General Discussions

Meetings of the Minds to Improve Cancer Care

By Mike Hennessy, Sr.
PUBLISHED THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 1970
OncLive Chairman, Mike Hennessy

OncLive Chairman,
Mike Hennessy

Each year, we greatly anticipate the largest gathering of oncology professionals in the world—the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), when thousands of clinicians and researchers travel to Chicago to share findings from potentially practice-changing phase III trials and intriguing results from ideas at an earlier stage of development.

This year certainly did not disappoint, and in this special issue of Oncology Nursing News, we focus on research around symptom management and improving not only patient outcomes, but also quality of life—areas at the heart of oncology nursing practice.

Not surprisingly, solutions driven by technology were featured at the 2016 ASCO meeting, as investigators tested ways to leverage these tools to improve oncology care. A powerful example of this is a web-based system for reporting and tracking symptoms that achieved impressive gains in survival for patients with lung cancer.

Other promising approaches to managing side effects featured in this issue include a steroid mouthwash which turned out to be a convenient way for patients to reduce both the rate and the severity of stomatitis, a painful and often dose-limiting side effect of mTOR inhibitor therapy. Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy is another highly prevalent side effect of many of these agents, yet currently there are no established treatments. Clinical researchers are looking at new ways to tackle this vexing problem, such as frozen gloves/socks and structured exercise programs; attendees at ASCO heard encouraging results from the study leaders on both approaches.

We hope that you find these articles and reports on many other studies recapped in our Clinical Insights/CE section this month informative and useful in your daily practice. And on our website, nursing.OncLive.com, you will find a host of insightful video interviews with practitioners at the meeting.

ASCO was not the only “meeting of the minds” this summer season. Oncology Nursing News was also on hand for the 8th Biennial Survivorship Research Conference where researchers, clinicians, and patient advocates shared new approaches for addressing the needs of our nation’s expanding population of cancer survivors, and particularly those aged 65 and older. In this issue, we recap just a sampling of these innovative practices, from gardening to group acupuncture—but they all have a singular focus: promoting healthy survivorship.

I continue to be impressed by how one individual’s good idea can eventually become practice-changing, and these meetings are a powerful testament to that. As always, thank you for reading.

—Mike Hennessy
Chairman and CEO
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