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In The News

Read more about what’s happening at Texas Oncology and the newest advancements in cancer care. Here are the latest Texas Oncology news and stories highlighting local practices and patients. Select a search option below by cancer center, physician, media type and year and click the search button to find your results. Items in yellow are articles and items in blue are videos.

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Colorectal Cancer Screening: It’s Worth It!

Publication: Austin Medical Times, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Houston Medical Times
There are several things on our “to do” list that we’re all really good at putting off to avoid disruption to our daily routines. However, when it comes to cancer screenings, it’s worth a little disruption, especially colorectal cancer screenings - a great example of something many would prefer not to do and often delay. Mika Cline, M.D., of Texas Oncology–Austin Midtown and Muffaddal Morkas, M.D. of Texas Oncology–Houston Memorial City share the importance of detecting cancer early, especially since colorectal cancer is the second-leading cancer killer of men and women combined in the U.S. Screenings are essential to diagnosing colorectal cancer because the disease typically lacks symptoms in the early stages.

Proton Therapy for Head and Neck Cancers

Publication: Texas Monthly

In the March edition of Texas Month, Andrew Lee, M.D., MPH, radiation oncologist and medical director at Texas Center for Proton Therapy and Jared Sturgeon, M.D., Ph.D., radiation oncologist at Texas Center for Proton Therapy emphasized the advanced technology and minimal side effects associated with proton therapy and how it may be the ideal treatment option for patients with head and neck cancers. According to Dr. Lee, proton therapy can increase the quality of life for patients both during and after treatment, and Dr. Sturgeon added that proton therapy has been shown in studies to increase a patient’s ability to receive other concurrent or sequential therapies, which can improve cure rates and overall patient outcomes.

COVID-19 Treatment Opportunities in Amarillo Area

Publication: KAMR-TV (NBC, Amarillo)

Officials from the Texas Department of State Health announced the state received approximately 47,000 courses of Evusheld, a monoclonal antibody treatment, aimed to give additional protection from COVID-19 for patients unable to create a high level of antibodies in response to the vaccine. Of the providers supplied with the treatment, Texas Oncology–Amarillo Cancer Center is the only provider in the Amarillo area offering Evusheld to its patients. According to J. Tucker Osteen, M.D, hematologist and medical oncologist at Texas Oncology–Amarillo Cancer Center, the overall reaction have been favorable and has helped reduce a layer of uncertainty among immunocompromised patients in the area.

Drop in Cancer Screenings During the Pandemic

Publication: KXXV-TV (ABC, Waco)
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a drastic decline in routine cancer screenings. In light of National Cancer Prevention Month, Dr. Carlos Encarnacion spoke with KXXV-TV (ABC, Waco) about the importance of scheduling screenings to prevent late-stage cancer diagnoses, which are not as treatable as cancers that are caught early on. 

An Ounce of Prevention

Publication: Corsicana Daily Sun, Palestine Herald-Press
For National Cancer Prevention Month, Ashwani Agarwal, M.D., medical oncologist at Texas Oncology–Corsicana and Shail Dalal, M.D., hematologist and medical oncologist at Texas Oncology–Palestine Cancer Center, encourage those who have put off a routine screening, are overdue for an annual exam, or are experiencing concerning symptoms to schedule an appointment with their healthcare team as soon as possible. Seeing a doctor could be a lifesaving move, especially when it comes to cancer.

Texas has Abundance of Antibody Treatments Called Evusheld for the Immunocompromised Due to Low Requests From Providers

Publication: Spectrum News Austin
A new monoclonal antibody treatment called Evusheld for the immunocompromised has been available for providers and patients since early January, but health experts in Texas say people aren’t asking for it. Debra Patt, M.D., PhD, MBA, executive vice president of policy and strategic initiatives at Texas Oncology, joins Spectrum News Austin to explain how Evusheld can help protect immunocompromised patients from COVID-19, as well as the importance of increasing awareness for the treatment.

Dr Debra Patt on What In-person Attendees Can Expect at the Community Oncology Conference

Publication: American Journal of Managed Care
Administrators, clinicians, and policy makers within community oncology will come together for the first in-person Community Oncology Alliance (COA) meeting in two years to attend sessions on practice management, health disparities, and issues facing their respective practices in 2022. Debra Patt, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, Executive Vice President, Public Policy, Payer Relations, and Strategic Initiatives at Texas Oncology, speaks on the key discussions to be held at the 2022 Community Oncology Conference for in-person attendees while also expressing her enthusiasm for holding an in-person meeting for the first time since 2019.

A Second Chance to Serve

Publication: Wacoan Magazine

After being treated by Texas Oncology for two types of cancer, Nancy Drexler has made it her mission to advocate for cancer screenings, and bring hope and happiness to others. Her physicians, Carlos Encarnacion, M.D., FACP, hematologist and medical oncologist at Texas Oncology–Waco, Clifton, and Hamilton, and Michael Teneriello, M.D., FACOG, gynecologic oncologist at Texas Oncology–Austin Central and South Austin, work “in concert” to ensure Nancy has the best care available.

MEDICAL COLUMN: Three Questions to Ask Your Oncologist About Clinical Trials

Publication: Palestine Herald-Press
Breakthroughs that advance prevention and treatment of cancer are made possible by the courageous patients who volunteer to participate in clinical trials. Shail Dalal, M.D., hematologist and medical oncologist at Texas Oncology–Palestine Cancer Center shares three questions to ask your oncologist about participating in a clinical trial.

'Dramatic responses': St. David's bringing liver cancer innovations to Austin

Publication: Austin American-Statesman
As leaders in surgical oncology care, Texas Oncology Surgical Specialists in Austin work closely with local partners at St. David’s Medical Center, who recently earned the prestigious designation of The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for the Hepatobiliary-Pancreas Cancer Center of Excellence. Shaun P. McKenzie, M.D., FACS surgical specialist at Texas Oncology Surgical Specialists-Austin Central, Austin North and South Austin speaks with the Austin American-Statesman on the recognition, and how Austin surgical specialists are elevating the quality of care available to patients right here in Central Texas. Through innovative treatments and the latest research, Texas Oncology and St. David’s is focusing on combinations of therapies to get the best results. Dr. McKenzie’s, patient, Frank Chapa, has experienced this leading-edge treatment first-hand since being diagnosed with liver cancer. Now cancer free after being the first to try a new drug combination, Frank is “writing his own story.”