News

Weekly Wednesday - 5 December 2018

 

Readmission Rates for Head and Neck Cancer Patients following free or pedicled flap reconstruction

Alexander N. Goel, from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues assessed the rate, , and causes of 30-day readmission in 9,487 patients (median age, 63 years) with head and neck cancer following free or pedicled flap reconstruction.

The researchers found that the 30-day readmission rate was 19.4 percent, with a mean cost per readmission of $15,916. Wound complication was the most common reason for readmission (26.5 percent). Significant risk factors for 30-day readmission included median household income in the lowest quartile (odds ratio [OR], 1.58),  (OR, 1.68),  (OR, 2.02), total laryngectomy (OR, 1.40), pharyngectomy (OR, 1.47), blood transfusion (OR, 1.30), discharge to home with  (OR, 1.32), and discharge to a nursing facility (OR, 1.77).

"These findings may be useful to clinicians in developing perioperative interventions aimed to reduce hospital readmissions and improve quality of patient care," the authors write. Read more...

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-11-readmitted-neck-cancer-reconstruction.html

FDA approves an oncology drug that targets a key genetic driver of cancer, rather than a specific type of tumor

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today granted accelerated approval to Vitrakvi (larotrectinib), a treatment for adult and pediatric patients whose cancers have a specific genetic feature (biomarker).

This is the second time the agency has approved a cancer treatment based on a common biomarker across different types of tumors rather than the location in the body where the tumor originated. The approval marks a new paradigm in the development of cancer drugs that are “tissue agnostic.” It follows the policies that the FDA developed in a guidance document released earlier this year.

Vitrakvi is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with solid tumors that have a neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase (NTRK) gene fusion without a known acquired resistance mutation, are metastatic or where surgical resection is likely to result in severe morbidity and have no satisfactory alternative treatments or that have progressed following treatment.

https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm626710.htm

Immunotherapy keeps some patients with advanced head and neck cancer alive for more than three years

A new immunotherapy can greatly extend the lives of a proportion of people with advanced head and neck cancer, with some living for three years or more, a major new clinical trial reports.

Overall, the drug  had significant benefits for patients, with 37 per cent of patients who received it surviving for a year or more, compared with only 26.5 per cent of those on standard care.

But the results were particularly exciting among the group of people who did respond to pembrolizumab – with a median length of response of 18.4 months, compared with five months for standard care.

 

https://www.icr.ac.uk/news-archive/immunotherapy-keeps-some-patients-with-advanced-head-and-neck-cancer-alive-for-more-than-three-years

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