The October 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 Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, as we speak with Anna Vioral, PhD, Med, RN, OCN, BMTCN, who discusses her professional responsibilities at the center, and her recent appointment to the Board of Directors of the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (see page 1).
“Making a difference is the biggest reward. I believe that if we can influence professional staff development, we will improve the quality of care we provide to patients,” she told TON.
We also feature key presentations and studies from national and international meetings, including the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) 44th Annual Congress and the 2019 Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer/International Society of Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO) annual meeting.
In an enlightening session at ONS, Andria Caton, BSN, RN, OCN, CHPN, Assistant Nurse Manager, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Gainesville, provided oncology nurses with strategies for improving communication with patients and their families during end-of-life care (see page 1).
Ms Caton stressed the importance of selecting the right words to communicate with patients and their families, which requires nurses to take a direct but compassionate approach.
“There’s no need to confuse them further with indirect beat-around-the-bush language, seeing that people already have a hard time retaining even a fraction of what they’re told under stressed conditions,” she said.
In a presentation at MASCC/ISOO, Eleni Rettig, MD, Head and Neck Surgery Fellow, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, discussed questions that patients frequently ask regarding human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive head and neck cancer, and equipped healthcare providers with the knowledge to answer them (see page 10).
“As an increasing proportion of our practice is comprised of these HPV-positive patients, it really has been uncharted territory, especially for head and neck surgeons who aren’t used to discussing these issues. But these patients are subject to some unique psychosocial considerations that are related to an STI [sexually transmitted infection]-related cancer,” she said.
In a separate session at MASCC/ISOO, Natasha N. Frederick, MD, MPH, MST, Director, Comprehensive Fertility and Sexual Health Team, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, explored some of the most common barriers and facilitators to sexual health communication between clinicians and adolescent and young adult patients with cancer (see page 11).
“Don’t think that because they’re in the throes of cancer treatment that they’re not sexually active. You will be surprised what you’ll find out if you ask them,” she told attendees.
This issue of TON also features encouraging results from clinical trials assessing repotrectinib, an investigational tyrosine kinase inhibitor, in patients with ROS1-fusion–positive non–small-cell lung cancer (see page 12); ONC201, a unique, small-molecule DRD2 antagonist, in patients with recurrent high-grade H3 K27M-mutant gliomas (see page 13); and a regimen of fixed-duration venetoclax plus obinutuzumab in the front-line treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and comorbidities (see page 15).
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].