A Sneak-Peek at the 2018 Annual Meeting Print Email

A Sneak-Peek at the 2018 MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting

April 2018
The MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting will be held in Vienna, Austria, June 28-30. This year’s meeting, MASCC’s 27th and ISOO’s 32nd, will bring together world-renowned experts, clinicians, and researchers to address numerous topics in supportive cancer care. Meeting Chair Rachel Gibson, along with the Scientific Committee, has put together an exciting program of presentations, workshops, e-posters, and discussions. These events will showcase recent progress in managing the symptoms and side effects of cancer and its treatment, as well as look ahead at exciting new advances on the horizon. The 2018 meeting offers an opportunity to celebrate the impact of supportive care on patient experience, treatment outcomes, and survival, and to collaborate with like-minded colleagues from around the world to continue making strides in the future. Join us in Vienna!


Plenary 1: Cannabinoids for Symptom Management and Cancer Therapy
Chair: Rachel Gibson
Mellar Davis. Evidence for Cannabinoids in Symptom Management
Paul Farquhar. Do Cannabinoids Have a Role in the Management of Cancer Pain
Declan Walsh. Established and Potential Therapeutic Applications of Cannabinoids in Oncology

Cannabis is increasingly promoted as a class of drugs that improve symptoms and can potentially treat cancers. In various surveys and depending on the country, as many as 10% to 20% of patients undergoing cancer treatments are using cannabis. Medical cannabis has been used to reduce pain and pain-related insomnia, as well as anorexia, anxiety, dysgeusia, and nausea. Some patients take cannabis to treat their cancer and oncologists are often unaware that their patients are using medical cannabis. Chronic cannabis use produces side effects that sometimes resemble cancer-related symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and depression. The evidence for medical cannabis as an analgesic has been summarized in multiple systematic reviews and several meta-analyses. But its benefits for non-pain symptoms have not been as extensively investigated. Trials involving patients with chronic illnesses suggest that cannabis may have a beneficial effect on some symptoms. This Plenary Session will review the evidence for cannabinoids in symptom management and their role in cancer-related pain and other symptoms, as well as established and potential therapeutic applications of cannabinoids in cancer treatment.

Plenary 2: Cardiac Toxicities Arising from Cancer Therapies
Chair: Ian Olver
Thomas Suter. Ischemic Heart Disease in the Cancer Patient: Considerations Beyond Conventional Arteriosclerosis
Michael Ewer. Myocardial Inflammation after Check-Point Inhibitor Exposure: How Serious is the Problem
Sandra Swain. New Cardiac Guidelines — Where They Agree, Where They Differ, and How Does It Affect Patient Care

Cardiotoxicity can be a very serious side effect of cancer therapy. Clinicians need to have a sound understanding of its risk factors, prevention, detection, and treatment. Cardiotoxicity associated with cytotoxic drugs, such as anthracyclines, is well known as a cumulative toxicity that lowers the ejection fraction. The targeted monoclonal antibody, trastuzumab, is also associated with cardiotoxicity and adds complexity to treatment decision-making, particularly in breast cancer. Now, we are seeing myocardial inflammation with the new checkpoint inhibitors. New cardiac guidelines cover such recent advances in the field. It is, therefore, timely focus on this side effect. Thomas Suter will focus on mechanisms beyond just arteriosclerosis when cancer patients present with ischaemic heart disease. Michael Ewer will discuss the cardiac effects of the new, targeted therapies, while Sandra Swain will guide us through the changes in the most recent guidelines.

Plenary 3: Post Chemotherapy Cognitive Impairment
Chair: Raj Lalla
Michelle Janelsins. Cognitive Complaints in Survivors of Breast Cancer After Chemotherapy Compared with Age-Matched Controls
Karin Olson. Assessing Cognitive Function in Adults Receiving Chemotherapy
Ida (Ki) Moore. Overview of the Effects of Cancer Treatment on Cognitive Impairments in Children

Cancer-related cognitive impairment is a significant source of distress for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Research in this area has been limited by small sample sizes, lack of pre-therapy and long-term follow-up, and other problems, such as the difficulty of assessing cognitive change. Karin Olson will address some of the challenges associated with measuring cognitive changes and propose some strategies for addressing this issue. Michelle Janelsins will discuss the results of a large prospective, longitudinal, and nationwide study of breast cancer patients compared to age-matched controls, adjusting for relevant covariates. She will also discuss risk factors for cognitive decline and avenues for future research. And Ida (Ki) Moore will address the effects of chemotherapy on such cognitive functions as short-term memory, visual-motor integration, and attention in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Moore and her colleagues have also investigated risk factors and mechanisms for the neurologic injury associated with aggressive treatment directed at the central nervous system in children with ALL.


You can find full workshop descriptions in the February 2018 issue of the Society News and at the MASCC Annual Meeting website. All workshops will be held on the morning of June 28th. Separate registration is required.

Workshop 1: Mucositis Study Design: What Do We Need to Know?
This workshop will be led by Sharon Elad, Mucositis Study Group.

Workshop 2: Update and New Developments in Supportive Care of Patients with Chemotherapy-Induced Alopecia
This workshop is presented by the Skin Toxicities Study Group and will be led by Jennifer Choi and Mario Lacouture.

