General Topics

Bacterial Skin Infections in Children | Dermatology

What is bacterial skin infections in children?

The most common bacterial skin infections in children are skin infections (including impetigo), ear infections, and sore throats (strep throat). Bacteria are microscopic, single-celled organisms. Only some bacteria cause disease in humans. Other bacteria live inside the intestine, urogenital system, or on the skin without causing any harm. Some bacteria are believed to help keep people healthy.

These bacterial disorders and many other less common bacterial disorders are treated similarly in adults and children and are discussed elsewhere. Other bacterial skin infections in children occur at all ages but have special considerations in children. Many severe bacterial skin infections in children can be prevented with routine early childhood immunization.

Common bacterial skin infections in children


Impetigo is a skin infection. When it affects only the surface, it is called superficial impetigo. Impetigo can likewise influence further pieces of the skin. This is called ecthyma. It may happen on healthy skin. Or it may happen at the site of a cut, scratch, or insect bite to the skin.

Impetigo is most common in children ages 2 to 5. This means that it is easily transmitted from person to person. It can spread all over the house. Children can infect other family members, and they can infect themselves again.


Cellulitis is a common bacterial skin infections in children that affects the skin and tissues directly under the skin.

  • Most often, this infection is caused by streptococci or staphylococcus.
  • Some people feel redness, pain, and tenderness in an area of the skin, and some people have a fever, chills, and other more serious symptoms.
  • Diagnosis is based on the doctor’s evaluation and sometimes laboratory tests.
  • Antibiotics are necessary to treat the infection.

Folliculitis, furuncles, and carbuncles

The bacteria on the skin can infect one or more hair follicles. Hair follicles are the basis or root of the hair. There are 3 different types of infection:

  • This is inflammation of the hair follicles.
  • This is an infection that affects hair follicles that enter the deeper layers of the skin. A small pocket of pus (abscess) forms. Also known as a dimple.
  • This is a group of pus-infected hair follicles. A carbuncle is larger and deeper than a carbuncle.

These can happen anyplace on the skin where there is hair. They often occur where there may be friction and sweating. This includes the back of the neck, face, armpits, waist, thighs, thighs, or buttocks.

Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is an irresistible malady that causes a rash. Also known as cochineal. It is caused by the same type of bacteria that causes sore throats. It may also be due to infected wounds or burns. The rash consists of small, sandpaper-like red bumps.

Staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome

Streptococcus scalded skin syndrome (SSSS) is a serious skin infection. The infection causes skin peeling over large parts of the body. The skin appears to have been burned or burnt with a hot liquid. It is more common in summer and fall.

Risks of bacterial infections in children

Some children are at particular risk of bacterial infection.

High-risk children include

  • Infants under the age of 3 months
  • Children who do not have a spleen
  • Children with an immune system disorder
  • Children with sickle cell disease
  • Children with cancer
  • Children who did not recommend vaccinations

Diagnosis of Bacterial skin infections in children

  • Tests of blood, body fluids, or tissue samples
  • Culture

Doctors sometimes diagnose bacterial skin infections in children by the typical symptoms it causes. Usually, however, the bacteria must be identified in samples of tissues, blood, or body fluids, such as urine, pus, or cerebrospinal fluid.

Sometimes bacteria from these samples can be identified under a microscope or identified with rapid detection tests such as tests that look for genetic material from a specific bacteria. However, it is usually too few or too small to be seen, so doctors should try to grow it (transplant it) in the laboratory. Bacteria culture usually takes 24 to 48 hours.

Cultures can also be used to test the susceptibility of specific bacteria to different antibiotics. The results can help the doctor determine which medicine to use in treating an affected child.

Prevention of Bacterial skin infections in children

  • Routine immunization

Numerous bacterial infections in children can be forestalled by following the suggested inoculation plan. Many viral infections (such as measles, polio, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B) can also be prevented with routine vaccination.

