The November issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON) is full of important news and updates for oncology nurses. In this issue, we feature a profile of the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta, GA, and speak with Deborah Watkins Bruner, RN, PhD, FAAN, Associate Director for Mentorship, Education, and Training, Winship Cancer Institute, about her various roles, main research interests, and concerns about the future of oncology research.
“I monitor junior faculty members and their mentorship under senior faculty members. I conduct gap analyses to assess priorities for mentorship, and how well we are meeting those priorities. I develop programs to assess the gaps and needs and to improve the quality of mentees’ scholarships,” said Dr Bruner in an interview with TON.
We also feature key presentations and studies from recent national meetings, including the 2017 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting, the 2017 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress, and the 2017 Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer/International Society of Oral Oncology Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer.
At the ASTRO meeting, researchers presented results from 2 studies that explored the importance of focusing on the psychological well-being of patients with cancer.
“Our findings point to a clear need for action, including depression screening during initial and continuing patient visits, initiation of mental health treatments for identified patients, and increased collaboration with mental health providers in cancer treatment centers. These efforts are particularly important for patients in urban centers, those who are female, and those who are unable to work because of their disease,” said Jason Domogauer, MD/PhD candidate, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, who presented the results from the second study.
At the ESMO Congress, Gilliosa Spurrier-Bernard, President, Melanome France, and Core Member, Melanoma Patient Network Europe, Clermont-Ferrand, France, told attendees about Melanoma Patient Network Europe, a loose network of grassroots organizations throughout Europe that is now collecting patient-reported data related to the side effects of immunotherapy in melanoma.
“Knowledge is power and protection. Data on side effects and how to manage them don’t come from clinical trials. We need to identify the side effects ourselves. The side effects of immunotherapy are difficult to manage and detect. They can be complicated endocrine or autoimmune effects and comprise small numbers of various types of side effects,” she explained.
At the same meeting, Beyhan Ataseven, MD, Senior Physician, Department of Gynecology and Gynecological Oncology, Evangelische Huyssens-Stiftung, Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Germany, presented results from a recent survey that revealed how patients’ perceptions of worrisome chemotherapy-related side effects have evolved since the 1980s and 1990s.
“With the most recent analysis dating back to 2002, we felt it was time to collect new data and update the interview format. Living conditions have changed, and so have the accompanying chemotherapies, as well as supportive measures to manage side effects. As doctors, it is important to know what our patients care about,” Dr Ataseven told the audience.
Other valuable insights that can be gleaned from articles in this issue include strategies to help allay patients’ fears regarding radiation-related side effects, the role of integrative and alternative medicine in improving quality of life for patients undergoing cancer treatment, and the ongoing process of selecting optimal therapy for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
As always, we hope you will enjoy this issue of TON and look forward to receiving your feedback. You can contact us via e-mail at info@TheOncologyNurse.com.