Interesting Articles Highlighting Patient-Clinician Communication, BRCA-Mutation Screening, and CAR T-Cell Toxicity Management

These three articles provide informative updates on patient-clinician communication guidelines on behalf of ASCO, ovarian cancer and the value of BRCA-mutation screening in treatment, and the unique AE profile of CAR T-cell therapies.

  • Patient-Clinician Communication Guidelines From ASCO. Appropriate communication between the patient and healthcare provider is essential for proper care of patients with cancer. On behalf of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, an expert panel reviewed best practices in patient-clinician communication and released guidelines for oncologists on core patient communication skills, including discussion of treatment goals, prognosis, shared decision-making, treatment selection, and end-of-life care. Strategies for implementing these recommendations in clinical practice and for providing communication training for other healthcare providers are included. J Clin Oncol. 2017 Sept 11 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Importance of BRCA-Mutation Screening for Ovarian Cancer. Presence of inherited mutations in the BRCA gene is a known risk factor for epithelial ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, many women at risk for ovarian cancer and those diagnosed with ovarian cancer are not screened for a BRCA mutation. Low referral rates for genetic counseling and mutation testing may lead to missed prevention and therapeutic opportunities. In this article, the authors review the role of BRCA and its relation to ovarian cancer, the importance of genetic counseling and mutation testing, strategies to improve BRCA testing, prevention options, and the value of PARP inhibitors in the management of ovarian cancer. Ca Cancer J Clin. 2017 Sept 7 [Epub ahead of print].
  • Assessment and Management of CAR T-Cell Associated Toxicity. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells have emerged as an investigational therapeutic option across a number of tumor types, and the CAR T-cell therapies tisagenlecleucel and axicabtagene ciloleucel have been approved for certain hematology indications in the United States. As with any novel therapeutic approach, CAR T-cells are associated with a unique set of adverse events (AEs) that require appropriate monitoring and management, including cytokine-release syndrome and CAR-T-cell-related encephalopathy syndrome. In this review, the authors discuss the data surrounding currently available CAR T-cell therapies, including their toxicity profiles and best strategies for assessment and management of AEs. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2017 Sept 19 [Epub ahead of print].


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