On November 4th, 2016, in collaboration with UNC Lineberger and Lung Cancer Initiative of NC, GRACE presented 'Not Your Father's Squamous Lung Cancer'. Our last presentation discusses supportive care for patients, with Amber Procter, PharmD, and Jason Akulian, MD.
Anorexia-cachexia syndrome (ACS), a negative spiral of diminished appetite and weight loss (lean body mass), is a common problem in many kinds of cancer, where it not only leads to patient weakness and diminished function but is also associated with shorter survival. While it’s possible that the ACS is a late effect that might be an irreversible product of progression of an underlying cancer, it may also be that ACS directly contributes to a patient’s decline b
Warning: this symptom can be a little gross, so the delicate flowers out there should skip this post.
There's a really helpful resource for patients, developed by several leading experts in EGFR-based therapy and specifically the very common skin toxicity associated with EGFR inhibitors like iressa, tarceva, erbitux, and some others.
One of the successful examples of incorporating patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures into an important clinical trial was in the NCI-Canada study BR.21 (abstract here). This study assigned patients to either tarceva or placebo in a 2:1 randomization to the active drug:
Rashes from EGFR inhibitors: we like to see them, because we know that many trials have shown that skin toxicity on drugs like tarceva is associated with better survival (see prior post), but the fact is that sometimes a rash is more than an inconvenience and can really make people miserable, or at least pretty unhappy, as described in the comments and questions from a discussion forum thread today.
I reviewed a few general principles of acupuncture in my last post on its use for pain control. In addition, acupuncture has also been studied as a potential treatment modality for other nausea/vomiting, with some evidence to support its use in addition to anti-nausea (also called antiemetic) medications.
Acupuncture is a complementary approach that originated from traditional Chinese medicine, from a theory that the flow of vital energy, or "Qi" (pronounced CHEE, I believe, unless someone who speaks Chinese tells me otherwise) can be regulated by stimulation of key body areas with needles, heat, or pressure. It is generally felt to be quite safe when performed by properly qualified individuals, although caution is appropriate for patients with a tendency toward increased bleeding or known low platelets.