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In This Issue of JAMA Oncology
July 2015


JAMA Oncol. 2015;1(4):409. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.0725

Patients with advanced cancer must balance quality of life with palliative therapy. Brooks et al evaluated 1579 patients with advanced solid tumors receiving palliative chemotherapy and compared the 146 who had a chemotherapy-related hospitalization with 292 who did not. A model using available clinical data helped to predict which patients were at risk for hospitalization. Clinical parameters included age, low blood counts, creatinine clearance, and 4 other measures. Such tools may help guide decisions that better preserve health quality in the last months of life. Ganz provides an Editorial.


The promise of genomic medicine fuels oncology research. New sequencing technologies are teaching us about the utility of mutational analysis in treatment decision making. Beltran et al performed whole-exome sequencing in paired normal and cancer tissue from 97 individuals with a variety of advanced cancers. Approximately 16 mutations—most of unknown significance—were detected per patient. Treatment was guided by the analysis in only 5 patients. Data are being collected on mutations that may predict response. The major impediment to this approach may be the limited number of agents available to target specific mutations. Chen and Abrams provide an Invited Commentary.

Invited Commentary

Cholesterol-lowering statin therapy has been associated with improved prostate cancer outcomes. Harshman et al performed a retrospective analysis of statin use in 926 men who received androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer. Men taking oral statins demonstrated a significantly longer time to progression during androgen deprivation therapy than did men with prostate cancer who were not using statins. Studies in prostate cancer cell lines demonstrate that statins block dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate uptake. These data suggest that statin therapy synergizes with androgen deprivation treatment and may favorably affect outcomes in prostate cancer patients. Ramos and Yu provide an Editorial.


Cancer is a major global health issue with an especially heavy impact on mortality in developing countries. Policies and interventions to decrease cancer cannot be successful without a firm understanding of baseline rates and disease incidence. The Global Burden of Disease Cancer Collaboration presents a snapshot of the global burden of cancer in 2013. Statistics of cancer mortality, incidence, years lived with disability, years of life lost, and disability-adjusted life-years are presented for 28 cancers in 188 countries. These data will be helpful to guide intervention programs and potentially develop health policies. Anderson and Flanigan provide an Editorial.


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