Tuesday, May 28, 2019

2019 Annual Retreat On Cancer Research in New Jersey

This year's retreat was as informative and interesting as in years past.

The morning began with the Public Forum on ScreenNJ - Cancer Prevention , Education and Detection. Dr A Stroup started off the session talking about cancer burden in NJ. 
NJ Cancer Burden

Cancer Disparaties

Dr M Steinberg talked about Lung Cancer screening and treatment. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women. He also made note of the fact that smoking affects nearly every organ of the smokers body. If a smoker stops smoking,  over time the risk of heart attack and stroke will drop. If you have 30 pack years of smoking ( smoke one pack a day for 30 years) then  Low Dose CT screening is available to you as a screening tool.

Screening option

Dr Natalie Pereira discussed Colorectal Screening and noted that it takes about 10 years for a abnormal polyp to become malignant cancer. The risks for colorectal cancer are age, family history, polyps, Lynch Syndrome and eating high quantities of fat or red meat.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer

Screening Recommendations

Dr Kinney shared information on the ScreenNJ Statewide program. Less than 60% of the eligible population in NJ has been screened for colorectal cancer and 10% of the eligible population in NJ has had lung cancer screening. We need to educate residents of NJ that these screening tests are available to them.

The Keynote speech was by Dr Steve Rosenberg, Chief of Surgery at the NCI. He presented an overview of the development of cell transfer therapy. There are a number of Immunotherapies using immune cells to recognize and kill cancer cells . He then focused on using those therapies to treat epithelial cancers. Epithelial cells are found in the linings of most organs - ovaries are one of those organs. Cell transfer therapy has had durable regressions in melanoma and in recent research in other epithelial cancers.

After lunch I listened to a short talk on Nanotechnology Approach for Precision Targeted Therapy for Ovarian Cancer by J Sapiezynski, a student at the Earnest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers. He used liposomes as a dose delivery system for cisplatin and SiRNA.

During the poster session I was able to chat with researchers who presented the results of the  Gynecologic Cancer Patients' and Supporters' Reports of Sharing (and Holding Back)Cancer-Related information during Onoclogy Visits Study. Eighteen patients ( during cycles 2 and 5 of their treatment)  and sixteen caregivers took part in the study. The theme that "Everything is easy to share" showed that patients found it easiest to discuss side effects with their oncology team. Yet there was also a theme of "Nothing held back...except" when patients or caregivers felt uncomfortable sharing some information - such as embarrassing information or prognosis.

I am so pleased to see that important research is taking place right here in my home state.

Every Day is a Blessing! 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Comment Period -Germline and Somatic Tumor Testing in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer guideline

ASCO develops practice guidelines for cancer treatment and care. Currently draft recommendations for the Guideline for Germline and Somatic Tumor Testing in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer  is open for comment. The public is invited to comment on the draft.

Here is information from ASCO  if you would like to read and comment on the draft rerecommendations -

ASCO invites interested stakeholders to submit comments on draft recommendations from the Germline and Somatic Tumor Testing in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline. 
To participate, interested reviewers can download the confidentiality agreement and email a signed copy to guidelines@asco.org to receive access to the survey containing the guideline recommendations. Comments will be accepted through Thursday, May 16. Learn more at www.asco.org/open-comment-guidelines.
Advocates, patients and caregivers may comment too.

Every Day is a Blessing!