maintain good prostate cancer detection rates while reducing overdiagnoses and unnecessary biopsies, according to research published in the Feb. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Cancer Mortality Decreasing for African-American Men, Women

TUESDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Although African-Americans experienced decreases in cancer death rates from 2000 to 2009, the five-year survival rates are still lower than for whites, according to research published online Feb. 5 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

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FDA: First Generic Version of Cancer Drug Doxil Approved

MONDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic version of the cancer drug Doxil (doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome injection) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which says the action should help relieve shortages of the brand-name medication.

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Breast CA Diagnostic Errors Major Cause of Malpractice Suits

MONDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The most common reason for medical malpractice suits against radiologists in the United States is diagnostic errors, particularly breast cancer and non-vertebral and spinal fractures, according to research published in the February issue of Radiology.

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FSMB: Approaches Explored for Expediting Multi-State Licenses

MONDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- New approaches are being explored for streamlining physician multi-state licensure to accommodate the use of telemedicine in the delivery of health care, according to a report from a meeting held from Jan. 16 to 17 by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB).

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Low Complication Rate for Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

FRIDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Nipple-sparing mastectomy with microsurgical breast reconstruction can be safely performed for select patients, according to a study published in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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FDA Approves Ravicti for Urea Cycle Disorders

FRIDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Ravicti (glycerol phenylbutyrate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat certain urea cycle disorders (UCDs) in people 2 years and older.

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Sex Differences in Return to Work for Cancer Survivors

FRIDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Significant differences have been identified in the return-to-work (RTW) process for male and female cancer survivors, according to research published online Jan. 28 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Serum Calcium Is a Possible Biomarker of Ovarian Cancer

FRIDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- High serum calcium levels are associated with a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in Gynecologic Oncology.

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