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Updated Palliative Care Guidelines

2021     Two updated MASCC guidelines from the Palliative Care Study Group are now available on our website:

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Editor’s Pick: “Supportive care needs and service use during palliative care in family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer: a prospective longitudinal study”

2021    Throughout the year, we will share articles from the MASCC journal Supportive Care in Cancer. The “Editor’s Pick” section, chosen by the journal’s Editor-In-Chief, Dr. Fred Ashbury, PhD, will cover a variety of topics to meet the many interests of our membership.

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Member Spotlight: 2020 Annual Meeting Travel Scholarships Winner - Marina Čalamać

2020    Over several newsletter editions, MASCC will feature one of the winners of the 2020 Annual Meeting Travel Scholarships.  MASCC’s annual travel scholarships are part of our organization’s commitment to increasing the attendance of oncology healthcare professionals from low-income countries at our annual meetings. MASCC provides travel scholarships for this purpose in cases where attendance would not be possible without financial assistance. For more information on applying and recent recipients, click here.

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Introducing MASCC’S New President, Andrew Davies, and recently appointed executive leaders

2020    Andrew Davies, MB BS, MSc, MD, FRCP, took office as MASCC's new President in June, succeeding Rajesh Lalla, DDS, PhD, who has served as President since June 2018. Andrew is a Consultant in Palliative Medicine at the Royal Surrey County Hospital (St. Luke’s Cancer Centre) in Guildford in the United Kingdom. He is a longstanding member of MASCC and has served as a Board Member, the Chair of the Palliative Care study group, and Chair of the Annual Meeting in San Francisco (2019) and Seville (2020/2021).

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MASCC Recommendations for the Management of Constipation in Patients with Advanced Cancer

2019    Constipation is a common problem among patients with advanced cancer, with a reported prevalence of 32–87% in this group, in whom it also causes significant morbidity. Opioid-induced constipation appears to be a chronic side effect and is more common in patients with cancer pain than in those with nonmalignant pain. It may be influenced by the type of opioid involved, as well as by genetic factors, but does not appear to be particularly influenced by the dose of opioid.

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Integration of Oncology and Palliative Care Programs: An International Consensus

Many national and international professional organizations have called for increased integration of oncology and palliative care in order to meet the supportive care needs of cancer patients, but to date, there has been a lack of a global consensus on an acceptable level of integration of oncology and palliative care. Study Group members initiated a Delphi survey (three iterations) to develop an international consensus on indicators for the integration of specialty palliative care and oncology programs for hospitalized advanced cancer patients. Respondents, mostly from North America and Europe, reached consensus on 13 major and 30 minor indicators. Major indicators were related to clinical structure (e.g., presence of palliative care inpatient team), processes (e.g., early palliative care referral), outcomes (e.g., median time from diagnosis to palliative care consultation), and education (e.g., routine rotation of oncology fellows to palliative care). The indicators can be used to identify centers with a high level of integration and to facilitate benchmarking, quality improvement, and research.

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