SGO Issues Jan 11, 2018

SGO Issues Jan. 11, 2018

SGO endorses ACOG cascade testing statement
Network formed to empower African-American endometrial cancer patients
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month
Important deadlines for 2018 SGO Annual Meeting
SGO Connect Ed webinars preview Lunch and Learn at Annual Meeting

SGO endorses ACOG cascade testing statement

On Jan. 4 the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) published Committee Committee Opinion: Cascade Testing: Testing Women for Known Hereditary Genetic Mutations Associated With Cancer, which has the endorsement of SGO. The ACOG Committee Opinion focuses specifically on cascade testing and the role of the OB-GYN in clinical and public health efforts to identify women with hereditary cancer syndromes.

ACOG makes the following recommendations and conclusions regarding genetic cascade testing for hereditary gynecologic cancer:

  • Cascade testing refers to the performance of genetic counseling and testing in blood relatives of individuals who have been identified with specific genetic mutations. Testing protocols and interventions may save lives and improve health and quality of life for these family members.
  • Cascade testing has been shown to be cost effective in part because testing for specific mutations (e.g., those identified in the affected relative) is less expensive than whole-gene sequencing.
  • Obstetrician–gynecologists should know who is eligible for cascade testing and should use all available resources to ensure that cascade testing is offered and occurs in a timely manner.
  • Obstetrician–gynecologists should be aware of the potential barriers to cascade testing and should know which options can help patients overcome those barriers.
  • Obstetrician–gynecologists should understand and participate in public health efforts to increase cascade testing for hereditary gynecologic cancer.

SGO offers additional resources specific to gynecologic oncology in the SGO Genetics Toolkit.

Network formed to empower African-American endometrial cancer patients

Kemi Doll, MD

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in December awarded a two-year, $250,000 grant to create the Endometrial Cancer Action Network for African-Americans (ECANA) under the auspices of SGO. Under the leadership of Principal Investigator Kemi Doll, MD, from the University of Washington, ECANA will promote patient-centered research in endometrial cancer disparities, develop a standalone website with endometrial cancer educational content, and host its first annual ECANA Conference during the 2019 SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in Honolulu, HI.

The long-term objective of this project is to create a sustainable platform for patient-centered research (PCOR) in endometrial cancer, responsive to the needs of African-American women who suffer the most from this condition.

“The website content will align with our primary goal: empowerment of African-American women with EC through community-building, education, and training to be patient advisors to EC research,” explained Dr. Doll.

SGO President Laurel W. Rice, MD, and President-elect II Carol L. Brown, MD, are members of the ECANA steering committee, which will meet the day before the 2018 SGO Annual Meeting in New Orleans to plan for the 2019 conference as well as setting the tone and mission of ECANA, building relationships, educating each other about patient-centered outcomes research, and workshopping early website designs. The ECANA steering group centers the voices of its members who are African-American women affected by EC and leaders from advocacy and empowerment initiatives addressing other black women’s health issues.

“We are deeply committed to creating a strong and enduring organization that represents many diverse perspectives,” said Dr. Doll. “SGO members will be able to sign up to receive ECANA updates, and learn about opportunities for involvement at their local level. ECANA Steering group members will be wearing ECANA buttons, so we encourage members to ask those wearing buttons about our role in ECANA!”

Dr. Doll added that ECANA will work closely with SGO staff on the content and design of the ECANA website, and to publicize the ECANA initiative. “The partnership with the SGO allows us a visible space at the Annual Meetings and is critical to helping us get our project off the ground,” she said.

For the first ECANA conference in 2019, Dr. Doll said that the network plans to debut the fully functioning website, report on the Top 10 endometrial cancer research priorities for African-American women across the country, and publicize the opportunities for collaboration with the larger SGO community and beyond.

“Beyond research, our two other primary missions are to focus on community building and education and we will have content for the lay public regarding those two aspects as well,” she said. 

Dr. Doll noted that the National Clinician Network, with gynecologic oncologists from every region in the U.S., can help ECANA to identify patient partners. “They will be critical in disseminating our research prioritization survey to women and referring patients to the ECANA website once it launches in 2019,” she said. “We would love to hear from any member interested in joining us, and want to add that those conducting research in endometrial cancer are very welcome.”

PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence needed to make better-informed health and healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and both the SGO and Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC) have a number on online resources that members can refer their patients to for information on the stages of cervical cancer, treatment options, and prevention. Dedicated content on cervical cancer is available on the SGO and FWC websites, as well as materials on human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and FAQs about HPV. Additionally, brochure and video content on gynecologic cancer clinical trials are available for download.

Important deadlines for 2018 SGO Annual Meeting

The 2018 SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer is 10 weeks away, and several important deadlines are fast approaching. Late-breaking abstract submissions are due Jan. 17. The last day to save $200 on early bird registration is Jan. 22. And housing rates at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans (meeting location) and the adjoining Hyatt House Downtown New Orleans are guaranteed through Feb. 20.

SGO Connect Ed webinars preview Lunch and Learn at Annual Meeting

SGO Connect Ed will host pre-conference webinars on Jan. 23 and Feb. 15 to kick off an integrated learning series known as COCKTAIL – Contemporary Ovarian Cancer: Keys to Therapies and Integrated Learning. A Lunch and Learn session will be held at the 2018 SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in New Orleans on Monday, March 26, 2018, with moderator Lee-may Chen, MD. The webinars will be available on demand and are not required for attending the Lunch and Learn session.

This case-based program will take the learner through the practical applications of genetic testing and molecular profiling. Discussions include the use of molecular profiling reports, maintenance versus treatment with PARP inhibitors, practical management of symptoms, data/trials for immunotherapy, and special considerations for rare histologies.

The learning objectives for the entire COCKTAIL series are as follows:

  1. Describe the current landscape of germline and somatic genetic evaluation for gynecologic cancers
  2. Review targeted treatments available and under investigation for ovarian cancer therapy
  3. Discuss current challenges in ovarian cancer management, including management of side effects, and selection of treatment sequencing
  4. Describe the state of the science in molecular profiling and potential future applications in gynecologic cancers
  5. Review past, present, and future strategies for early detection of ovarian cancer

Additional webinars in the COCKTAIL series are scheduled for Spring 2018 and will bring together important related topics covering genetic testing, targeted therapies, as well as translating molecular knowledge into practice and early detection, including liquid biopsies and circulating tumor DNA.