US Oncology Research and Novocure will partner to conduct a 556-patient, 10-site Phase III pivotal trial of Novocure's Optune Tumor Treating Fields technology, along with nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine, to treat patients with unresectable locally advanced pancreatic cancer. Novocure's device, which inhibits replication of cancer cells using low-intensity, intermediate-frequency, alternating electric fields, will be used for at least 18 hours daily by patients in the trial's experimental arm until their illness progresses.
The red blood cell folate laboratory test has limited clinical utility. Previous attempts to reduce physician ordering of unnecessary laboratory tests, including folate levels, have resulted in only modest success. In the current study, restricting RBC folate ordering resulted in a large and sustained reduction in folate testing. Significant cost savings were achieved. There was no significant clinical impact of the intervention on the diagnosis of folate deficiency.
Omalizumab is used for controlling chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU), but symptoms can recur rapidly or slowly with drug discontinuation. This study analyzed data from three clinical trials of omalizumab (total 978 patients) to identify potential predictors of the speed of symptom return after stopping omalizumab therapy. Of 746 variables assessed, two were identified through statistical modeling as predictors of symptom return: baseline UAS7 (urticaria activity score over 7 days) and early area above the curve (AAC -- determined by plotting the UAS7 scores across time points). The results suggested that high baseline UAS7 and low UAS7 AAC (slow decrease of symptoms) indicate higher probability of rapid symptom return than low baseline UAS7 and high UAS7 AAC.
Measurement of muscle strength is an important part of the geriatric assessment because of its predictive validity for decline in cognition, mobility, and functional status. This study assessed the agreement between handgrip strength (HGS) and knee extension strength (KES) in five cohorts of older adults. A low to moderate agreement between HGS and KES was found as a function of age and health status at a population level and an agreement between HGS and KES varied on individual level. The use of one muscle group strength measure seems unjustified as an indicator of overall limb muscle strength.
The associations and clinical characteristics of adult- compared to child-onset atopic dermatitis (AD) were studied by Silverberg, et al., in a prospective observational study in 356 adults. Adult- vs. childhood-onset AD was significantly associated with birthplace outside the US and a decreased personal history of asthma, hay fever, and food allergy and family history of asthma and food allergy. Latent class analysis revealed that adult-onset AD was significantly associated with two of the three classes identified: (a) high probability of flexural dermatitis and xerosis with intermediate to high probabilities of head, neck and hand dermatitis; and (b) high probability of flexural dermatitis and xerosis, but low probabilities of head, neck, and hand dermatitis; but not (c) lower probability of flexural dermatitis, but highest probabilities of virtually all other signs and symptoms. Distinct phenotypes with lesional predilection for the hands and/or head/neck were noted in adults with adult versus child-onset atopic dermatitis.
Some rural hospitals and clinics are contracting with telepharmacy providers to ease the shortage of pharmacists and clinicians. Centralized Healthcare Solutions, operated by the University of Iowa's College of Pharmacy, offers some limited telemedicine services to rural areas that can't access or afford pharmacy staff.
Some of the strategies hospitals use to reduce patient readmissions include rapid follow-up after discharge, patient navigator teams, home monitoring and collaborations with nursing homes, a report said. Hospitals also provide empathy training for clinicians, focus on treating the whole patient, get nurses more involved and help patients understand their post-discharge care plans.
New teachers in the LaGrange, Ill., public schools heard a motivational presentation about the importance of social and emotional learning at a kickoff breakfast. Middle school principal Mike Papierski cited self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, relationship skills and responsible decision-making as "a foundation for maximizing the children's achievement academically."
Social work and guidance staff have mobilized support for students in Washingtonville, N.Y., public schools who are coping with the sudden death of a high school freshman. District social worker Paul Saladino said students are being encouraged to listen to each other and ask adults to intervene if needed.
Arizona public schools are increasingly paying to send special education students needing maximum intervention to private schools to comply with individual education plans. Maureen Mills, whose son is attending a private school under these provisions, says her son is more independent, reads better and have more behavioral control.