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2019 Study Group Awards

2019    At the 2019 MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting, seven Study Groups recognized high-quality work by junior investigators in their disciplines. The Fatigue Study Group was the first to honor outstanding young investigators with junior faculty and trainee awards as a means of professional recognition and a way to showcase cutting-edge work by up-and-coming researchers. The awards are based on the quality of abstracts submitted to the Annual Meeting. This year, junior investigator awards were conferred by the Study Groups on Fatigue, Geriatrics, Mucositis, Neurological Complications, Pediatrics, Psychosocial Issues, and Survivorship. In addition, the Fatigue Study Group recognized Debra L. Barton, PhD, FAAN, RN, as Distinguished Scientific Laureate.

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Cachexia Clinic Webinar Replay

2019    In February 2019, the MASCC Nutrition and Cachexia Study Group offered a webinar, “The Cachexia Clinic — Building a Supportive Care Necessity.” The webinar, featuring speakers Liz Isenring, PhD, Egidio Del Fabbro, MD, and Rony Dev, MD, provided information and practical considerations for establishing and operating a cachexia clinic within a cancer center. Topics concerned service and team composition, assessment, management, and outcome measures. A detailed description of the webinar is available here. A replay of the webinar is available at Cachexia Clinic Webinar.

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New MASCC Study Group Subgroup on Immuno-Oncology

2019    A new Subgroup on Immuno-Oncology (IO) has been formed by members of the Study Group on Neutropenia, Infection, and Myelosuppression and approved by MASCC’s Executive Committee. The Subgroup is led by Chair Bernardo Rapoport and Vice-Chair Mario Lacouture.

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Clinical Course of Venous Thromboembolism May Differ With Cancer Site

2017    Carme Font is one of a large group of investigators who have collaborated on a study of differences in the clinical course of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in relation to specific cancer sites (breast, prostate, colorectal, and lung). The study was based on data from an international registry of patients with VTE,* and included almost 4000 adult patients with active cancer.

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Incidental Venous Thromboembolism in Cancer Patients on Routine CT Scans

2017    In a prospective cohort study, Carmen Escalante et al. investigated the prevalence of incidental venous thromboemtolism (VTE) in almost 1100 adult cancer patients on routine staging CT scans of the chest, abdomen, or pelvis. The research team also documented symptoms associated with incidental VTEs and determined the incidence of VTE recurrence in these patients after 3 and 6 months.

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Exercise, Quality of Life, and Physical Function in Patients with Cancer

2017    MASCC members Paul Jacobsen (Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida) and Irma Verdonck-de Leeuw (VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) were among the many collaborators on a large-scale meta-analysis (Buffart et al., 2017) designed to evaluate the effects of exercise on quality of life and physical function in adult cancer patients.1 The study also aimed to determine the extent to which demographic, clinical, exercise, and other intervention-related variables moderated the main effects. The analysis included 34 randomized controlled trials that involved more than 4,500 adult cancer patients and that evaluated the effects of exercise on quality of life and physical function. Exercise was found to significantly improve both quality of life and physical function. These effects were unaffected by differences in demographic, clinical, and exercise variables, such as age, sex, education level, marital status, BMI, cancer type, metastatic stage, and treatment. Also, exercise was equally effective during and following cancer treatment.

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The Search for Mechanisms Underlying Fatigue Through Gene Expression Profiling

2016    Kord Kober, PhD, is this year’s winner of the Fatigue Study Group’s Junior Investigator Award for his research on gene expression profiling of inflammation and immune response pathways in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. In July, Kord and his colleagues, including MASCC members Christine Miaskowski and Judy Mastick, published their paper, “Gene Expression Profiling of Evening Fatigue in Women Undergoing Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer,” in Biological Research for Nursing. The report contains extensive details regarding methodology and gene expression analyses that we cannot include here, but the paper is available for free download.*

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Periodontal Disease Preceding Osteonecrosis of the Jaw in Cancer Patients Treated with Antiresorptives

2015    In September, 2014, The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) published clinical practice guidelines for maintaining bone health in patients with cancer. The guidelines address both multidisciplinary treatments for reducing skeletal effects of metastatic disease and strategies for minimizing treatment-induced skeletal damage. The guidelines article was published in the Annals of Oncology by R. Coleman, J. J. Body, M. Aapro, P. Hadji, and J. Herrstedt on behalf of the ESMO Guidelines Working Group.*