Treatment of bacterial skin infections in children

  • Antibiotics
  • Sometimes also surgery

Antibiotics are medicines used to treat bacterial skin infections in children. There are many different antibiotics. Each one is only effective on specific bacteria, although some are more effective against a wide range of bacteria than others. Most of the time, antibiotics alone can eliminate bacterial infection. However, when an infection produces a large collection of pus, people sometimes also need surgery to drain the pus. These infections include abscesses and joint infections.

Doctors may treat some potentially serious childhood infections with antibiotics before the results of the transplant appear. At the point when results are gotten, the anti-microbials are proceeded or changed varying. If no bacteria are found, the antibiotics may be stopped.

General Topics

Latest research on Cancer | Oncology

Tumors backfire with chemotherapy

Not all tumors shrink after chemotherapy treatment. In these cases, there is a risk of developing metastatic disease, such that cancer spreads to different parts of the body. Now, researchers have shed light on this process. Using tumor samples, the team discovered that two chemotherapy drugs (paclitaxel and doxorubicin) were responsible for releasing protein-containing exosomes (small vesicles) called annexin-A6 in mammalian tumors.

Exosomes have the ability to travel to various sites where their cargo is released (including annexin-A6). They observed that annexin-A6 stimulated lung cells to release CCL2 by “attracting” immune cells called monocytes. Monocytes are known to facilitate the survival and growth of tumor cells.

Cancer cells are hungry for glucose

To fuel its “uncontrolled” growth, cancer needs energy. In general, cancer cells receive their energy in the form of glucose. According to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, leukemia cells can “reduce” the ability of normal cells to digest glucose, which means they are more accessible to nourish themselves and fuel their own growth.

Leukemic cells can accomplish this in two ways. First, cancer cells trick fat cells into producing more protein (IGFBP1), which makes “normal” cells less sensitive to insulin, meaning they need more insulin to “use” glucose. When the supply of insulin is inadequate, the glucose uptake of normal cells decreases. The second strategy is microbial: it is different in leukemic animals compared to control mice.

Most women with breast cancer do not follow the guidelines for combating fatigue

New women with fatigued breast cancer may not meet recommendations for supportive care, according to research presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Breast Cancer Virtual Meeting 2020 on May 22.

Details of the investigation French researchers followed more than 7,000 women with breast cancer from 26 French cancer centres for at least five years after diagnosis. They found that a third of the patients reported severe fatigue between three and six months after treatment. While 64 per cent of women follow the recommendations for physical activity to facilitate recovery, 36 per cent do not. Patients who do not follow the recommendations for physical activity are more likely to experience prolonged fatigue.

The authors point out why cancer-related fatigue is common and lasts longer in breast cancer survivors. Survivors of severe fatigue and survival may be prevented from returning to normal activities even after they are cancer-free.

If cancer-related fatigue requires further investigation, recommendations related to physical activity, and recommendations for supportive care, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, are available to guide patients through recovery. “The message here is that we must work harder to encourage patients to be active, and even if it seems negative, exercise, not relaxation, can help them overcome fatigue,” says study author Antonio. De Maglio, MD, by Gustav Rousseau, Villejouif, France.

Turns cancer cells into fat cells to stop the spread of cancer

A team at the University of Basel has found a way to trick breast cancer cells into turning them into fat cells. Researchers have been able to convert EMT-derived breast cancer cells into fat cells in the mouse model to prevent disease.

Using samples from murine and human breast cancer, they set out to determine whether it was possible to attack cancer cells therapeutically during the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process when the cells were in a highly plastic state. When rosiglitazone was administered to mice in combination with MEK inhibitors, it stimulated the conversion of cancer cells into functional, postmitotic adipocytes (fat cells).

Creatine powers the T-cell fight against cancer

According to research conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, creatine acts as a “molecular battery” for immune cells, storing and distributing energy to immune cells, allowing them to fight cancer. This study, carried out using the mouse model, showed that creatine intake is essential for the anticancer activity of CD8T cells.

