2019 Outstanding Study Group and Study Group Leader Awards

2019    MASCC has initiated two new awards to recognize outstanding work by a MASCC Study Group and an outstanding Study Group Leader. Projects carried out by our Study Groups result in clinical practice guidelines, position papers, publications, and other products that advance supportive care in cancer. Through these new awards, MASCC recognizes excellent work by its Study Groups and the leaders who drive these efforts. The MASCC Mucositis Study Group was named the 2019 Outstanding Study Group, and Mucositis SG Chair Sharon Elad, DMD, MSc, was named the 2019 Outstanding Study Group Leader.

The Mucositis Study Group
The Mucositis Study Group's (MSG) major goal is to improve outcomes of patients experiencing oral and gastrointestinal mucositis associated with anticancer therapies, and to this end, the Study Group works on multiple fronts. The MSG currently includes 245 members from 33 countries. Chair Sharon Elad, DMD MSc, is assisted by Vice-Chairs Paolo Bossi, MD, and Karis Kin Fong Cheng, PhD, RN.

The MSG has developed the MASCC/ISOO Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Mucositis, originally published in 2004, and updated in 2007 and 2014. Its impact is demonstrated by the fact that the Guidelines have been endorsed or referenced by several major professional societies in the field of oncology, including the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).

The most recent Guidelines update is now being published, with the first set of papers appearing in July 2019 in Supportive Care in Cancer.1 The continuous contribution to the scientific literature over the years in high-impact ranked journals contributes to the visibility of the MSG and to MASCC and ISOO as leading international professional societies. The high citation rate of these papers is a testimony to the worldwide impact of the guideline publications.

The MSG regularly organizes educational sessions on mucositis at MASCC/ISOO Annual Meetings. These sessions include both basic science research and clinical topics. MSG parallel sessions, as well as Mucositis Research Workshops, allow a stage for investigators to present cutting-edge research. These sessions include expert presentations and interaction among participants from all over the world. In particular, these workshops provide the audience with practical information related to the clinical management of mucositis and useful information for conducting research about mucositis. The first Mucositis Research Workshop took place in 2006. The most recent Workshop in San Francisco focused on mucositis-associated pain and new insights about the pathogenesis of mucositis. It brought together basic, translational, and clinical researchers in an exciting and interactive setting to advance the understanding of mucositis mechanisms and management. The Workshop was highly attended with a full house. Many attendees, long-time members of the MSG, are already planning to attend the 2020 Workshop.

The MSG also takes patient education seriously and has developed patient-friendly versions of the evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Oral Mucositis. These materials include mucositis management for patients treated with chemotherapy, patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and patients treated with radiotherapy involving the head and neck. The information sheets are freely offered as a resource to healthcare providers and are available at the MASCC website: Mucositis Education.

In the last two years, the MSG has used social media to promote its activities to its members, engage MSG members within the Mucositis Research Workshop, and increase the visibility of both the MSG and MASCC. The MSG Social Media Task Force plans to develop content for members on a new MSG Facebook page that will serve as a platform for multi-lateral dialogue. The excellent MSG 2019 Videoclip produced by the MSG Social Media Task Force introduces the Study Group and its activities. This is the second year that this group has produced an outstanding artistic videoclip, and the MSG is proud to count these talented individuals within its members.

The list of research projects in the MSG pipeline is long. Its 2019-2020 plan was introduced at the MSG meeting at MASCC/ISOO 2019 in San Francisco. More details will be shared with MSG members in regular emails from MSG leaders and on the MSG Facebook page. (Note: The Facebook page is open to MSG and MASCC members only. You are welcome to click on “Join Group” to submit your request to join.)

Most important, the MSG creates a friendly environment that attracts many new members and makes its annual meeting a celebration for long-time members. If you are interested in learning more about this Study Group and opportunities for getting involved, the MSG leaders invite you to become a member and be added to the MSG mailing list.

Sharon Elad, DMD, MSc
Sharon Elad, DMD, MSc, is a Professor of Dentistry at the University of Rochester, where she is Chair of the Division of Oral Medicine at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and a Principal Consultant for Hospital Dentistry at University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY.

In 2009, Sharon was elected to serve as Co-Chair of the MSG and, since 2015, has served as Chair. She has taken a leading role the development and publication of several guidelines and position papers. She has participated in all the MASCC/ISOO Mucositis Guidelines updates and attended the respective Guidelines Meetings including those in Geneva (2005), Athens (2011), and Washington, DC (2017).

Sharon has published widely and is recognized as an international expert on oral complications of cancer treatment, such as mucositis, osteonecrosis of the jaw, and chronic graft-versus-host disease, as well as dental management of these patients. Previously, she chaired the Israeli Society of Oral Medicine (2002-2010) and served as General Secretary for the International Society of Oral Oncology (ISOO) (2005-2013). Sharon Elad is among the select few who have received the Honorary Diplomate Award from the American Board of Oral Medicine.

1As of July 8, 2019, the papers are available among Springer’s Online First Articles: Special Section on the MASCC/ISOO Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Mucositis - 2019 Update. Guest Editor: Sharon Elad, DMD, MSc.

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