SGO Issues July 27, 2017
Early Career Summit seeks abstracts for poster presentation
SLN mapping and staging for endometrial cancer in Gynecologic Oncology
SGO publishes White Paper on genetic testing
Elevate your career and apply to the next level of membership
Funding available through FWC Research Grants and Awards
SGO on hiatus until August 17
Now through Aug. 14, early career professionals are invited to submit preliminary abstracts of their research–which may not be fully developed or in final form–for consideration as a poster presentation and/or to be workshopped among their peers and field experts at the SGO Early Career Educational Summit, to be held Sept. 9-10, 2017, at the Hyatt Centric Magnificent Mile, 633 N. St. Clair St. in downtown Chicago. Led by course directors Linda Duska, MD, Elise Kohn, MD, and Amanda Nickles Fader, MD, this summit will cover a wide range of topics including academic promotion, contract negotiation, how to find a research niche, how to successfully present scientific data, and tips for finding work-life balance.
Dr. Duska noted that the SGO Early Career Educational Summit will give participants the opportunity to mingle with peers and senior faculty. “Mentorship is so important, and this course will allow both informal and structured mentorship,” she said.
Other topics of discussion will include:
- Success stories from the trenches: Developing careers as clinician scientists
- Grantsmanship and career development proposals
- Updates in cooperative group trials in ovary and endometrial cancer
- Writing for the early career professional: Entering into the conversation and developing
• Effective writing and publication skills
• Secrets of highly productive clinician scientists
• Updates in cooperative group trials in cervix, vulva and GTD
Dr. Duska explained that one of the most important takeaway message participants will have is that career development is a process with many possible directions. Participants will benefit from networking and learning from the experiences of others, The people they meet at this Summit will be their peers and mentors for their entire careers.
“There are so many different career pathways they can take and so many different pathways to a fulfilling career,” she said. “Part of career fulfillment is establishing a work-life continuum: being a successful gyn oncologist does not negate being able to have a family and a life.”
According to lead author Robert Holloway, MD, “Sentinel lymph node mapping and staging in endometrial cancer: A Society of Gynecologic Oncology literature review with consensus recommendations” in the August 2017 edition of Gynecologic Oncology is the product of an exhaustive review of contemporary literature from experts who have clinical and/or published experience in sentinel lymph node (SLN) mapping techniques and pathology.
The article examines various techniques of SLN mapping in endometrial cancer, pathology and clinical outcomes from SLN assessment, clinical controversies, and future directions for research in SLN assessment. Through a process of review and debate that progressed over six months, the authors proposed consensus recommendations for the introduction of SLN mapping into clinical practice for patients with endometrial cancer.
Dr. Holloway explained that the 2015 SGO Clinical Practice statement on SLN mapping was the first response from the SGO to rapidly emerging clinical questions about the introduction of SLN mapping into surgical practice following the 2014 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines that described the Memorial Sloan Kettering SLN surgical algorithm.
“Since the release of the 2015 Clinical Practice Committee statement on SLN mapping, many observational studies have been presented and published,” he said. “The current consensus recommendations publication is a comprehensive review of the expanding literature on SLN mapping in endometrial cancer and focuses on all aspects of SLN mapping including history, mapping techniques, pathology, clinical outcomes, controversies, and future directions with suggestions for additional clinical investigations.”
Dr. Holloway noted that the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guidelines describe benchmarks for determining proficiency in SLN mapping in breast cancer that are generalizable to SLN mapping in other malignancies.
“We have adopted these benchmarks as recommendations such that each surgeon should evaluate their own individual proficiency including identification of SLNs in 80 to 90 percent of cases with a false negative rate less than 5 percent, before standard lymphadenectomy procedures are abandoned,” said Dr. Holloway. “The SGO consensus recommendations emphasize that use of the NCCN surgical algorithm reduces false negative staging. The NCCN surgical algorithm is specific for endometrial cancer, but the concepts likely apply to other cancers as well.”
According to Dr. Holloway, the most current NCCN endometrial staging guidelines—NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Uterine Neoplasms, Version 1.2017, 2016—contain specific information about SLN mapping techniques, and are a good source for additional information.
In “Multi-disciplinary summit on genetics services for women with gynecologic cancers: A Society of Gynecologic Oncology White Paper” published in the August 2017 edition of Gynecologic Oncology, lead author Leslie Randall, MD, explains that the collaborative efforts of gynecologic oncologists, genetic counselors, obstetrician-gynecologists–especially those who communicate with each other—all play a key role in helping patients with gynecologic cancers receive genetic testing.
The White Paper is the result of a multidisciplinary summit organized by the SGO that included representatives from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), and patient advocacy groups, BrightPink and Facing our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE).
With the objective “to assess current practice, advise minimum standards, and identify educational gaps relevant to genetic screening, counseling, and testing of women affected by gynecologic cancers,” the white paper endorses current SGO, National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and NSGC genetic testing guidelines for women affected with ovarian, tubal, peritoneal cancers, or DNA mismatch repair deficient endometrial cancer.
“Despite societal recommendations for genetic testing in women with ovarian and uterine cancers, uptake of testing has been less robust than expected,” said Dr. Randall. “The white paper underscores the impact of genetic status in cancer patients relative to treatment options and assessment for second malignancies in addition to focusing our testing of those not yet affected by cancer to families with a known mutation.”
The White Paper endorses testing by the patient’s treating oncologist, and therefore underscores the important role of genetic counselors and primary care physicians.
“I have found that most family members are receptive to testing,” said Dr. Randall. “For those who are not, addressing that individual’s unique hesitancy or fear is often the most effective approach. Some patients will simply decline testing based on their own values and beliefs, and their decision must be respected by health care providers.”
Dr. Randall added that as the health care reform debate continues, SGO is advocating for “public health funding for gynecologic cancer screening and prevention services for all women and children” as one of the Society’s health care reform principles. Genetic testing, which includes both germline and somatic testing, will also continue to evolve.
“Advances in germline testing are expected with the discovery of inherited genes that increase cancer risk and the classification of current ‘variants of unknown significance,’” said Dr. Randall. “Moreover, the timing and techniques of somatic tumor testing will become better defined.”
SGO congratulates those members who have recently obtained board certification in gynecologic oncology. Newly certified gynecologic oncologists are now eligible to apply for Full Membership. Fellow-in-Training Members scheduled to graduate this summer need to apply for Candidate Membership before Aug. 15 to ensure their memberships are active and they have access to all SGO member benefits, including members only registration for the 2017 Early Career Educational Summit. SGO also encourages newly matched Fellows to apply for Fellow-in-Training Membership. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for answers to any membership questions.
The Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC) is accepting applications for the 2017-2018 FWC Research Grants and Awards program, with 14 research grants and prizes totaling more than $295,500. All research grant abstracts are due Friday, Aug. 25, via online submission, to be eligible for consideration. By late September, applicants will be notified via email if their abstract application has qualified to be considered for a full grant proposal. After the full proposals and applications have been submitted in late November, award winners will be notified by January 2018 and will be presented with their award at the SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in New Orleans. For more information and list of prizes, visit the 2017-2018 Research Grants & Awards Page.
SGO Issues is taking a brief hiatus until Thursday, Aug. 17. The Society wishes all members a relaxing and productive summer.