Unfortunately, you just got diagnosed with cancer. You and your family are desperately trying to figure out where to go and which doctor to see. But how far are you willing to go? Can you be more confident in your diagnosis, decrease your complications, and improve your chances of survival if you drive a little farther, past your local hospital, to a specialized center that treats a higher volume of cancer patients? What would it take for you, the patient, to go that extra distance?
Seminal surgical studies have described a “volume outcome” effect, suggesting that cancer patients operated on at high volume centers are less likely to die in the hospital. Recently, evidence was also published which suggested that stage IV lung cancer patients are more likely to survive when treated at academic versus community centers in the United States. But how solid are these findings? Are they clouded by selection bias and statistical flaws, in which the patients who travel for care are actually healthier, more motivated, and with better insurance and prognostic factors? Although regionalization of complex cancer care (which is already mandated in some countries) may be appealing, we have to take potential patient barriers such as time away from work and family, costs of and ability to travel, insurance restrictions and other socioeconomic factors into account. Failing to do so, would decrease access to care for patients with limited ability to travel.
Please join moderator Dr. Brendon Stiles (@BrendonStilesMD) at 8PM Thursday night, February 7, 2019, for this important discussion, one which affects almost every cancer patient and doctor. We will cover the following topics:
- T1: Do you travel far for cancer care? If so, why?
- T2: Is there data supporting the concept that surgery/oncology/radiation oncology results are better at high volume, specialty centers?
- T3: What are the downsides of and obstacles to traveling for your cancer care?
- T4: How can we best coordinate care between community and high volume regional centers?
- T5: Are there resources that exist to help patients educate themselves, get second opinions, or even facilitate travel for cancer care?
Please remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. If you need a refresher on how to participate, read our primer on participating in the chat . Note that some tweetchat apps (like tchat.io) will not display tweets longer than 140 characters. We look forward to the discussion.
Here is further reading on the topic:
Survival Comparison in Patients with Stage IV Lung Cancer in Academic versus Community Centers in the United States (Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Dec 2018)
Lung Cancer Surgery Patients May Reap Benefits of Larger, More Centralized Hospitals (Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Jan 2019)
It’s a new year, and #LCSM Chat is transitioning to monthly chats. Our first chat is a collaborative chat across all cancer hashtag communities titled “Immunotherapy: What Patients Need to Know.” The discussion will cover all types of immunotherapy currently approved for treatment of any cancer.
Chat moderator Janet Freeman-Daily (@JFreemanDaily) will be joined by special guest Lisa Rezende (@LisaRezende1), a biology educator (Assistant Professor of Practice) on the Molecular and Cellular Biology faculty at the University of Arizona. Lisa is also a long-term volunteer cancer advocate with FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), a cancer previvor (BRCA1 mutation carrier), daughter of a long-term ovarian cancer survivor, and recent caregiver to her stepmother through her diagnosis, treatment and hospice for Stage IV inflammatory breast cancer.
Our discussion will focus on the following topics:
- T1: Why doesn’t the immune system prevent cancer?
- T2: What types of immunotherapy have been approved?
- T3: How can we tell if immunotherapy will work for my cancer?
- T4: What are the downsides of immunotherapy?
- T5: How can I find the right immunotherapy clinical trial for me?
Hope you will join members of the #LCSM, #BCSM, #BTSM, #GYNCSM, #MMSM, #AYACSM, and other cancer hashtag communities for this tweetchat on January 10, 2019, at 5pm Pacific, 8 pm Eastern. Please remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. If you need a refresher on how to participate, read our primer on participating in the chat . Note that some tweetchat apps (like tchat.io) will not display tweets longer than 140 characters.
Once your take cancer cells out of a living body, the cancer cells die, right? So how researchers study cancer?
One way researchers study cancer is by using “cancer models.” Cancer models are clumps of living cancer cells that exist either in a lab dish (see image above), or in animal models such as mice. Sometimes these models also include other living cells from the host environment. It’s not exactly the same as studying a living cancer in its human host, but it does allow researchers time to study the biology of a cancer and test different treatments against it.
In our Thursday, November 29, 2018 #LCSM Chat, we’re going to talk about cancer models. Our moderator Janet Freeman-Daily (@JFreemanDaily)–who presented a poster about the ROS1 Cancer Model Project at AACR in April 2018–will lead our discussion using the following questions:
- T1: What are cancer models? What types of cancer models are currently used?
- T2: How are cell lines created, and how are they used in research?
- T3: How are Patient-Derived Xenograft (PDX) mice models made, and how are they used in research?
- T4: What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of cancer models?
- T5: Where can we learn more about cancer models and support research with cancer models?
Hope you will join us for this tweetchat on November 29 at 5pm Pacific, 8 pm Eastern. Please remember to include #LCSM in ALL your tweets so the other chat participants can see them. If you need a refresher on how to participate, read our primer on participating in the chat . Note that some tweetchat apps (like tchat.io) will not display tweets longer than 140 characters.
This work by Janet Freeman-Daily is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.