As the treatment landscape for lung cancer continues to evolve, especially within subgroups of patients with particular mutations and molecular profiles, it can be difficult for oncologists to stay up-to-date.
However, meetings like the 17th Annual Winter Lung Cancer Conference can help to bring healthcare providers in this space together. In this issue of ONCOLOGY, we spoke with Heather Wakelee, MD, an associate professor of medicine (oncology) at Stanford University Medical Center and the meeting’s co-chair, about the major advances in lung cancer.
With such advances, Wakelee notes how this can affect patient-physician communication when it comes to making treatment decisions. “It is [about] making sure that we do not act too quickly and it [has] to be a partnership with the patient. A new diagnosis of cancer is scary,” she says, adding that patients usually want to start treatment immediately, but sometimes time is needed. “Part of our job as oncologists is being able to have [effective] communication. [We need] to help [patients] understand why we [may] need a little bit longer…as opposed to…feeding into the anxiety and…starting the first [treatment we] could [begin].”
Moreover, such communication is also key for all healthcare providers to be discussing the risks associated with the growing vaping trend. While many turn to vaping as a way to quit smoking cigarettes, more never-smoking adolescents and young adults are also joining in on the action. While the exact effects of vaping are still unknown, Wakelee urges for smoking cessation programs to be incorporated into screening recommendations.
Also in this issue, Mehmet Sitki Copur, MD, FACP; Whitney Wedel, MD; Pornchai Jonglertham, MD; Carlene Springer, APRN; and Adam Horn, MD, address the case of hypercalcemia in a 64-year-old man with small lymphocytic lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Moreover, hear from Ana Maria Cristina De Jesus-Acosta, MD, an assistant professor of oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine, about the molecular characterization and treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
Within these pages, you will also find highlights from the International Kidney Cancer Symposium as well as the 61st American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting & Exposition.
I hope you find our journal helpful in caring for your patients through what is likely one of the most challenging times in their lives. As always, thank you for reading.
- Mike Hennessy, Sr.
Chairman and Founder of ONC’sparent company , MJH LIfe Sciences