Clinical Brief – September 14th
ESMO, or the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress, is an annual gathering of cancer experts and patient advocates. Here are some studies from this year’s ESMO that may be of use.
Should cancer screening policy be set by a citizen’s jury?
In a social experiment, researchers from Spain recruited 13 women to help decide whether Andalucía’s Public Health System should offer screening mammography for women between 50 and 69.
The 13 women recruited for the study were also between 50 and 69 who regularly participated in a breast cancer screening program. Over three days, they received background information from a neutral expert and heard arguments from two other experts who were favorable or against screening mammography.
In the end, they voted 11-2 in favor of screening. Their reasons for screening were their own health, the nature of the screening mammography, and for their individual freedom.
A report summarized clinical features and outcomes of a serious but rare neurological side effect linked to treatment with bevacizumab (Avastin).
Between 2006 and 2016, 22 patient cases were found through a literature search for those on bevacizumab who experienced reversible posterior encephalopathy syndrome, or RPLS, within 3 weeks of their treatment. RPLS is also known as PRES.
Most common symptoms of RPLS were headaches, seizures, visual disturbances, and nausea and vomiting. A majority of patients also had increased blood pressure during the time they were hospitalized for RPLS.
Twenty of the 22 patients recovered after bevacizumab was stopped and blood pressure was controlled. However, two patients experienced severe coma and did not make it.
Cervical cancer screening is on the decline in France.
According to the authors of a study, cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer in women in France.
Researchers surveyed women as part of a national observational study. In 2016, fewer women said they had ever received a Pap smear test compared to results from 2014. The drop was from 99% to 94%, but it reached statistical significance.
Researchers also found that vulnerable women were significantly less likely to get tested than the general population.
H. pylori infection may be linked to increased risk of stomach cancer in Japan.
Researchers from the Ota Memorial Hospital in Ota, Japan, noticed that half of their patients diagnosed with gastric cancer as part of their screening program had a history of H. pylori infection.
This is only the experience of a single hospital, but researchers said that “it’s important for individuals with a history of H. pylori infection to take periodic or annual endoscopy screening for look for gastric cancer.”
Colorectal cancer in Iran.
Authors of a study said that colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in Iran. But out of a sample of about 1,000 people, only 14% knew about colorectal cancer. Less than 10% knew about screening tests.
These stats highlight a role for public awareness about colorectal cancer and screening tools in Iran.
For more presentations from #ESMO17, take a look at my hand-curated Twitter moment 🤓.