Throughout the geriatric sessions we were continually reminded of our aging population, the fact that cancer is a disease of the aging, and of the mismatch in this increasing number of patients and the number of geriatric providers entering the workforce. General oncologists will need to understand the nuances of caring for older patients with cancer.
The landscape of cancer therapy is shifting from traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy towards targeted therapy with agents like tyrosine kinase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies. However, these newer agents remain costly, and traditional chemotherapy remains the backbone for treating most malignancies.
Several factors affect physicians’ choice of genomic tests, including availability, speed, and cost. Traditionally allelotyping have been used, since they are fast and sensitive, even though they are not comprehensive.
Words like value, quality, and even cost flowed freely at the ASCO Annual Meeting this year. Along with great excitement about the latest and greatest ways to understand tumor biology and treat cancer patients, there is an increasing recognition that we need to consider whether the things we do are worth it.
The results of the CHAARTED trial, which looked at whether the addition of upfront chemotherapy to hormonal therapy improved overall survival in patients with hormone-sensitive metastatic prostate cancer, were presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting.
Multiple abstracts on melanoma and skin cancer were reviewed at the ASCO Annual Meeting, with a focus on new treatment approaches in non-melanoma skin cancers, particularly basal cell carcinoma and Merkel cell carcinoma.
When treating patients, we often ask ourselves how the results of the tests we order will potentially change our management of the patient, or change the way we think about our patient’s disease, or offer information that will enhance our treatment approach.
In his address, Dr. Clifford Hudis proposed the following solutions for achieving social justice in cancer care: creating more private and public resources, addressing disparities in cancer risk and in access to high-quality care, defining “value” in cancer care, and harnessing the new power of information technology.