What a year it has been for FDA approvals in oncology! With the holidays upon us, there is much to be thankful for in the world of cancer research, where advances in understanding tumor biomarkers have ushered in a host of new personalized therapies for many patients.
Perhaps nowhere was this progress more evident this year than in lung cancer, an area where more strides have been made in the last 5 years than in the previous four decades. This year alone, two immunotherapies—nivolumab and pembrolizumab—joined targeted agents approved previously for patients whose tumors harbor an EGFR
mutation. For patients who become resistant to their EGFR
therapies as most do, the FDA also accelerated its approval of osimertinib, the first agent cleared to treat these resistant tumors. These developments and more have been welcome news for patients, expanding their treatment options and extending survival.
No matter what the treatment, however, the oncology nurse remains front and center in supporting patients and their families throughout their lung cancer journey. In our cover story this month, Thoracic Oncology Nurse Navigator Betsy Hullender Quinn, a 40-year veteran of the nursing profession and an Oncology Nursing News
advisory board member, walks us through the many facets of her job coordinating the thoracic oncology program at Memorial Health Care in Tennessee. Quinn works tirelessly to make sure her patients get the right scans and see their medical and radiation oncologists quickly, while connecting them with whatever resources they need to optimize their treatment outcomes and quality of life.
Also this month, we launch a new column—The Social Nurse—by another advisory board member and social media expert Carol Bush. In her inaugural column, Bush explains how even just dipping a toe into the world of Twitter can help nurses tap into the collective knowledge of their peers, engage in informative discussions, and participate in collaborative projects whenever and wherever they like.
You can find other columns from Bush and our cadre of Oncology Nursing News
contributors on our website, Nursing.OncLive.com. We encourage you to share your perspectives with us through this forum—please contact Lauren Green (firstname.lastname@example.org
) to learn more about this opportunity or to share your suggestions.
As always, thank you for reading.