Navigation Links
Helping patients navigate new cancer drugs

EAST LANSING, Mich. As cancer treatment in pill form transforms how care is delivered, a new Michigan State University study underscores the challenges patients face in administering their own chemotherapy outside the supervised environment of a cancer clinic.

Chemotherapy pills can target specific cancers better than some traditional intravenous drugs, said Sandra Spoelstra, an MSU assistant professor of nursing who led the study. But they also can be difficult for patients to take.

"Prescriptions for some oral pills have complex instructions," Spoelstra said. "Some of them require patients to take pills several times a day or cycle their doses, taking one pill a day for three weeks, then stopping for a week before starting again. And some patients take two types of pills to treat their cancer or have multiple medications for other chronic conditions. It can be very complicated."

In addition, side effects such as severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, skin reactions and pain are common. Those symptoms can lead some patients to skip doses, which may render their cancer treatment ineffective.

During the study, published in the journal Cancer Nursing, more than 40 percent of participating patients took too many pills or missed doses with poor adherence more likely among those with complex treatment regimens.

The researchers randomly assigned the patients to one of three groups. Members of the first group only had help from an automated calling system, developed at MSU, to see if they were following their prescriptions and help them monitor and manage symptoms. The second group got the automated calls and follow-up calls from nurses with strategies for sticking to their pill regimen. The rest got automated calls and nurse advice on both adhering to their regimen and managing symptoms.

Patients in all three groups reported less severe symptoms at the end of the study. The automated calls were just as effective alone as when they were coupled with nurse guidance. That suggests the automated system could be a simple and inexpensive way to help some patients take their drugs properly, Spoelstra said.

The small study will be the springboard for more comprehensive research that may yield clearer lessons for health care professionals, said University Distinguished Professor Barbara Given, who co-authored the study and leads the College of Nursing's efforts to improve oral chemotherapy.

In the meantime, she said nurses should be attentive when explaining oral chemo regimens to be sure patients and their families understand how to take the drugs as prescribed.

"It's cutting-edge treatment, but we don't know enough about it yet," she said. "People think if they had a life-threatening disease and their doctor recommended treatment, they'd follow the recommendations. But it's really not that simple."


Contact: Andy McGlashen
Michigan State University

Related medicine news :

1. Helping Sleeping Moms-to-Be Breathe Easier May Benefit Baby
2. Professional Nutrition Therapists, LLC may be the best choice for helping the nation's New Year's Resolutioners meet their weight loss goals.
3. US Drug Watchdog will Expand Their Initiative Focused on Helping Recipients of a Failed DePuy Pinnacle All Metal Hip Implant with a New Emphasis on Blood Testing in 2013
4. Celebrates Their 15th Successful Year in Cyberspace…Helping People Across the World
5. Mesothelioma Victims Center Will Be Open On New Years Day In The Hopes Of Helping Victims Or Their Families Get The Names Of The Best Mesothelioma Law Firms-Get The Best
6. SOLCO Energy’s New Corporate Solar Lens Purchase Program is Helping Businesses Soar High Above the Fiscal Tax Cliff
7. Dr. Michael Reiss is Helping to Reduce Neck and Back Pain in Las Vegas and is Now Welcoming New Patients
8. Old habits die hard: Helping cancer patients stop smoking
9. A protein’s role in helping cells repair DNA damage
10. Protective bacteria in the infant gut have resourceful way of helping babies break down breast milk
11. Coach could be key in helping stroke patients
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Helping patients navigate new cancer drugs
(Date:11/26/2015)... Ashburn, VA (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 ... ... Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. As a franchise owner, Somu now offers ... range of cruise, destination wedding packages, private cruise sales, as well as, cabin ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 26, 2015 , ... WorldCare International, Inc., the first company ... Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference was hosted by the International Foundation ... 11th, 2015. The conference was held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Additional breast cancers ... on mammography, according to a study published online in the journal Radiology. Researchers ... mammography may necessitate a change in treatment. , Breast MRI is the most ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Medical ... once again for its stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office being ... Medical Solutions’ Cincinnati office was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s 13th ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 10, 2015, Bohrer Brady, ... of Connecticut on behalf of a home health care worker who provided companionship services ... home health care workers employed by Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, Inc., and SeniorBridge ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 3D bioprinting market is expected to reach ... by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of chronic diseases ... is expected to boost the market growth, as 3D bioprinting ... --> 3D bioprinting market is expected to reach ... by Grand View Research Inc. Rising prevalence of chronic diseases ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ... Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment ... to their offering. --> ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive ... offering. --> ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: