Fatigue is a pervasive symptom in individuals with cancer that is often underrecognized and undertreated by health care providers. Contrasted with the sparse data in support of pharmacologic interventions for the management of cancer-related fatigue, the literature for nonpharmacologic interventions is vast. In particular, support groups have proven beneficial. Limited access, transportation issues, and unwillingness to share in a public forum represent just a few of the barriers to more widespread participation in face-to-face support groups. Millions of people with cancer rely on the Internet to gain information regarding their diagnosis and to validate their cancer experience. Tapping into this wealth of online information is an obvious avenue for patients with cancer-related fatigue to seek support. This article explores online- and computer-mediated support groups for fatigue.
Nina D. Wagner-Johnston and Nancy L. Bartlett
Patients with lymphoma commonly undergo routine imaging studies after treatment completion, yet the appropriate interval, duration, and modality of follow-up, and the overall efficacy of various approaches is unclear. Existing guidelines are vague and not evidence-based, and consequently, practice patterns are varied. Most surveillance approaches in lymphoma have focused on early detection of recurrence, with the hope of prolonged survival and potential cure. Concerns regarding the prognostic value of frequent scanning, cost-effectiveness, and long-term risks associated with prolonged radiation exposure have led many to question the role of routine imaging in this setting. Given the multiple lymphoma subtypes and the clinical heterogeneity of these entities, a single approach to follow-up may not be reasonable. Much of the available literature focuses on Hodgkin lymphoma, and may not be generalizable. Retrospective series show that most relapses are detected by signs and symptoms regardless of the imaging schedule. In summary, clinicians are still left with “expert opinion” to guide them. This article examines the available data outlining the role of surveillance imaging in lymphoma.
Ann M. Berger, Kathi Mooney, Amy Alvarez-Perez, William S. Breitbart, Kristen M. Carpenter, David Cella, Charles Cleeland, Efrat Dotan, Mario A. Eisenberger, Carmen P. Escalante, Paul B. Jacobsen, Catherine Jankowski, Thomas LeBlanc, Jennifer A. Ligibel, Elizabeth Trice Loggers, Belinda Mandrell, Barbara A. Murphy, Oxana Palesh, William F. Pirl, Steven C. Plaxe, Michelle B. Riba, Hope S. Rugo, Carolina Salvador, Lynne I. Wagner, Nina D. Wagner-Johnston, Finly J. Zachariah, Mary Anne Bergman, and Courtney Smith
Cancer-related fatigue is defined as a distressing, persistent, subjective sense of physical, emotional, and/or cognitive tiredness or exhaustion related to cancer or cancer treatment that is not proportional to recent activity and interferes with usual functioning. It is one of the most common side effects in patients with cancer. Fatigue has been shown to be a consequence of active treatment, but it may also persist into posttreatment periods. Furthermore, difficulties in end-of-life care can be compounded by fatigue. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines) for Cancer-Related Fatigue provide guidance on screening for fatigue and recommendations for interventions based on the stage of treatment. Interventions may include education and counseling, general strategies for the management of fatigue, and specific nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions. Fatigue is a frequently underreported complication in patients with cancer and, when reported, is responsible for reduced quality of life. Therefore, routine screening to identify fatigue is an important component in improving the quality of life for patients living with cancer.
Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines
William G. Wierda, Jennifer Brown, Jeremy S. Abramson, Farrukh Awan, Syed F. Bilgrami, Greg Bociek, Danielle Brander, Asher A. Chanan-Khan, Steve E. Coutre, Randall S. Davis, Herbert Eradat, Christopher D. Fletcher, Sameh Gaballa, Armin Ghobadi, Muhammad Saad Hamid, Francisco Hernandez-Ilizaliturri, Brian Hill, Paul Kaesberg, Manali Kamdar, Lawrence D. Kaplan, Nadia Khan, Thomas J. Kipps, Shuo Ma, Anthony Mato, Claudio Mosse, Stephen Schuster, Tanya Siddiqi, Deborah M. Stephens, Chaitra Ujjani, Nina Wagner-Johnston, Jennifer A. Woyach, J. Christine Ye, Mary A. Dwyer, and Hema Sundar
The treatment landscape of chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) has significantly evolved in recent years. Targeted therapy with Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitors and BCL-2 inhibitors has emerged as an effective chemotherapy-free option for patients with previously untreated or relapsed/refractory CLL/SLL. Undetectable minimal residual disease after the end of treatment is emerging as an important predictor of progression-free and overall survival for patients treated with fixed-duration BCL-2 inhibitor-based treatment. These NCCN Guidelines Insights discuss the updates to the NCCN Guidelines for CLL/SLL specific to the use of chemotherapy-free treatment options for patients with treatment-naïve and relapsed/refractory disease.