Mouse genetically modified laboratory models, in which CD8T cells have a defect in a gene called Slack 6A8, which indicates creatine transporter protein molecules. Animals that cannot take creatine are less likely to fight tumors. The team found that additional work indicated that creatine replacement improves the effectiveness of immunotherapy.

Platinum-based chemotherapy benefits some pancreatic cancer patients

According to a study published in Clinical Research on May 22, 2020, people with metastatic pancreatic cancer with specific genetic mutations in DNA repair genes have achieved better outcomes after receiving platinum-based chemotherapy.

Details of the research from researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center examined the relationship between mutations in DNA repair genes known as homologous recombination (HR) genes and clinical outcomes in 262 metastatic pancreatic cancer patients. Overall, the median survival for all patients was 15.5 months. Further analysis showed that patients with HR gene mutations treated with first-line platinum-based chemotherapy had a longer survival rate than those without mutations with first-line platinum-based chemotherapy: 25.1 months compared to 15,3 months.

Why about 5 to 9 per cent of pancreatic cancer patients have mutations in the HR gene. These genes are valuable biomarkers that can help assess a patient’s response to treatment, the authors said. “Our data support the use of platinum-based chemotherapy as a first-line treatment for patients with defects in several HR genes,” said Eileen O’Reilly, lead author of Medical Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “The results underscore the importance of genetic testing in newly diagnosed patients to improve treatment decisions.”

Cancer-detecting dogs detect lung cancer with 97% accuracy

After eight weeks of training, three Beagles were able to detect blood serum samples taken from patients with malignant lung cancer and healthy controls with 97% accuracy. This double-blind study is the first step in identifying specific biomarkers for non-small cell lung cancer. The team is now working on a second study, this time using the patient’s breath. They hope that the dogs will be able to detect “traces” of lung, lung, breast and colorectal cancer from patient samples. The team hopes that these studies will lead to better cancer detection and diagnosis solutions.

General Topics

Treatments of Atopic Dermatitis in Children | Dermatology

What is atopic dermatitis in children?

Atopic dermatitis in children is the most common form of eczema and it is chronic. Atopic dermatitis usually begins in infancy or childhood. Children from families with atopic dermatitis, asthma, or hay fever are more likely to develop atopic dermatitis.

It is caused by a combination of atopic genes and external factors that are considered immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. The common symptoms of atopic (red, dry, and intensely itchy skin) occur when the immune system becomes overloaded and triggers something in the child’s environment.

Causes of atopic dermatitis in children

Children with eczema have the appearance of “sensitive skin” that can be easily irritated by sweat, heat, rough clothing, and certain detergents, soaps, and cleaners. Atopic dermatitis in children may be allergic to food, pets, or other animals, such as dust mites, tree pollen, and grass, although it is not clear that these allergies can “cause” eczema in many children.

In most cases, detecting these allergies will not help eczema. In rare cases, some children with atopic dermatitis develop an allergy to chemicals in their moisturizers, other skincare products, clothing, or topical substances.

What triggers atopic dermatitis?

  • Stress
  • Allergies
  • Sweating
  • Certain soaps, cleaners, or detergents
  • Long, hot baths or showers
  • Rapid changes in temperature
  • Low humidity
  • Wool or man-made fabrics or clothing
  • Dust or sand
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Certain foods, such as eggs, milk, fish, soy, or wheat
  • Bacterial skin infection or colonization

Risk factors

Children with a family history of allergies, asthma, and atopic dermatitis are more likely to develop atopic dermatitis. Mutations in skin barrier genes, such as filaggrin, are commonly associated with atopic dermatitis.

Symptoms of atopic dermatitis in children

Symptoms can come and go, or occur more or less all the time. Any area of the body can be affected. In infants, symptoms usually affect the face, neck, skin, elbows, and knees. In children, symptoms usually affect the skin on the inside of the elbows, behind the knees, on the sides of the neck, around the mouth, and on the wrists, ankles, and hands.

