Monday, March 28, 2016

Our Voices Were Heard at The SGO Annual Meeting

As you know I was not able to attend the SGO Annual meeting in person but followed the research news and announcements on Twitter. Annie Ellis, a friend and fellow ovarian cancer survivor did attend the meeting. In my two previous posts on the meeting, I included a number of her in-person tweets. 

But Annie was more than a research advocate in attendance, she was a co-author of the presentation  "Survivors Acceptance of Treatment Side Effects Evolves as Goals of Care Change over the Cancer Continuum" presented by Dr Melissa Frey, NYU Langone Medical Center.

There are a number of meaningful endpoints in clinical trials - overall survival (OS), Progression Free Survival (PS), patient reported outcomes (PRO) and quality of life (QOL). In September 2015, an FDA workshop was held on alternative endpoints. The study presented at SGO by Dr Frey brought focus on the patients perspective on these endpoints.

Melissa Frey MD, Annie Ellis, Laura Koontz PhD, Savannah Shyne MPH, Jing-Yi Chern MD , Jessica Lee MD and Stephanie Blank MD undertook this study to determine whether survivors’ acceptance of treatment side effects changes over the course of living with the disease (NED, recurrence). To do this, Annie Ellis developed a survey and reached out to the ovarian, primary peritoneal and fallopian tube cancer communities for responses to questions related to treatment side effects and patient goals. Over three hundred women participated in the survey. I was one of those 300 women.

45% of the women had a treatment goal of overall survival
41% of the women had a treatment goal of quality of life
12% of the women had a treatment goal of progression free survival
2% of the women did not respond to the question

In response to the question "What is most meaningful to you"  most women chose either overall survival or ability to engage in daily activities.

The overall response to the questions "When asked what they expected from treatment" appears below.

When you separate out the responses of women who have had a recurrence 16% expected a cure and 53% remission. These findings are significant.

Participants were then asked what side effects they would tolerate to get a cure, remission or stable disease. This slide summarizes those responses.

Looking at just those women who have recurrent disease ( n-162) whose expectation is a cure their responses to what side effects they would accept are presented on this slide.

In conclusion:

I look forward to the development of the survivors' decision tool.

Did you take part in the survey? Were the results what you would have expected?
If you didn't participate, which side effects would you tolerate to get a cure, remission or stable disease?

Thank you Annie and all the co-authors for asking women diagnosed with ovarian cancer to share their expectations with the gynecologic oncology cancer community, for reporting those results to the community and for allowing me to share parts of the presentation with my readers.

Every Day is a Blessing! Blessed to have engaged ovarian cancer research advocates like Annie Ellis working with researchers dedicated to understanding the needs and expectations of survivors.

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