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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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MASCC/ESMO Antiemetic Guidelines Update

2016    The MASCC/ESMO Antiemetic Guidelines have been updated as of March, 2016. The guidelines are based on the Copenhagen Consensus Conference on Antiemetic Therapy, June 2015, and have been endorsed by both MASCC and ESMO. This set of evidence-based guidelines represents several important changes and first-time inclusions. This is the first time that recommendations about management of nausea and vomiting in advanced cancer have been included — as opposed to only nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy or radiotherapy — and in this respect, the new MASCC/ESMO guidelines differ from those of NCCN and ASCO. The new guidelines contain recommendations for two new NK1 receptor antagonists, rolapitant and netupitant, the latter given in combination with palonosetron (NEPA), and also discuss the use of olanzapine. The combination of an anthracycline with cyclophosphamide, previously considered of medium emetogenic risk (30-90% risk of vomiting) is now considered a high-risk combination (>90% risk of vomiting). However, this remains a special case, since recommendations for the delayed phase differ from those of other chemotherapies of highly emetogenic risk. In addition, carboplatin is now considered a special case with an indication for triple preventative therapy in the acute phase.

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Cancer-Related Fatigue and Supportive Care

2015    Cancer-related fatigue is a common symptom that significantly affects quality of life and is one with physical, emotional, and cognitive components. Fatigue can be a direct effect of cancer itself or of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, following which it is often a long-term problem. Many patients are not prepared for the degree of fatigue they might experience after treatment and/or not educated in management strategies to cope with it, even though a number of interventions have been found helpful. These include exercise, diet, adequate sleep, education, information, counseling, and complementary therapies.

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Docetaxel-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy in Breast Cancer Survivors

2015    It is well known that chemotherapy-induced symptoms, including peripheral neuropathy, often lead to the reduction or premature discontinuation of drug dosages in a large proportion of patients. This can mean that patients receive significantly less chemotherapy. The taxanes, paclitaxel and docetaxel, are one class of chemotherapeutic drugs with this effect.

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Predicting Diarrhea and Rash in Breast Cancer Patients Treated with Lapatinib and Capecitabine

2015    MASCC Skin Toxicity Study Group Co-Chair Mario Lacouture has collaborated with Dr. George Dranitsaris of Augmentium Pharma Consulting in Toronto, Ontario, on the development of models for predicting the risks of diarrhea and rash in breast cancer patients being treated with lapatnib and capecitabine.

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MASCC/ISOO Clinical Practice Guidelines for Management of Mucositis Included in the National Guideline Clearinghouse

2014    The MASCC/ISOO Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Mucositis Secondary to Cancer Therapy are now included in the National Guideline Clearinghouse™ (NGC). The NGC is a database of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and related documents, maintained as a public resource by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Department of Health and Human Services. Inclusion in the NGC is contingent on meeting rigorous criteria, including evidence of a systematic literature review, systematically developed recommendations for optimal care in specific clinical circumstances, and an assessment of the benefits and harms of recommended care. The NGC carries the latest update of MASCC Mucositis Guidelines, published by Rajesh Lalla et al in Cancer in May, 2014 (open access).

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MASCC/ISOO Study Group Chairs Lead Study on Oral Complications of Radiotherapy

2012    Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) Receives $8 Million NIH Grant to Conduct First-Ever Study of its Kind. CHS’s Carolinas Medical Center has been awarded an $8 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) to study dental and oral medicine outcomes of patients who have received high-dose radiation to the head and neck region. This is the largest research grant ever awarded to CHS. As the awardee organization, CHS will administer the grant, which will be shared across the several sites involved in the study. Each year 40,000 Americans develop head and neck cancer, and many have to receive high-dose radiation therapy, often in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. An unavoidable side effect of radiation therapy is damage to the oral and maxillofacial tissues, some of which persist for the lifetime of the patient.

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Diagnostic and Management Practices for Oral Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease (cGVHD)

2012    The Oral Care Study Group conducted a study on the diagnosis and treatment of oral chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). The study was designed to assess common practices, as well as to determine use of the National Institute of Health scale for the diagnosis and grading of oral cGVHD. The project was headed by Sharon Elad, DMD, MSc, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, University of Rochester Medical Center.

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