Allogeneic Stem-Cell Transplant Survivors Face Long-Term Challenges
People who undergo allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HCT) and survive for at least 2 years remain at increased risk of premature death even 15 years after treatment, reports a new study published online August 1 in Blood. This group of survivors also faces long-term challenges affecting their overall health and well-being, including difficulty maintaining employment, as well as finding and retaining health and life insurance.
Advances in stem-cell transplantation "have made it a curative therapeutic option," explains Dr. Smita Bhatia, professor of population sciences at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center and lead author of the study. "We need to focus on the survivors. Half [of the cohort we studied] has survived longer than nine and a half years, and one thing that we have shown quite definitively is that these survivors continue to face challenges." Read more
Guest Update by Dr. Robert Croyle
The Imperative of Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates
A study published last October in Cancer modeled how different scenarios - each of which took into account changes in screening, risk factors, and optimal use of chemotherapy - would influence mortality rates from colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death. In every scenario, mortality was decreased by varying degrees over the next two decades, but in each case the most influential factor was improved screening rates.
It's a troubling fact, however, that colorectal cancer screening rates continue to lag well behind those for other cancers. This is discouraging given that, when caught early, colorectal cancer is highly curable.
The reasons behind this shortfall are complex, but there is widespread agreement that if significant improvements in colorectal cancer screening are to be realized, the primary care setting will be the most crucial contributor. Read more