SGO Issues Feb. 20, 2020
Article in press: Use of cannabinoids in cancer patients
SGO Winter Meeting celebrates 25 years and record attendance
SGO welcomes 97 new, 35 transitioning members
February 2020 Gynecologic Oncology highlights financial toxicity
SGO Annual Meeting International Session cancelled
Although there has been a substantial increase in research on medical cannabis, the lack of conclusive evidence to support or refute many of the claims associated with it is limiting health care professionals in guiding patients on the safe use of medical cannabis. According to “Use of cannabinoids in cancer patients: A Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) clinical practice statement,” an article in press in Gynecologic Oncology, providers should focus on indications, alternatives, risks and benefits of medical cannabis use to make appropriate referrals.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC—the psychoactive component of marijuana), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) affect the human endocannabinoid system, and cannabinoids reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting (CINV) and neuropathic pain for cancer patients. Since each state has its own regulations for medical and recreational cannabis use, practitioners should refer to state laws regarding medical cannabis as well as CBD products.
“If medical and recreational cannabis are not legal in the patient’s home state, the only way to legally access cannabis is to travel to the legalized state, gain the appropriate documentation as necessary (such as a medical card or similar if for medical cannabis) and stay in that state to use the product,” explained lead author Brad Whitcomb, MD. “It remains a federal and state offense to transport cannabis across state lines. Interestingly, even if neighboring states have legalized the sale, possession, and consumption of these products, it remains illegal to cross borders with marijuana products. Of course, one cannot drive while under the influence of cannabis in any form.”
Dr. Whitcomb added that CBD products (<0.3% THC, derived from hemp) are federally legal via the 2018 “farm bill”, however not all states have the same laws regarding transport and sale of these products.
In states where medical cannabis or even recreational marijuana is legal, Dr. Whitcomb noted that patients must be cautioned that practitioners have limited information about side effects, interactions with therapies, and effects on cancer in general.
CBD (cannabidiol) products, which is different than medical cannabis, may have many medical benefits, and maybe some risks,” said Dr. Whitcomb. “There is scientific evidence for some of the possible benefits as presented in this practice statement, however there is a dearth of research using medical cannabis and CBD.”
In the future, Dr. Whitcomb expects that more research using cannabis and CBD products will be necessary to determine formulation, dosing, efficacy and toxicity.
“Pharmaceutical companies, I imagine, will carefully assess these data, the legal basis, and determine whether larger trials or marketing initiatives will be beneficial to their bottom line,” he said. “I cannot predict the outcomes of these research endeavors, but I think because of patient demand, in addition to widespread legalization, it is important for the health care community (clinicians, researchers, pharma, insurance companies, government bodies) to establish evidence-based recommendations for the safe and beneficial use of all cannabinoids.”
The SGO 25th Winter Meeting held in Aspen, CO, Feb. 6-8 had its highest attendance to date with 385 registrants. Photos from the event are available on SGO’s Flickr account and the following awards from the SGO Winter Meeting will be presented during the opening plenary of the SGO 2020 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer on March 28:
2020 Winter Meeting Best Poster Presentation: Where you live matters: Medicaid expansion is associated with earlier state of diagnosis of endometrial cancer
David Barrington, MD, The Ohio State University, James Cancer Hospital, Columbus, OH
2020 Winter Meeting Best Oral Presentation: Attenuation of the gut microbiome through antibiotic treatment decreases platinum chemotherapy efficacy in ovarian cancer
Laura Moulton Chambers, DO, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ob/Gyn and Women’s Health Institute, Cleveland, OH
John (Jeb) V. Brown, MD, FACOG, FACS, co-founder of the SGO Winter Meeting, has attended all 25 Winter Meetings and has watched the event evolve over the years. Dr. Brown and his fellow course directors R. Wendel Naumann, MD, FACOG, FACS, and Ritu Salani, MD, MBA, planned sessions with education on treatments for ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, immunotherapy, rare tumors and a tumor board.
“It is very special to me to see how the meeting has grown and includes a broad spectrum of providers caring for women who have gynecologic cancers,” said Dr. Brown. “The SGO Winter Meeting has given trainees interested in gynecologic oncology as well as gyn oncologists who are early in their career an opportunity to present their research in a less formal venue. This allows them to interact directly with leaders in our field who can provide them with feedback and suggestions about their projects.”
