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April 2013 Briefing - Hematology & Oncology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Hematology & Oncology for April 2013. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Female Smokers More Susceptible to Colon Cancer

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Female smokers seem to be more susceptible to colon cancer than male smokers, particularly to proximal colon cancer, according to a study published online April 30 in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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FDA Approves Kcentra to Reverse Anticoagulation

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Kcentra (prothrombin complex concentrate, human) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat severe acute bleeding in adults after administration of warfarin and similar products.

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Comprehensive Analysis Supports SERMs for Cutting Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) is associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of breast cancer, especially for the first five years after treatment, according to research described as the first comprehensive analysis, published online April 30 in The Lancet.

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Renewed Efforts From AAFP to Repeal OTC Provision in ACA

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Members of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and other medical associations are urging further consideration of Section 9003 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires holders of tax-preferred health care accounts to obtain a physician's prescription to use funds from those accounts to pay for over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The concerns have been laid out in a letter to the chair and the ranking member of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

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Novel System Proposed for Accountable Cancer Care

TUESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- A novel structural and payment-reform system is proposed to foster accountable cancer care, according to a viewpoint piece published online April 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Comprehensive Discussion With Docs Ups Cancer Screening

MONDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Having more comprehensive discussions about colorectal cancer (CRC) screening with primary care providers (PCPs) is associated with increased odds of screening, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Managed Care.

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FDA Announces New Network to Focus Exclusively on Patients

MONDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced the launch of a new interactive tool for educating patients, their advocates, and consumers about the processes involved in medication development.

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Med Errors Common Among Pediatric Cancer Outpatients

MONDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Among pediatric cancer patients who receive medications at home, errors are common, with a rate of 3.6 errors with injury per 100 patients, according to a study published online April 29 in Pediatrics.

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Medical Interns Spending Less Time With Patients

FRIDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Medical interns are spending less time with patients and more time at a computer since new rules limiting total work hours were instituted in 2011, according to a study published online April 18 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Saturday Marks Sixth Annual Rx Drug Take-Back Day

FRIDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- United States residents across the nation will have an opportunity to safely and anonymously unload expired, unwanted prescription medications on Saturday, April 27, during the sixth annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

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History of Skin Cancer Linked to Secondary Cancers

FRIDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) are at modestly greater risk of secondary cancers at other sites, according to a study published online April 23 in PLOS Medicine.

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Smoking Water Pipes Is Not a Safe Cigarette Alternative

FRIDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking tobacco in water pipes is associated with a different pattern of carcinogen exposure than smoking cigarettes, according to a study published online March 5 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Physicians Less Empathetic in Talking to Heavy Patients

THURSDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Primary care physicians (PCPs) are less likely to bond with overweight and obese patients, according to research published online March 20 in Obesity.

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Integrated 2D, 3D Mammogram Improves Cancer Detection

THURSDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Mammography with integrated two-dimensional (2D) imaging together with tomosynthesis with three-dimensional (3D) imaging is associated with improved breast cancer detection, according to a study published online April 25 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Breast CA Tx Delays Still More Common for Poor, Uninsured

WEDNESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- For young women with breast cancer, a longer treatment delay time (TDT) is associated with decreased survival, especially for African-American women, those with public or no insurance, and those with low socioeconomic status; and women with early-stage breast cancer with Medicaid are more likely to undergo mastectomy than those with private insurance, according to two studies published online April 24 in JAMA Surgery.

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Diagnostic Errors Are the Leading Type of Malpractice Claim

WEDNESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- In the past 25 years, diagnostic errors have been the leading type of malpractice claim and account for the highest proportion of total payments, according to a study published online April 22 in BMJ Quality & Safety.

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Obesity Tied to Risk of Prostate Cancer After Negative Biopsy

WEDNESDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- In men with an initial benign biopsy or transurethral resection of the prostate, obesity at the time of the procedure is associated with the presence of precancerous lesions in the initial biopsy and a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a study published online April 23 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Breast Density Linked to Breast Cancer-Specific Survival

TUESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- For women with breast cancer receiving adjuvant tamoxifen treatment, a decrease in mammographic density appears to be associated with improved breast cancer-specific survival, according to a study published online April 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Study Describes Outcomes, Tx for HER2-Mutated Lung Cancers

MONDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- For HER2-mutated non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), half of tumors are detected at stage IV, and anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) treatments are associated with encouraging response rates and disease control rates (DCRs), according to a study published online April 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Racial Disparity in Head and Neck Cancer Outcomes

FRIDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Among Medicaid beneficiaries diagnosed with head and neck cancer, considerable racial disparities exist in treatment patterns and survival, according to a study published online April 18 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Tonsillectomy Pre-Radiation Ups Survival in Early Tonsil CA

FRIDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with stage I and II primary tonsil carcinoma, radiotherapy after tonsillectomy is associated with improved overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS), compared with radiotherapy after biopsy, according to a study published in the April issue of JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

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Patient-Centered Decision Making Ups Health Outcomes

FRIDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patient-centered decision making (PCDM) is associated with improved health care outcomes, according to a study published in the April 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Urine Cytology Adds Little to Hematuria Investigation

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Urine cytology adds little to the diagnostic value of standard hematuria investigations, according to a study published in the April issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Accuracy of Smartphone Apps for Melanoma Risk Is Variable

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- The diagnostic accuracy of smartphone applications that analyze photos of pigmented skin lesions for melanoma risk is highly variable and incorrectly classifies about a third of melanomas as benign, according to a study published in the April issue of JAMA Dermatology.

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English-Acculturated Hispanics Report Less Sun-Safe Behavior

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- English-acculturated and bicultural (high English and Spanish acculturation) Hispanic adults report lower engagement in skin cancer-related behaviors, according to a study published online April 17 in JAMA Dermatology.

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Relative Proportion of MRSA Increasing in S. aureus Isolates

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- The relative proportion of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is increasing in S. aureus isolates, and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, according to a study published in the April issue of JAMA Dermatology.

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For Older Men, Prostate Biopsy Uncommon After Abnormal PSA

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- For older men with abnormal prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, performance of prostate biopsies is uncommon and decreases with advancing age and worsening comorbidity, according to a study published online April 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Guidelines Issued Relating to Online Medical Professionalism

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should be aware of the benefits on online media and should recognize the implications for patient confidentiality and public perception, according to a position paper published in the April 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Family-Centered Teaching Rounds Good for Patients, Students

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Teaching and conducting rounds in the presence of patients and their families can be beneficial for patients and learners, according to research published online April 15 in Pediatrics.

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Glutamine, Antioxidants No Benefit to Critically Ill Patients

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- For critically ill patients with multiorgan failure, early supplementation with glutamine or antioxidants does not improve clinical outcomes, according to a study published in the April 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Community Benefit Spending Varies for Tax-Exempt Hospitals

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- There is considerable variation in the level of community benefit expenditure by tax-exempt hospitals, according to a study published in the April 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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PSA in Midlife Can Predict Later Risk of Prostate Cancer Mets

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentrations in midlife can be used to predict the long-term risk of prostate cancer metastasis or death from prostate cancer, according to a study published online April 16 in BMJ.

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Presenting Fee Data to Docs Cuts Number of Tests Ordered

WEDNESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Presenting fee data to providers at the time of laboratory test orders is associated with a small reduction in the number of tests ordered, according to a study published online April 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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USPSTF: Offer Preventive Meds to Women at Risk of Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women who are at increased risk of primary breast cancer consider taking preventive medications such as tamoxifen. This Recommendation Statement is based on an evidence review published in the April 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Draft Recommendation Statement
Comment on Recommendations
Background Review

Computer-Aided Detection Tied to Increase in DCIS Diagnoses

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- The use of computer-aided detection (CAD) for screening mammography has increased in prevalence and is associated with increased diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), according to a study published in the April 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Endocrine Therapy Often Incomplete after Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- About 25 percent of women with breast cancer either never initiate adjuvant endocrine treatment or stop treatment prematurely, according to a study published in the March issue of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

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Endometriosis Surgery Linked to Lower Ovarian Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo surgical treatment for endometriosis have a significantly lower risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to a study published online April 8 in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

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Similar Outcomes for Robotic, Laparoscopic Prostatectomy

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- For men undergoing routine surgical treatment for localized cancer of the prostate, robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RALP) does not result in better functional outcomes compared to laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP), according to a study published in the April issue of Urology.

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Longer Breastfeeding Duration Boosts Risk of Iron Deficiency

TUESDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Longer breastfeeding duration is associated with increased odds of iron deficiency in healthy children, according to a study published online April 15 in Pediatrics.

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Pediatric Melanomas Are Increasing 2 Percent a Year

MONDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of pediatric melanoma has increased by about 2 percent per year, and this incidence trend is influenced by gender, age, and stage at diagnosis, primary site, and ultraviolet (UV)-B exposure, according to research published online April 15 in Pediatrics.

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In-Transit Melanoma Advance Is Difficult to Predict

MONDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Progressive disease cannot be reliably predicted by patient, clinical, or procedural factors in patients receiving regional therapy for advanced melanoma of the extremities, according to a study published online April 3 in JAMA Surgery.