Workshop 3: What Does the Future Hold? Prognostication in Advanced Cancer and Clinical Decision Making
This workshop represents a collaboration of the Education, Palliative Care, Nutrition & Cachexia, and Pediatrics Study Groups and will be led by David Hui, Marianne van de Wetering, Paz Fernández-Ortega, and Egidio Del Fabbro.

Workshop 4: Update and New Developments in Supportive Care of Patients Undergoing Immunotherapy
This workshop is presented jointly by the Neutropenia, Infection and Myelosuppression Study Group and the Skin Toxicities Study Group, and will be led by Jean Klastersky, Mario Lacouture, Jennifer Choi, and Bernardo Rapoport.

Workshop 5: Challenging Communications in Oncology

This workshop, which represents a collaboration between the Psychosocial Study Group and the Palliative Care Study Group, will be led by Andrew Davies, Lidia Schapira, Penny Schofield, and Greg Crawford.


This year’s parallel sessions will focus on numerous challenges facing cancer patients and caregivers, including the management of cancer symptoms and side effects of treatment. Topics will include oral health, bone health, cardiotoxicity, skin toxicities, mucositis, neuropathy, and infections — to name but a few. Some sessions will focus attention on specific age groups: pediatric patients, adolescents, and older adults with cancer. Educational sessions include a seminar in preparing manuscripts for journal submission and a special session on using social media to further the aims of, and knowledge in, supportive cancer care. There will also be a preview of next year’s meeting in San Francisco.


EONS/ONS/MASCC Joint Parallel Session
Thursday, June 28, 3:35-4:35
Etiology and Management of Sleep Disruption, Fatigue and Related Symptoms Across the Cancer Trajectory in Patients and Caregivers The session will draw on the expertise of a multidisciplinary group of experts and will provide information on the latest developments in the causes and management of cancer-related fatigue, sleep, and depression in patients and caregivers.

JASCC/MASCC Parallel Session
Friday, June 29, 2:10-3:10
The Evolving Approach to Management of Cancer Cachexia Syndrome
The Japanese Association of Supportive Care in Cancer joins MASCC in highlighting emerging research on the causes and mechanisms of cancer-related cachexia. Speakers will address recent research and clinical applications.

SIOG/MASCC Parallel Session
Saturday, June 30, 8:40-10:10
Supporting Older Adults with Cancer: Cognitive Impairment, Delirium, and Sleep — A Practical Guide The International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) joins MASCC to address problems faced by older adults with cancer. Speakers will address the management of patients with cognitive impairment, delirium, and dementia, as well as sleep disturbance, polypharmacy, and inappropriate medication use.

AFSOS Parallel Session
Saturday, June 30, 12:15-1:45
International Perspective: AFSOS, the French-Speaking Association for Supportive Care

Eastern Europe Parallel Session
Saturday, June 30, 12:15-1:45
International Perspective: Developing Supportive Care in Eastern Europe: Different Models and Similar Challenges


E-poster sessions, mentored by subject experts, will address topics in cancer pain, education in supportive care, pediatrics, psycho-oncology, and quality of life. The posters, available for viewing throughout the meeting, also allow delegates to contact authors directly and are available for pre and post viewing through the MASCC 2018 conference app.


  • Bone Necrosis: A Joint ASCO/MASCC/ISOO Consensus on Management and Prevention Strategies for the Oncologist and Dentist
  • Head and Neck Cancer Related Pain: A Multidisciplinary Approach
  • Diagnosis and Management of Oral Lesions Associated with Cancer Therapy: Separating the Good from the Bad and Ugly

Meet Your Colleagues in Supportive Care

The Annual Meeting provides an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded colleagues from around the world. Take advantage of this chance to share research and clinical perspectives, as well as to welcome and introduce new MASCC members and young investigators to experts in the field. Opportunities for networking will include a Welcome Reception for New Members and Awards Ceremonies, the MASCC Business Meeting (General Assembly), Study Group meetings, and the MASCC Presidential Dinner.

Get Involved in MASCC Study Groups!

The Annual Meeting is an excellent opportunity to find out what MASCC Study Groups are doing. If you are attending the meeting, feel free to attend any Study Group meetings in which you are interested. You don’t have to be a member. There, you will hear about current and upcoming projects. If you have a special interest or project in mind, you can find out if it’s something others are interested in. Meet the Study Group leaders and find out how to get involved.

MASCC members unable to attend the Annual Meeting can still participate in Study Group activities. Participating in Study Groups is the best way to meet like-minded colleagues and get involved in MASCC activities. You can join up to three Study Groups, and you can change your Study Group membership at any time. Study Groups conduct literature reviews and surveys, organize and conduct research studies and educational projects, and develop practice guidelines. As a Study Group member, you can contribute to MASCC by reviewing meeting abstracts and educational materials, monitoring your Group’s web page, and contributing helpful resources. Each year, several in-depth workshops, presented by one or more Study Groups, are held at the MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting. These well-attended workshops provide opportunities for participants to hear about the latest research, to share their own experience, and to meet colleagues with similar interests.

If you are a new member or have not yet signed up for Study Group membership, be sure to do so. Start by taking a look at the MASCC web pages of Study Groups in which you’re interested or contact the Study Group leaders to ask how you can become involved in ongoing projects.

To select or change your Study Group membership, go to “My Account” under Membership and then “Edit My Profile.” Keep your Study Group memberships up to date in order to receive the latest communications from Study Group Chairs.