The symptoms are slightly different for each child. They include:

  • Dry and flaky skin
  • Severe itching
  • Redness and swelling
  • Thickened skin
  • Small, enlarged lumps may become scabbed and leak if scratched
  • Rough bumps to the face, upper arms, and thighs
  • Darkened skin around the eyelids or eyes.
  • The skin around the mouth, eyes, or ears changes.
  • Make sure your child sees their healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Atopic dermatitis in children  diagnosis

  • There is no specific test to diagnose eczema. The doctor will examine the rash and ask about symptoms, the child’s past health, and family health. If family members have any atopic conditions, that is an important clue.
  • The doctor has ruled out other conditions that can cause skin inflammation and may recommend that your child see a dermatologist or allergist.
  • The doctor may ask you to ban certain foods (such as eggs, milk, soy, or nuts) from your child’s diet, change detergents or soaps, or make other changes to see if your child is responding to something.

Treatment for atopic dermatitis in children

Treatment depends on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It also depends on the severity of the situation. There is no cure for atopic dermatitis. The goals of treatment are to reduce itching and inflammation, add moisture, and prevent infection.

Treatment of atopic dermatitis includes:

  • Stay away from irritation as recommended by your children’s healthcare provider.
  • Luke should bathe regularly with lukewarm water or wash as recommended by the doctor. Sometimes bleach baths may be recommended.
  • Keeping your child’s nails small and covering eczema areas with clothing or dressing can help prevent skin irritation and scratching that can lead to infection.
  • Use the hydration rules recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Your child’s healthcare provider can also prescribe medicine. They can be used alone or together. The following are commonly used to treat atopic dermatitis:
  • Corticosteroid cream or ointment: The cream or ointment is applied to the skin. Helps reduce itching and swelling.
  • Drug: Oral liquids or tablets can be taken to treat the infection.
  • This medicine can be taken before bed to reduce itching and improve sleep. It comes in liquid or tablet form and can be taken by mouth.
  • Calcineurin inhibitor cream or ointment: The cream or ointment is applied to the skin. Helps reduce itching and swelling.
  • Phototherapy (light therapy): Phototherapy can be done in the office or at home by a health therapy provider.
  • Immunomodulatory medicine: It is a liquid or pill that is taken by mouth and that affects the immune system. It can be used when other treatments are not working properly. This medicine has side effects. Children are suggested for tests for any side effects.

Prevention of atopic dermatitis in children

The following tips can help prevent dermatitis (inflammation) and reduce the drying effects of the bath:

  • Hydrate your skin at least twice a day: Creams, ointments, and lotions seal in moisture. Choose the product or products that best suit your needs. Applying petroleum jelly to your baby’s skin can help prevent the development of atopic dermatitis.
  • Identify and prevent the triggers that make the situation worse: Things that make your skin react worse include sweat, stress, dirt, soaps, detergents, dust, and pollen. Reduce your exposure to your triggers.
  • Babies and children can get burns from eating certain foods, such as eggs, milk, soy, and wheat. Talk to your paediatrician about identifying a possible food allergy.
  • Take fewer baths or showers: Limit your baths and showers to 10-15 minutes. And use warm water instead of hot water.
  • Take a bleach bath: The American Academy of Dermatology recommends considering a bleach bath to help prevent burns. The diluted bleach bath reduces bacterial and related infections on the skin. In a 40-gallon (151-litre) tub filled with warm water, add 1/2 cup (118 millilitres) of household bleach and concentrated bleach. Dimensions For a standard US size tub filled with overflow drain holes.
  • Soak the affected skin areas up to the neck or for about 10 minutes. Do not sink your head. Do not take a bleach bath more than twice a week.
  • Use only mild soaps. Choose mild soaps: Deodorant soaps and antibacterial soaps can remove most natural oils and dry out the skin.
  • Dry yourself carefully: After bathing, keep your skin dry with a soft towel and apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp.