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ACS: Room for Improvement in Cancer Prevention, Detection

THURSDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Despite improvements in aspects of cancer prevention and early detection, more systematic efforts to reduce tobacco use and obesity, and expand the use of screening tests could prevent much of the suffering and death of cancer, according to a report published online April 11 by the American Cancer Society.

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Speech Details Practices to Improve U.S. Health Systems

THURSDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- There are specific steps health care providers and policymakers should take to create high-quality, patient-centered care at lower costs, according to remarks made in an April 9 speech to the National Press Club.

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Patients Accepting, Grateful for Death With Dignity Program

WEDNESDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients and families are accepting of and grateful for a Death with Dignity program established at a comprehensive cancer care center, according to a study published in the April 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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BRAF V600E Mutation Ups Papillary Thyroid Cancer Death

TUESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC), the presence of the BRAF V600E mutation is associated with increased cancer-related mortality, according to a study published April 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Overall Alcohol Intake Not Tied to Breast CA-Specific Survival

TUESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate alcohol consumption before diagnosis of breast cancer is associated with modest improvement in disease-specific survival, although overall consumption before and after diagnosis are not linked to disease-specific survival, according to a study published online April 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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USPSTF Finds Evidence Is Lacking for Oral Cancer Screens

TUESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) finds that there is currently not enough evidence to determine the benefits and harms of primary care screening of all adults for oral cancer, according to report it released April 8.

Draft Recommendation Statement
Comment on Recommendations

ACP: Men Need to Be Informed of PSA Testing Benefits, Harms

TUESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Men between the ages of 50 and 69 years old need to be informed about the limited potential benefits and substantial harms of screening for prostate cancer, according to a guidance statement published online April 8 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Amiodarone Treatment Is Linked to Higher Cancer Risk

MONDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Amiodarone treatment for arrhythmias is associated with a higher risk of developing cancer, particularly in males and with increasing dose, according to a study published online April 8 in Cancer.

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Smoking on Waking Increases Risk of Lung and Oral Cancers

MONDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers who smoked within five minutes after waking have higher levels of tobacco smoke carcinogen and may be at higher risk for lung and oral cancer, according to research published online April 2 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

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Coal-Tar-Sealed Pavement-Tied PAH Exposure Ups Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- There is a significantly increased lifetime risk of cancer for individuals exposed to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) associated with coal-tar-sealed pavement, according to a study published in the Jan. 15 issue of Environmental Science & Technology.

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Smoking Worsens Outcomes With Advanced Colon Cancer

FRIDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking is tied to significantly shorter disease-free survival (DFS) and time to recurrence (TTR) in patients undergoing treatment for stage III colon cancer, according to a study published April 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Program Linked to Medical Oncology Practice Improvement

FRIDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- For medical oncology practices in the United States, participation in the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) correlates with improvements in measured performance, especially with regard to newly introduced clinical information, according to research published online March 11 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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"Never Events" Rare After Bladder Cancer Surgery

THURSDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- "Never events", ten hospital-acquired conditions deemed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as being reasonably preventable, are rare in patients with bladder cancer who have undergone radical cystectomy, according to a study published in the March issue of Urology.

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Glucocorticoids Are Tied to Increased Risk of Clots

THURSDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Glucocorticoid users face an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to a study published online April 1 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Androgen Deprivation Tx Compared in Prostate Cancer

WEDNESDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer, intermittent androgen deprivation is associated with slightly, but not significantly, worse survival than continuous androgen deprivation, according to a study published in the April 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Belgium Study Tracks Trends in End-of-Life Decision Making

WEDNESDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- In Belgium, between 1998 and 2007, euthanasia was legalized and palliative care was intensified, which led to an increase in end-of-life decisions (ELDs) and fewer life-ending acts without the patient's explicit request, according to research published online March 11 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Duloxetine Is Effective for Reducing Chemotherapy Pain

TUESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Duloxetine is effective in reducing pain in patients with painful chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, according to a study published online April 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Study Tracks Patterns of U.S. Cases of Anal Canal Carcinoma

TUESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Available screening and identification of human papillomavirus likely contributed to the increased incidences of squamous cell carcinoma of the anal canal (SCCA) and anal carcinoma in situ (CIS) after 1997, according to research published online March 18 in Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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USPSTF: BRCA Testing for Women With Family History

TUESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing be limited to women whose family histories are associated with an increased likelihood of having BRCA mutations.

Draft Recommendation Statement
Comment on Recommendations

Most Partners of U.S. Docs Satisfied in Their Relationships

MONDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Most spouses/partners of U.S. physicians report being satisfied with their relationships, with satisfaction linked to time spent together each day, according to research published in the March issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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