National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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Fellows Program at NCCN 17th Annual Conference

Joan S. McClure, MS, Senior Vice President, Clinical Information & Publications

Eighty-two fellows, including 70 in medical oncology and 12 in radiation oncology, attended the NCCN 2012 Fellows Recognition Program: New Horizons in Quality Cancer Care™ in Hollywood, FL, March 14-18. The program consisted of an initial half-day meeting for fellows and attendance at the NCCN 17th Annual Conference: Clinical Practice Guidelines & Quality Cancer Care™. At the fellows-only portion of the meeting, B. Douglas Smith, MD, of The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, provided an overview of the leukemias. He focused on the myeloid leukemias, discussing pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment. Myron S. Czuczman, MD, of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, provided an overview of the lymphomas, concentrating on management of follicular lymphoma and large B-cell lymphoma as well as implications of biomarkers and genetic analysis for the future of lymphoma treatment. William N. William, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, provided an overview of the management of head and neck cancers, emphasizing the importance of coordination of care across specialties.

The group then turned its attention to patient safety with a presentation by Saul N. Weingart, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Weingart described how the combination of serious disease, complex toxic treatments, interdisciplinary and multi-professional care, and temporal aspects of cancer care makes oncology particularly vulnerable to medical errors. He provided a number of strategies for improving patient safety in the practice of oncology. Finally, Gregory A. Otterson, MD, of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, presented data on the role of maintenance therapy in non-small cell lung cancer.

A new feature of the 2012 NCCN Fellows Program was a series of small group meetings held over lunch with faculty from the main meeting. During lunch, several of the faculty discussed their careers as academic physicians and what can be expected from similar career choices. These smaller sessions also allowed participants to discuss important issues with senior faculty. Topics discussed included medical management of breast cancer, radiation therapy in breast cancer, treatment of prostate cancer, and management of non-small cell lung cancer.