Complications of atopic dermatitis in children

Complications of atopic dermatitis in children can include:

  • Asthma and hay fever: Eczema sometimes precedes these conditions. More than half of young children with atopic dermatitis develop asthma and hay fever by the age of 13.
  • Chronic itchy and flaky skin: A skin condition called neurodermatitis (lichen simplex chronicus) begins with an itchy patch on the skin. This area is scratched, which is also itchy. Over time, you may get out of the habit. The skin affected by this condition becomes discoloured, thick, and leathery.
  • Skin diseases: open sores and cracks can be formed by repeated scratching. These increase the risk of infection from bacteria and viruses, including the herpes simplex virus.
  • Irritable dermatitis of the hands: Your hands often need to be moistened and exposed to harsh soaps, detergents, and disinfectants.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis: This condition is more common in people with atopic dermatitis.
  • Trouble sleeping: The itch and scratch cycle improves the quality of sleep.
General Topics

Precautions for the use of herbal medicines and cancer | Oncology

Are herbs safe for cancer patients?

Herbal Medicine and Cancer: Herbs may seem dangerous, but they can sometimes interfere with cancer treatment. for example, some herbs can prevent chemotherapy and radiation therapy from killing cancer cells. Some herbs increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy toxicity, which can lead to unwanted side effects.

Doctors recommend that patients avoid herbs during treatment. It is not safe until research finds which herbs are safe for treating cancer. Clinical trials combining herbal medicine with cancer treatments are very new in the United States. China has conducted similar tests since the early 1900s. Cancer doctors rely on clinical trials. The lack of clinical trials on herbal drugs limits what doctors can safely prescribe.

People with cancer should seek permission from their oncologist before taking any herbal medications because some herbs can adversely affect the outcome of cancer treatment.

Is herbal medicine effective in treating cancer?

Research in the emerging medical field known as integrative oncology seeks to understand which complementary therapies are safe and effective, including herbal medicines, in combination with traditional cancer treatments. Some traditional anticancer drugs contain active herbs. For example, the chemotherapy drug for mesothelioma (paclitaxel) comes from the bark of the yew tree. However, taking the tree bark herbal supplement does not produce the same effects as Toxicol.

In general, herbal medicines are not as effective as traditional medicines. While some people get relief with herbal medications for mild symptoms or side effects, most people get more relief with prescription medications. Prescription drugs can have unwanted side effects and these side effects motivate people to consider herbal medicines. Herbal remedies tend to have fewer side effects than standard care. This is partly because they are less potent than CE drugs.

For example, patients using natural remedies for insomnia are less likely to experience dizziness, tremors, or seizures than patients using prescription pills such as benzodiazepines. The side effects of herbal remedies are usually mild. Constipation is common. The probability of dependence on herbal remedies is also low. The US. The Food and Drug Administration refers to most herbs as GRAS or they are generally identified as safe. But patients must remember that herbal remedies are still a type of medicine. Make sure you get prior approval from your oncologist. Herbal medicines can come in the form of tablets or capsules, extracts, teas, or tinctures (alcohol-based concentrate).

Research on herbal medicine and cancer

Research suggests that certain herbs can help cancer patients cope with cancer symptoms and the side effects of cancer treatment. Studies in test tubes and animals have shown anticancer effects of various herbs, although these results have not been replicated in human experiments.


Research on astragalus has shown that it reduces the side effects of plastin-based chemotherapy agents, such as cisplatin and carboplatin. These are the two most effective chemotherapy drugs for mesothelioma.

A 2012 Chinese study published in Medical Oncology found a better quality of life in lung cancer patients who received a combined injection of astragalus, cisplatin, and vinorelbine compared to patients who received only cisplatin and vinorelbine. Astragalus patients improved their physical performance, improved appetite, and experienced less fatigue, pain, nausea, and vomiting.

Be sure to discuss astragalus with your oncologist because it is a powerful herb. You can change the way your body processes chemotherapy in a way that helps or bothers the patient.

Dong Quai

Traditional Chinese medicine uses a herb called dong Quai to promote general health. This herb offers additional benefits to cancer patients receiving doxorubicin, a chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of mesothelioma.

A 2007 study published in Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology found that dong Quai protects against heart damage caused by doxorubicin. A 2006 study published in Oncology Reports found that dong Quai might protect against lung inflammation caused by radiation therapy.

