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National Associations for Supportive Care in Cancer

MASCC recently convened an international meeting in Singapore to better understand supportive care needs and to explore options for creating supportive care societies in the Asia-Pacific region.

 
MASCC Society News December 2018

In the December 2018 issue,  we bring you news of several recent meetings that have included a focus on supportive cancer care. MASCC President Raj Lalla, DDS, PhD, discusses MASCC Study Groups, our new Study Group policy, and a new award to recognize outstanding Study Groups and their leaders. We include a Letter from Christopher Steer, MBBS, FRACP, about the goals of the geriatric oncology community and the legacy of Arti Hurria, MD, a leader in the field who died tragically in early November. Ourania Nicolatou-Galitis, DDS, DrDent, has provided a research update based on papers presented at the recent International Symposium on Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaws. We extend a warm welcome to all the new members who joined us in October. And we encourage every member to be a voice for MASCC!

 
Research Update on MRONJ
The development of medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaws (MRONJ) was highlighted as a growing epidemic at the recent International Symposium on Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaws in Copenhagen. For the benefit our MASCC members, Ourania Nicolatou-Galitis, DDS, DrDent, Chair of the Bone & Musculoskeletal Study Group, provides an update based on papers presented at the meeting and recent publications. She discusses the definition and staging of MRONJ, as well as prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, best practice, and education. 
 
2nd International Symposium on MRONJ

The Second International Symposium on Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaws (MRONJ) took place in Copenhagen on November 2, 2018 and was attended by 105 healthcare professionals. Two MASCC members were among the speakers: Ourania Nicolatou-Galitis, DDS, DrDent, Chair of MASCC’s Bone and Musculoskeletal Study Group and Bente Brokstad Herlofson, DDS, PhD, a Study Group member. Among other topics, the symposium included the following:  definition, classification, epidemiology, and clinical manifestations of MRONJ; imaging; treatment; periodontal and periapical disease and osteonecrosis; exposed and non-exposed MRONJ; tooth extractions, drug holiday, tyrosine kinase inhibitors and their role in MRONJ; education of healthcare providers.

 
David Warr, MD on Supportive Care in Pakistan

MASCC member and Past President David Warr, MD, recently gave two presentations at the 17th Annual Shaukat Khanum Cancer Symposium, held in Lahore, Pakistan, November 2-4, 2018: “Evolving Concepts of Supportive Care in the (Neo)Adjuvant Setting” and “Breast Cancer and Oncofertility.” Among the issues David discussed was the distinction between supportive and palliative care, stressing the MASCC ideal of supportive care. He also discussed supportive care best practices in the adjuvant setting, including antiemetics, pain, febrile neutropenia, and alopecia. Through numerous examples, David stressed the importance of supportive care as an integral part of treatment to maintain to patients’ wellbeing, even in the early stages of cancer treatment. Introducing strategies to alleviate physical and psychological effects of the disease can improve both treatment outcomes and quality of life.

 
2018 ASCO Palliative & Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium

The ASCO Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium was held November 16-17 in San Diego, California. This annual Symposium, co-sponsored by MASCC, provides information vital to the entire cancer care continuum, from research on biologic mechanisms of symptoms to caring for patients’ psychosocial and spiritual needs during cancer treatment and at the end of life. Topics included the training of oncology clinicians in palliative care skills, new approaches to addressing old symptoms, the opioid debate, caregiver and patient narratives at the end of life, immunotherapeutic quandaries, and financial toxicity during treatment and beyond. Several MASCC members were among the speakers and moderators, and MASCC had a booth in the Exhibit Hall. 

 
2018 Cancer Treatment-Related Adverse Events Symposium

The 2018 Annual Cancer Treatment-Related Adverse Events Symposium was held at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on October 26th and 27th, 2018 under the direction of MASCC member Mario E. Lacouture, MD. More than 310 people, representing 8 different countries, attended the Symposium this year. The Symposium was designed to provide up-to-date information on adverse event mechanisms and management concerning the most commonly affected organ systems with the goals of increasing knowledge about grading adverse events, understanding their mechanisms to improve intervention, and increasing awareness of clinical tools to assess treatment-related toxicities. Several MASCC members were among the faculty which considered a wide range of adverse events. 

 
Letter from Christopher Steer, MBBS, FRACP

Christopher Steer shares reflections on the 2018 SIOG meeting, goals of the geriatric oncology community and the legacy of Arti Hurria, MD, a leader in the field who died tragically in early November. Says Steer, The global oncology community will feel the loss of Arti Hurria for years to come, but her death has galvanized those of us in the field to realize her vision and improve the care of all older adults with cancer. While we know that “supportive care makes excellent cancer care possible,” it is the mantra of those working in the field of geriatric oncology that “adequate assessment yields appropriate treatment.”

 
SIOG 2018 Annual Conference: Becoming Mainstream Cancer Care

The 18th Annual Conference of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) was held on November 16-18 in Amsterdam, with a theme of “Geriatric Oncology — Becoming Mainstream Cancer Care.” This year’s conference was attended by 523 participants, the highest attendance yet, representing 41 countries. Attendees included oncologists, researchers, clinical practitioners, geriatricians, radiologists, psychologists, nutritionists, nurses and other healthcare professionals, as well as senior cancer survivor advocates. The conference featured a MASCC/SIOG Joint Session: “Supportive Care in Older Adults with Cancer in 2018: What Does It Look Like?” chaired by Andrew Davies, MD, and Christopher Steer, MBBS, FRACP.

 
Arti Hurria MD FASCO 1974-2018

We are sad to report that Arti Hurria, MD, FASCO, died in a motor vehicle accident on November 6, 2018. Dr. Hurria was Director of the Cancer and Aging Research Program at City of Hope, in Duarte, California, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Geriatric Oncology, and a prominent member of the International Society for Geriatric Oncology (SIOG). Our condolences to her family and colleagues around the world. 

 
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