The Veriblog

Blogger Spotlight: ONC’s Response to ASCO 2017

Even though ASCO 2017 wrapped up over a month ago, we are still pretty curious and interested in what’s to come from the oncology community. We’re especially excited to hear what real attendees have to say about their experiences.

 

Our curiosity sparked us to reach out to one of our Oncologists who went to ASCO 2017, and find out what he really thought about the plenary session topic, which focused on a symptom tracking tool to help foster better communication and outcomes (link here).

 

With a topic so close to our hearts at Verilogue,  we were extra intrigued to hear a physician’s reaction!

 

One of our US Oncologists, Dr. Hassan Ghazal, graciously answered our call for guest bloggers and had this to say about the plenary session:


 

Let me first introduce myself: I’m a board certified Hematologist/Oncologist physician, in solo private practice for 23 years, so I have extensive experience managing patients during their journey through cancer therapy.

 

I haven’t missed any ASCO meetings since 1993, and I pay great attention to the plenary session where it’s usually a game changer or a practice changing event. So this year was no exception. I’ve seen excellent presentations, and one particular abstract was about patients reporting their symptoms online to their physician’s offices, and getting immediate attention by the nurse or physician based on the severity of the symptom. . The amazing part was in the results, that showed not only better reporting and communications, but to the surprise of everyone, a SURVIVAL advantage of over five months!

 

This is very striking and I think a game changer! I’ve always stressed to my patients that the key to success is proper communication, which I value a great deal. But even I didn’t expect these results, especially the survival advantage.

 

So, my prediction is that this abstract, going forward, will have a big impact on how every office deals with patients reporting their symptoms and complaints. It’s crucial that every office, myself included, adopt a way similar to what was presented, for the welfare of the patients.

 

Good research, and science many times, lead to great discoveries and conclusions. This abstract and plenary session discussion is no exception.

 

I think what helped here is that patients many times are too shy to report everything to their doctors, but by using this simple online system they were able to overcome that obstacle and improve the communication and reporting. This lead to faster response from the nurse, the physician, or health provider, with an ultimate outcome being better survival.

 

Great work! It’s certainly going to have an impact on me and I think on almost every oncology office!

-Dr. Ghazal

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