Burdock root

The 2011 review, published in Inflamopharmacology, looks at Burdock Root’s lab studies showing the herb has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-cancer, and liver-protective properties. It has not been shown to treat cancer in humans, but it reduces inflammation and helps patients recover from liver damage after cancer treatment.

It should be noted that burdock root tea, a commercially available type of tea, was contaminated with atropine in the 1970s. Atropine is a chemical that causes irregular heartbeats and blurred vision. Cancer patients should closely monitor the effects of any herb they have tried.

Essiac tea

A herbal tea blend called Essiac Tea contains herbs known for their immune-boosting effects, including burdock root. Research has shown that essiac tea does not cure cancer, but it does contain more antioxidants than red wine or green tea.

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center conducted 18 studies on Essex in the 1970s and 1980s. These studies found that ESIAC did not increase immunity or kill cancer cells.


This compound is found in St. John’s wort and helps kill cancer cells. According to a 2000 study published in the Medical Journal of Australia, hypericin can cause some cancer cells to die after photodynamic therapy, an experimental treatment for mesothelioma.


This herb shows anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects in laboratory studies. According to a 2000 review published in the British Journal of Anesthesia, it also reduces nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy. But ginger should definitely be avoided before and after surgery. It promotes bleeding and should be avoided in patients with a low platelet count.

aloe vera

A 2011 review published in the Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews reported that taking aloe vera during chemotherapy can help prevent oral ulcers in some patients.

Mistletoe extracts

Also known as an Ecuador, research in humans suggests that it reduces mistletoe symptoms and improves the quality of life. A study published in the European Journal of Cancer in 2013 found that mistletoe reduces the side effects of chemotherapy in patients with lung cancer.

According to a 2013 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, cancer patients with advanced tumors were able to tolerate higher doses of gemcitabine (a chemotherapy drug used to treat mesothelioma) with the addition of mistletoe.


Its herb contains a compound called curcumin. A 2011 study published in Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology shows that curcumin extract is safe to combine with gemcitabine chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer patients.

Turmeric is used as an anti-inflammatory. When combined with bromelain (a pineapple extract) and arnica (a herbaceous plant) it can reduce injuries in surgical patients.

Moringa tree

A 2006 test-tube study published in the Journal of Experimental Therapeutics in Oncology found a compound in the moringa tree to kill ovarian cancer cells. Other research suggests that it can help with cancer symptoms, such as shortness of breath, cough, sore throat, fever, and joint pain.

Herbs that help treat side effects

Many herbs can help control the side effects of traditional cancer treatment. However, doctors do not recommend that cancer patients take herbal medications while undergoing cancer treatment. If you want to try herbal medicine during cancer treatment, talk to your oncologist so he or she can monitor your response and warn you of possible drug interactions.

Precautions for the use of herbal medicines

Herbal medicines are less likely to cause side effects than traditional ones. But patients can still experience problems. Some herbs can cause adverse interactions with chemotherapy drugs. Others can prevent the blood from clotting properly after surgery.

Take a close look at how you feel before and after taking herbal medicines. Patients should always consult their doctor before trying herbs to prevent problems. Food does not need to undergo FDA testing before it reaches the market. Some patients unknowingly bought drugs contaminated with arsenic, lead, and mercury.

To prevent contaminated herbs, patients should only purchase products from reputable companies that are labeled as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP).

Patients may also see one or more of the following quality labels on their herbal medicines:

  • GAP (good agricultural practices)
  • GLP (Good Laboratory Practices)
  • GSP (good supply tools)
  • GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice)

Although some herbs can slow cancer growth, patients should avoid over-the-counter herbal cancer remedies. These remedies are often produced without any scientific evidence to back up the manufacturer’s claim.

Talk to your oncologist

The importance of discussing herbal remedies with your oncologist before purchasing or trying them cannot be stressed enough.

Very often, patients hide the medicines and herbs they want to take from their doctor. Your oncologist has a good interest in your heart and just wants to protect you from harmful interactions.

