Director's Message: Case CCC Abstracts Spotlighted for ASCO 2020 Annual Scientific Program

Wow. Of more than 4,000 abstracts, Thursday's ASCO Daily News for the online annual meeting highlighted 10 abstracts, two of which were from the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC). Both have high impact public interest and may inform practice immediately. In this time of COVID-19, I take this as a win and congratulate both teams for their remarkable efforts.

The first is from the group of Sara Douglas, PhD, RN, Polly Mazanec, PhD, Amy Lipson, PhD, Eric Blackstone, MA, Kim Day, MSSA, LISW, David Bajor, MD and Smitha Krishnamurthi, MD from the Case CCC, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute. They studied online care management issues for distant home caregivers of those with cancer and survivors of cancer, finding that video conferencing with caregivers during a patient visit monthly over a four-month period reduced anxiety, improved care delivery, and reduced off-visit calls and confusion. This approach has now been validated as an adjunct to standard office visits and may be beneficial in telemedicine visits. Click to view the abstract (#12123) and read the ASCO Daily News summary.

The second, from the group of Sudipto Mukherjee, MD, MPH, Weichuan Dong, MA, Abby Statler, PhD, MPH and Siran Koroukian, PhD evaluated a medicare population diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and found that a third had not undergone a bone marrow biopsy or genomics analysis or IPS assessment for prognosis. The authors comment that given the efficacy of many treatments, accurate classification and prognosis would guide patient and physician decision making for MDS. Further, given these gaps in the Medicare database, it will be difficult to accurately assess patient outcomes from the database. Click to view the abstract (#7555) and read the ASCO Daily News summary.

Congratulations to both groups. Be sure to explore their abstracts and other novel research during the 2020 ASCO Virtual Scientific Program, taking place Friday, May 29 through Sunday, May 31.

Stan Gerson, MD
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center