2016 MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting Study Group Workshops

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The 2016 MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting in Adelaide, Australia, featured six in-depth Pre-Conference Workshops. Sponsored by several Study Groups, the workshops provided an opportunity to hear about the latest research in the field and to meet colleagues with similar interests.

Mucositis Research
The Mucositis Study Group offered a workshop centered on the presentation of original research, both pre-clinical and clinical, by both beginning and experienced investigators. The workshop provided information about the latest research advances, an informal venue for detailed discussion, and identification of new opportunities for research and collaboration. The workshop was led by Sharon Elad, along with Paolo Bossi and Karis Cheng.

Sleep, Drowsiness, and Fatigue in Cancer Patients

Insomnia and other sleep problems are among the most prevalent and distressing problems reported by cancer patients, and they are often related to fatigue. They may affect ability to tolerate treatment and subsequent survival. Yet such sleep problems are often underdiagnosed and undertreated in this population. This workshop focused on sleep disturbances in cancer patients and included diagnosis and management. The workshop was jointly presented by the Study Groups on Fatigue, Palliative Care, and Rehabilitation, Survivorship, and Quality of Life. Diwakar Balachandran and Oxana Palesh led the workshop with assistance from Karen Mustian, David Hui, and Irma Verdonck-de-Leeuw.

Supportive Care for Patients Undergoing Immunotherapy
Bernardo Rapoport led this workshop co-sponsored by three Study Groups: Oral Care, Skin Toxicities, and Neutropenia, Infection, and Myelosuppression. The workshop focused on the new class of therapeutic agents known as immune checkpoint inhibitors, which play an important role in the management of melanoma, NSCLC, and other malignancies. Topics included the mechanism of action and uses of immune anti-CTL4 and anti-PD1 antibodies, as well as their associated toxicities, including skin side effects, GI toxicities, oral complications, and immune-related infections, among other adverse effects. 

Cancer-Related Cognitive Impairment

Alex Chan led this workshop, the first MASCC pre-conference workshop to focus on neurocognition. Participants learned about the etiology and clinical presentation of cancer-related cognitive impairments, as well as the assessment and management of such problems. Other topics of discussion included biomarkers, genetics, considerations for elderly patients, cultural concerns, and special populations.

Nutritional Care Throughout the Advanced Cancer Journey: The Whole Meal Deal

Nutritional issues, such as anorexia-cachexia, bowel obstruction, and dysphagia, are common in patients with advanced cancer and are associated with significant psychosocial distress, decreased function, compromised quality of life, and poor survival. But nutritional interventions at the end of life are highly controversial. The goals of this workshop were to review existing guidelines and basic nutritional assessments relevant to advanced cancer patients. Topics included treatments for cachexia, as well as hydration and artificial nutrition. The workshop was offered jointly by the Nutrition and Cachexia Study Group and the Palliative Care Study Group. David Hui led the workshop, with assistance from Liz Isenring.

End of Life: Global Challenges, Local Solutions

Andrew Davies led this workshop, in which participants considered what makes a “good death,” as well as how to plan for and manage end-of-life symptoms. This workshop highlighted the evidence for various end-of-life interventions and strategies for providing end-of-life care in challenging situations, with a focus on Australia. David Hui and Mellar Davis also participated in the workshop, along with other experts from Australia, the UK, and US.

MASCC Study Group Coordinator, Anne Young