In many cases, your doctor will give you permission to take herbal remedies after you have completed treatment.

You may also consider joining a clinical trial that examines a herb in conjunction with cancer treatment. These tests are not common, but they closely monitor patients for harmful interactions. They take the necessary precautions to avoid unwanted side effects, such as testing herbs for contaminants before administration.

The common misconception is that natural products are not harmful or that it is always safe to combine them with herbs.

Many natural substances such as arsenic and tobacco are toxic and carcinogenic. The effects of herbs can range from mild to strong, depending on the person taking them and the medications they use.

It is wise to thoroughly research the herbs you want to try and take your research to your oncologist. This will allow your doctor to advise you on as much information as possible.

General Topics

Emerging Trends in Cancer Care | Oncology

The 4 main trends that are changing oncology practices

What are the most distinguished trends in cancer care that can touch the strategic planning, budget, and bottom line of an oncology practice? The Association of Public Cancer Centers (ACCC) partnered with the Advisory Board Company to identify some of those trends in the 2017 Survey of Current Trends in Cancer Care. The survey results were presented at the Annual Meeting of ACCC 2018 and at the Business Summit of the Cancer Center.

Deirdre Saulet, PhD, Practice Manager, Company Advisory Board, moderated a session at the ACCC meeting on key trends in cancer care and strategic novelty in oncology practice. She spoke about the results of 2017 Trends in Cancer Care Survey and what they mean for oncology practise managers and providers.

A total of 291 providers responded to the survey of trends in cancer care: 52% were from a non-teaching community hospital, 37% were from an academic medical centre or teaching hospital, 5% were from independent medical practice, and 4% were from an independent cancer centre. The remaining 2% came from an oncology hospital exempt from the prospective payment system.

According to the doctor, the survey revealed 4 main trends in cancer care that are affecting cancer program strategies the most:

Cancer case rates are increasing, along with increasing competition for cancer programs. Although new cancer cases in the United States are projected to rise to 1.91 million in 2026 (up from 1.57 million in 2016), 19% of cancer program leaders surveyed reported that competition has increased significantly for most cancer programs, and 39% reported that competition has increased slightly. On a more regional scale, 32% of academic cancer centre respondents reported that competition in their market has increased significantly in the past 24 months.

  • Repayment is at a tipping point
  • Cancer patients begin to act as consumers
  • Precision medicine is revolutionizing cancer treatment.

2020 trends in cancer care

While 2019 brought many changes to the cancer care landscape, 2020 promises even greater disruption to business as always. For cancer administrators and healthcare leaders, two timeless truths remain, as life expectancy and an aging population continue to grow:

  1. Doctors diagnose more people with cancer than ever before
  2. The cost of caring for cancer patients is higher than ever

Cancer treatment, the second leading cause of death in the US behind heart disease, is the largest driver of care costs, amounting to approximately $ 150 billion in healthcare expenses. Creating a more sustainable, holistically-minded model for cancer care is an industry imperative, one in which we expect providers to make significant strides in 2020.

Six Key Trends in cancer care for 2018

The six key trends in cancer care for 2018 may include:

  1. Less chemotherapy

A recent report discovered that among patients with the most mutual form of early-stage breast cancer, chemotherapy prescriptions fell, overall, from about 34.5% to 21.3%, in a recent interval of 2 years (2013-2015). That’s a big drop, from more than a third of women with stage 1 or 2 diseases who receive chemotherapy to just over a fifth who receive chemotherapy. This trend is impressive and credible in a context of growing discussion and awareness of overtreatment and (although the authors of this particular study found no link) a wider use and acceptance, among oncologists, of recurrence predictors such as OncotypeDx and MammaPrint.

  1. Concerns about the costs of cancer drugs

This problem is not going to go away. Rather, the problem of the financial toxicity of cancer, for individuals and society, will increase as more drugs become available and can be prescribed. Some argue that cancer drugs should not essentially be enclosed by private insurers or public underwriters (Medicare or Medicaid) unless the cancer treatments demonstrate a certain level of benefit to patients. But how oncologists, patients, economists, or insurance administrators define “benefit” or “value” is controversial, as is how that benefit should be demonstrated.

