Special Issues


August 2017, Vol 7, No 8: Special Edition – Highlights from ASCO 2017

Clinical Pathways: Agents of Change Toward Patient-Centric Care

Chase Doyle

Clinical Pathways

Chicago, IL—Developed in the early 2000s, clinical pathways are being increasingly used by providers. According to ASCO’s The State of Cancer Care in America, 2016 report, there was a 46% increase in the provider use of clinical pathways between 2014 and 2015, and that figure now exceeds 50%, reported Robin Zon, MD, FACP, FASCO, Medical Oncologist, Michiana Hematology Oncology Advanced Centers for Cancer Care, South Bend, IN, and Chair of the ASCO Task Force on Clinical Pathways, at the 2017 ASCO annual meeting. Dr Zon described the potential role of high-quality clinical pathways in payment reform and utilization management and forecasted the future of clinical pathways, with possible returns on investment. [ Read More ]

Oncology Practice in a Shifting Policy Landscape: The Role of State Affiliates

Chase Doyle

Oncology Policy

Chicago, IL—For the past 5 years, state affiliates have become galvanized by the issues facing oncologists, especially with the increased involvement and support of ASCO, said Tracey Weisberg, MD, President and Lead Physician, New England Cancer Specialists, Scarborough, ME, and Chair, ASCO State Affiliate Council, at the 2017 ASCO annual meeting practice management sessions. Dr Weisberg encouraged members to join their respective state societies and outlined the high-priority issues that have shaped recent discussions. [ Read More ]

Business of Practice 2017: Maximize Your MIPS Success

Chase Doyle

Professional Development, Reimbursement Issues

Chicago, IL—As the battle over the Affordable Care Act rages on, Congress remains steadfast in its support of the Quality Payment Program. Even though Medicare reimbursement will not change until 2019, the new era of the Quality Payment Program begins this year. At the 2017 ASCO annual meeting practice management sessions, Stephen S. Grubbs, MD, FASCO, ASCO’s Vice President of Clinical Affairs, described the requirements of the Quality Payment Program and shared strategies for optimal reporting. [ Read More ]

Social Media a Powerful Tool for Communicating and Networking in Oncology

Chase Doyle

Social Media/New Technologies

Chicago, IL—Social media is not only for teenagers, and this platform has expanded more than its user base. In the past decade, social media has evolved to become a powerful tool of communication for professionals, and this is especially true in the healthcare world. At the 2017 ASCO annual meeting practice management sessions, Merry Jennifer Markham, MD, FACP, Associate Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Florida, Gainesville, shared examples of how social media can be used for professional development and networking while also describing potential barriers to its use. [ Read More ]

Patient-Reported Outcomes and New Technologies

Chase Doyle

Social Media/New Technologies

Chicago, IL—Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) have not been around for long, but they have been involved in nearly every aspect of oncology. Monitoring PROs has the potential to improve clinical benefit, more accurately capture toxicity, and provide better cost data. In addition, new technologies can facilitate the collection of PROs and other patient-generated data, said Heather S. Jim, PhD, Associate Member, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, at the 2017 ASCO annual meeting practice management sessions. [ Read More ]

Improving Communication Skills to Address Patient Goals Related to End-of-Life Care

Chase Doyle

Communication Skills

Chicago, IL—As palliative care assumes a larger role in clinical practice, talking with patients about their goals of care, especially early in the disease course, is more important than ever. In fact, according to Anthony L. Back, MD, Co-Director, Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, University of Washington, Seattle, having conversations about end-of-life and supportive care is one of the critical competencies that every oncologist and cancer care clinician needs to take into consideration. [ Read More ]

FDA Perspective on Safety Reporting of Serious Adverse Events

Chase Doyle

Adverse Events

Chicago, IL—Although regulations state that sponsors are required to notify the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of potential serious risks from clinical trials, the large volume of adverse event report submissions has been identified as a burden to the effective conduct of clinical research, reported Meredith K. Chuk, MD, Medical Officer, FDA Office of Hematology and Oncology Products (OHOP), Silver Spring, MD, at the 2017 ASCO annual meeting practice management sessions. [ Read More ]

Novel Drug “Home Run” for TRK Mutation–Positive Tumors

Phoebe Starr

Clinical Highlights

Chicago, IL—Larotrectinib (LOXO-101), an investigational agent that targets tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) fusions, has demonstrated excellent, consistent, and durable antitumor activity in a range of tumor types in adults and children, reported lead investigator David M. Hyman, MD, Chief, Early Drug Development Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, at the 2017 ASCO annual meeting. Larotrectinib was called “the first oral tumor-agnostic therapy,” because of its unprecedented high response rates in 17 tumor types that express TRK. [ Read More ]

Optimizing the Alignment of Value and Precision Medicine in Oncology

Chase Doyle

Precision Medicine

Chicago, IL—As healthcare resources become increasingly constrained, aligning precision medicine and value may offer a way forward, but traversing this path could be a challenge for oncologists. According to Deborah Schrag, MD, MPH, Chief, Division of Population Sciences, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, the vision of precision medicine is for accurate biomarkers to identify the appropriate candidates for targeted treatment, which is more effective and less toxic than traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy. Given the rapid pace of innovation, however, the reality is more complex. [ Read More ]