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  • Cancer Survivors More Likely To Be Prescribed Opioids Even Years Later - Alexa Mieses, MD 
    August 7, 2017
    As if battling cancer wasn't enough, many long-term survivors may eventually find themselves dealing with opioid dependency, according to a new study. Cancer survivors are substantially more likely to be prescribed opioid painkillers over many years. Prescription opioids, which are in the same class as illicit heroin, are often indicated and prescribed for pain during cancer treatment and recovery. "This article highlights a dilemma about those long-term survivors who are on chronic opioids, and maybe we should take a harder look at them in terms of pain management," said Charles Shapiro, MD, director of cancer survivorship and translational breast cancer research at The Tisch Cancer Institute and professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "But we often don't have the resources to take that harder look. It is important not to discount the usefulness of opioids for helping cancer patients manage serious, sometimes debilitating pain." We can't lose the message that opioids are indicated for that group with chronic pain and they work well, Dr. Shapiro added.
    - Charles Shapiro, MD, Director, Cancer Survivorship, Translational Breast Cancer Research, The Tisch Cancer Institute, Professor, Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Six Warning Signs Of Stomach Cancer That Have Nothing To Do With Pain - Markham Heid
    August 4, 2017
    Stomach cancer has a reputation for being one of the most painful forms of cancer. But for many sufferers, pain is not among the disease's early warning signs. In fact, the most common feature of stomach cancer's early stages may be that it causes no symptoms at all, says Umut Sarpel, MD, an associate professor of surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "We all get stomachaches from time to time, and that can make people worry about stomach cancer," said Dr. Sarpel. "But it's not one of the most common cancers, and in most cases stomachaches or pain are not going to be the result of cancer."
    - Umut Sarpel, MD, Associate Professor, Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Medscape - Essential Cancer Updates For Primary Care Physicians - Liam Davenport
    August 4, 2017
    The American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting not only provides a focus for cancer specialists looking for updates on state-of-the-art treatments and novel therapies but also presents research directly related to primary care physicians. William Oh, MD, professor of medicine, hematology, medical oncology, and urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai provides takeaways on how the findings could influence primary care. The findings included helping smokers navigate skin cancer screening, which can improve detection rates. "We know that over the past few years, randomized trials have demonstrated the benefit of lung cancer screening in smokers. In this study, there was evidence that this approach really worked, particularly in community health centers, where lower-income smokers may not have the same access to some of the lung cancer screening guidelines as patients in private centers," said Dr. William Oh, Professor, Medicine, Hematology, Medical Oncology, Urology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
  • Healio -FDA Approves Imbruvica As First Therapy For Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease - James L.M. Ferrara, MD, DSc 
    August 2, 2017
    The FDA approved ibrutinib for the treatment of adults with chronic graft-versus-host disease who failed prior systemic therapy. "Chronic GVHD is a major toxicity of bone marrow transplant, which is one of the most effective therapies we have for high-risk malignancies. Both patients and physicians are reluctant to undertake transplantation, not only because of its initial intensity, but because of some of the long-term toxicities. Even if patients are cured of their leukemia or lymphoma, they can end up with this immune-mediated disease that can affect their skin, liver, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and joints. When it is severe, it can be fatal. It is the dark side of the therapy," says author of perspective James L. M. Ferrara, MD, professor of oncological sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

    Additional coverage:
    Medscape

  • CBS New York - A Deep Dive: The Breast Cancer Pill— Pat Farnack
    July 31, 2017
    Research of a new breast cancer pill, Olaparib, found that it can be used to treat a certain rare form of breast cancer. Charles Shapiro, MD, director of cancer survivorship and translational breast cancer research at the Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai said, ”the more we take a deep dive into the growth of these cells, the more we find that these breast cancers are different. Each woman has a unique breast cancer, instead of targeting that cancer with chemotherapy; we need to find the actual defect and targeting therapy based on the genes that make the tumor thick.” This breast cancer pill can be given to certain breast cancer populations instead of chemotherapy. - Charles Shapiro, MD, Director, Cancer Survivorship, Translational Breast Cancer Research, The Tisch Cancer Institute, Professor, Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai