IASCC — A New MASCC Affiliate

2019    In May 2019, MASCC signed an affiliation agreement with the Indian Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (IASCC). IASCC is a subdivision of Nag Foundation, a public charitable trust in Pune, Maharashtra, India, with a mandate of cancer care, research, and education. The IASCC’s mission is to promote research and education in the field of oncology supportive care among Indian healthcare providers. Its specific objectives are (1) to promote and undertake supportive care education for oncologists, nurses, and other oncology professionals through courses, modules, and meetings and (2) to collaborate with MASCC on research projects. Through its affiliate program, MASCC aims to create a global network of supportive care organizations that allows for international collaboration, as well as enhancing the experiences of cancer patients worldwide.

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MASCC Society News May 2019

2019    In the May 2019 issue, we feature two new MASCC Affiliates and a new MASCC Subgroup on Immuno-Oncology. MASCC President Raj Lalla provides some context for these exciting new developments within MASCC. We also have news about networking opportunities at the Annual Meeting and tips on getting started in social media to promote the work and visibility of MASCC around the world. If you’re new to social media, this year’s Annual Meeting will be a good place to learn more! As usual, we include several meeting reminders. We extend a warm welcome to all the new members who joined us in March. 

MASCC Society News January 2019

2019    In the January 2019 issue, we bring you news of a new MASCC initiative to promote affiliated supportive care associations in the Asia-Pacific region, a summary of a recent Post-MASCC meeting in Belgium, and news of the Lancet Oncology Commission’s work toward the integration of oncology and palliative care. In Study Group news, we bring you a profile of the recently renamed Oncodermatology Study Group (formerly Skin Toxicities), a name change that reflects a broadening of the Group’s areas of interest and research.MASCC President Raj Lalla, DDS, PhD, discusses the MASCC initiative related to national-level supportive care associations. As usual, we include upcoming conference reminders. We extend a warm welcome to all the new members who joined us in November. And we encourage every member to be a voice for MASCC!

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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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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FDA Approves Rolapitant for Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

2015    On September 2, 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved rolapitant (Varubi™) for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). Rolapitant, developed by Tesaro, Inc., is a selective and competitive neurokinin 1 (NK-1) receptor antagonist and is relatively long-acting with a half-life of about 7 days). The approval was based on three phase III clinical trials conducted by a research team that included MASCC members Bernardo Rapoport, Martin Chasen, Allen Poma, Lee Schwartzberg, and Rudolph Navari. These randomized, double-blind, controlled trials established the safety and efficacy of rolapitant. The drug was associated with a significant reduction in vomiting and use of rescue antiemetic drugs. Patients treated with rolapitant also reported both fewer episodes of nausea that interfered with their day-to-day life.

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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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Identifying Patients at Low Risk for FN Complications: Development and Validation of the MASCC Risk Index Score

2015    Febrile neutropenia (FN) is a life-threatening complication of cancer chemotherapy and is considered a medical emergency. The classic treatment strategy is broad-spectrum antibiotics administered intravenously in a hospital setting, and most patients respond promptly with no complications.

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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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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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