“Two of my favorite things about the Winter Meeting are that it continues to focus on cutting edge topics in gynecologic cancers and cultivates an energy level that is second to none,” said Dr. Salani, who has attended 13 SGO Winter Meetings. “The growth of the meeting has been amazing–over 600% from when I first started attending.”
Dr. Naumann has also witnessed the growth of the SGO Winter Meeting over the last two decades.
“I first attended the Winter SGO meeting in 1998 and because there were so few attendees, I was asked to give a talk when someone didn’t show up due to weather,” he said. “I found this a great forum to give a talk and discuss important issues in gyn oncology. After that meeting I was hooked and I haven’t missed a meeting since.”
This year’s SGO Winter Meeting featured a special Dinner Symposium on PARP Inhibitors for ovarian cancer management, based on findings presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019 last fall. Dr. Brown noted that the “Case-Based Dinner Symposium: Feed Your Brain – Digesting PAOLA, PRIMA, VELIA” was a “fantastic addition” to the Winter Meeting.
“Drs. Jubilee Brown and Angeles Alvarez Secord used an innovative format to distill these landmark studies into pieces of information that all attendees could then apply to their practices,” he said.
“This is the first opportunity that the gyn oncology community in the U.S. has had to come together and discuss how these important studies will impact our practice relative to patients newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer,” Dr. Naumann added. “I think the case-based discussions were outstanding.”
Having achieved the 25-year milestone for the SGO Winter Meeting, the course directors look forward to continued success for this event. The SGO 2021 Winter Meeting will be held Feb. 4-6, 2021, at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler in Whistler, Canada.
“This meeting is especially personal to me as I first attended this meeting as a fellow presenter and was able to make connections with gynecologic oncologists across the country at an early point in my career,” said Dr. Salani. “Now, to be a part of the education committee, it is rewarding to see the future leaders present their research to a fostering and intellectually curious audience.”
From August 2019 through December 2019, 97 new members joined the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and an additional 35 members transitioned to the next membership level. SGO congratulates the following new and transitioning members:
|New Full Members
Michelle Alizart, MBBS
Alon Altman, MD, FRCSC
Mariusz Bidziński, MD, PhD
Rehan Bin Asif, MD
Sara Bouberhan, MD
Junzo Chino, MD
Sofia Gabrilovich, MD
Lilian Gien, MD
Roohi Ismail-Khan, MD, MSC
Aileen Kim, MD
Jill Kolesar, PharmD
Albert Palileo, MD
Tyler Robin, MD, PhD
Satoshi Takeuchi, MD, PhD
Enes Taylan, MD
Mary Towner, MD
Transitioning Full Members
New Fellow-in-Training Members
Transitioning Fellow-in-Training Members
|New Resident/Student Members
Leslie Andriani, MD
Joseph DeMari, MD
Anna Domingo, DO
Alison Goulder, MD
Michelle Guttadauria, MD
Garrett Harrison, DO
Joshua Henning, MD
Breana Hill, MD
Francisco Izquierdo, MD
Ziga Jan, MD
Allyson Jang, MD
Elizabeth Johns, MD, MS
Yasmin Korayem, MD
Brooke Meelheim, DO
Arwa Mohammad, MD
Hamed Mohammed Mousa Mostafa, MBBS
Vaidehi Mujumdar, MD
Andrea Nañez, MD
Sarah Podwika, MD
Alexandra Samborski, MD
Alyssa Schloop, MD
Sahana Somasegar, MD
Dima Soultan, MS
Nicole Thompson, MD
Allison Walker, MD
Naixin Zhang, MD
Yingao Zhang, MS
New Associate Members
Financial toxicity: An adverse effect worthy of a black box warning? Joseph A. Dottino, J. Alejandro Rauh-Hain
Editor’s Choice: Extensive financial hardship among gynecologic cancer patients starting a new line of therapy Margaret I. Liang, Maria Pisu, Sarah S. Summerlin, Teresa K.L. Boitano, Christina T. Blanchard, Smita Bhatia, Warner K. Huh
Health Services Research: The financial impact of an enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocol in an academic gynecologic oncology practice Zachary L. Gentry, Teresa K.L. Boitano, Haller J. Smith, Dustin K. Eads, John F. Russell, J. Michael Straughn Jr.
The International Session originally scheduled for Friday, March 27, during the SGO 2020 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer has been cancelled, as numerous presenters are unable to attend the meeting as a result of travel restrictions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The International Reception on Sunday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. will continue as scheduled.