  1. Focus on diagnosis, quality, and payment for cancer genetic testing.

This is a crucial issue for patients with malignancy who want to try new anticancer drugs and need to know if their tumors harbor molecular characteristics that match those new drugs. Currently, CMS is weighing whether Medicare and Medicaid should pay for next-generation sequencing (NGS) of advanced cancer cases. So far, the FDA has approved just one such pangenetic cancer test, FoundationOne CDx, which costs about $ 5,800.

  1. Prescription of anticancer drugs independent of tumor

This modern way of prescribing cancer drugs, based on molecular changes in malignant cells, and not necessarily where in the body the tumor occurs, such as “breast” or “colon”, makes sense. In general, I see this as the future of oncology.

  1. Patient-reported outcomes

It matters how cancer patients feel. It has always been that way, but doctors (and policymakers) didn’t pay as much attention to their subjective descriptions of pain, nausea, tiredness, and other symptoms. As more cancer drugs become available, Patient Reported Results (PRO) will allow clinicians to identify subtle differences between what some consider “me too” drugs and also weigh the risks and benefits of the treatments they provide. they can, or more, no, do more good than bad.

  1. Artificial intelligence (AI)

Few physicians, even subspecialized oncologists, can keep up with advances in the field. Whether it’s IBM’s Watson, which I remain optimistic about, or another AI brand providing suggestions, data-driven algorithms will be needed to guide doctors’ recommendations. The emerging field of computational biology, which can take big data and apply it to individual patient cases, with recommendations based on real-time knowledge of cancer science and approved treatments, is the way to go.

Trends in cancer care and what it means for oncologists

Oncology has undergone more constant change in the last thirty years than from the late 20th century to the time cancer was first identified in 440 BC. C.

The rapid pace of innovation in oncology has been driven by an immense explosion of knowledge about cancers, how they grow, and how to treat them in different subpopulations. In fact, from May 2018 to May 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nearly 60 new cancer drugs. And while the advances we see in oncology today – targeted therapies, accurate diagnoses, and a better patient experience – are driving a steady drop in cancer death rates, they also require oncologists to know more than anyone else.

So how should medical oncologists and their practices keep up with developments to ensure that the patient receives the right treatment at the right time?

Oncologists and their practices cannot be overwhelmed by the promise of artificial intelligence or any other aspect of technology and instead focus on two vital deliverables: 1) an agile platform that turns clinical, operational and financial data into insights actionable; and 2) a platform for real-time peer communication that offers a virtual second opinion. Technology must work to improve workflow and efficiency for physicians. By engaging physicians and focusing on meeting their needs, the technology and analytical insights it reveals should help oncologists not exacerbate physician burnout.

Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s saying that all politics is local also applies to healthcare. Every market in the US is different and requires practices looking to thrive in order to have the flexibility to form partnerships that make sense locally. One size fits all does not work for oncology practices or their patients today. Rather, practices need the flexibility to form relationships with hospitals or other provider networks that make sense for their patient populations.

While flexibility is important at the local level, practices cannot survive without the scale to negotiate drug purchases, contracts with payers, or relationships with employers. Clinics don’t have to sacrifice independence for scale, but they can’t do it alone, and they hope to be able to offer their patients services throughout the continuum of care, from clinical trials to palliative treatments. Clinics must find working partnerships so that options for care, especially access to clinical trials, are expanded for patients.

Pay-for-service care will soon be akin to skiing in jeans, a relic of the 20th century. Medicare’s risk-free, voluntary value-based payment model in oncology will soon give way to a bilateral risk model. And while entering bilateral risk now may not be right for all practices right away, ignoring the tectonic shift in pay carries danger. Practices must understand value-based models through their implementation so that their patients can benefit from better coordination of care, medication utilization, and communication between the care team and their patients outside of the clinic.