The June issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON) is filled with important news and insights for today’s oncology nurse. We begin our coverage with a profile of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, as we speak with Kathryn E. Post, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, Clinical Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Breast Oncology Group, and Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cancer Outcomes Research Program, who discussed her dual roles at the center, some of the challenges she faces in her profession, and what she finds exciting in the evolving field of oncology.
“I am thrilled at the pace of discovery of the new therapies that have been introduced for cancer treatment, including targeted therapies and immunotherapies. We are now achieving durable responses in cancers that used to be considered difficult to treat.” she said.
We also feature key presentations and studies from recent national meetings, including the 2019 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Conference, the 2019 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting, and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) 44th Annual Conference.
In an important session at the 2019 NCCN Conference, Judith A. Paice, PhD, RN, Director, Cancer Pain Program, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, discussed the topic of maintaining patient safety and minimizing the risks for opioid misuse and abuse in the management of cancer pain.
“We in oncology are faced particularly with this challenge: how do we achieve balance…How do we provide pain control to people who need these medications in a time of an opioid epidemic?” she said.
In a session at the 2019 AACR meeting, presenters discussed encouraging interim results from a phase 1b clinical trial evaluating newer tyrosine kinase inhibitors in patients with advanced non–small-cell lung cancer and MET-driven resistance.
“The two-dose expansion arms of the TATTON study show that osimertinib plus savolitinib has an acceptable safety profile. The combination showed encouraging antitumor activity in EGFR-mutant patients with MET amplification as a resistance mechanism after disease progression on first-, second-, or third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors,” said lead investigator Lecia V. Sequist, MD, MPH, Director, Center for Innovation in Early Cancer Detection, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.
At the ONS 44th Annual Conference, a panel of nurse navigators and healthcare professionals convened to discuss key aspects of patient navigation and give attendees the opportunity to ask questions and learn how navigators perform their roles and collaborate with other oncology nurses and members of the cancer care team.
As a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators, Cheryl Bellomo, MSN, RN, OCN, ONN-CG, Oncology Nurse Navigator, Intermountain Cancer Center, Cedar City Hospital, UT, was able to provide attendees with valuable insights on the responsibilities and challenges of patient navigation.
The “main goal [of navigators] is to really provide our patients with safe, effective, and efficient care,” she said, adding that navigators are tasked with “providing multidisciplinary care and education, and addressing symptom management,” as well as assessing barriers to care.
As always, we hope you will enjoy this issue of TON and look forward to receiving your feedback. You can contact us via e-mail at [email protected].