Jul 14, 2022
Dr. Pamela Kunz, of the Yale Cancer Center, and the JCO consultant editor for Meeting Abstracts, discusses “hidden gems” from ASCO22, highlighting abstracts that address EDI, global health, health care economics, and more.
ASCO Daily News: Hello, and welcome to the ASCO Daily News podcast. I’m Geraldine Carroll, a reporter for the ASCO Daily News. My guest today is Dr. Pamela Kunz, an associate professor of medicine and director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Cancers at the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Kunz is also the Journal of Clinical Oncology’s (JCO) contributing editor for meeting abstracts. You may have seen her recent tweetorials highlighting compelling abstracts from the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting. She’ll be telling us more about this initiative to highlight impactful studies that address equity, diversity, and inclusion, global oncology, and more.
Dr. Kunz’s full disclosures are available in the show notes and disclosures relating to all episodes of the podcast can be found on our transcripts at asco.org/podcasts.
Dr. Kunz, thanks for being on the podcast today.
Dr. Pamela Kunz: Thank you. It’s my pleasure to be here.
ASCO Daily News: Social media has created a global community in oncology, and you and Dr. Ryan Gentzler of the University of Virginia Cancer Center recently launched a great series of tweetorials to highlight compelling studies from the ASCO Annual Meeting. Some of our listeners will have seen these threads already, and others will be keen to find them and know more about these efforts. Can you give us the details?
Dr. Pamela Kunz: Sure, I’d be happy to. This is a new initiative to really modernize the meeting abstracts. These used to be called meeting proceedings and were printed, and we felt that there was a real opportunity to use social media to disseminate more information around abstracts. And we decided this year to focus on four themes. They are diversity, equity, and inclusion; global health; health care economics; and the Merit Award recipients.
And within each of these tweetorials, we have 4 to 5 abstracts that are highlighted that include takeaways and a visual from the poster or presentation. We intentionally decided to highlight abstracts that were not otherwise highlighted in the ASCO Annual Meeting in either oral sessions or poster discussions. So we are calling these hidden gems. There are so many great scientific abstracts that don’t get otherwise highlighted, and this was a really nice opportunity to do so.
ASCO Daily News: Excellent. And I understand you’ll be highlighting a couple of abstracts for us today. I believe the first one concerns telehealth used by older patients. Can you tell us about this abstract?
Dr. Pamela Kunz: Sure. So this is in the health equity tweetorial, and this is Abstract 1591 by Dr. Higashi and colleagues. And the takeaway from this, I found this interesting, and the disclosure is that I selected these abstracts, given my own personal interests, but I thought that they would be of broad interest to the ASCO membership.
So telehealth really became used quite often during COVID, and I think that that has been a real silver lining that there is increased access to expert cancer care through the use of telehealth. This abstract demonstrated that the use of telehealth during cancer treatment was really received positively by older patients, providers, and staff. Most older patients, 66%, and providers and staff, 77%, intended to continue using telehealth after the pandemic.
There are certainly some equity issues related to telehealth in terms of access to the internet and the ability to use the technology, but I thought this was interesting because it’s specifically focused on older patients.
ASCO Daily News: Excellent. Telehealth certainly has been a gamechanger in oncology. I believe the second abstract that you’ll be highlighting addresses the use of supportive care in pancreas cancer, correct?
Dr. Pamela Kunz: That’s exactly right. So this is in the Merit Award tweetorial, and there are so many fantastic Merit Award recipients. It was actually very difficult to select just a few to highlight. In the tweetorial, we will be providing the link to all of the Merit Award recipients. So I encourage listeners to really go look at that.
So this specific abstract that I wanted to mention on today’s podcast is Abstract 4154 by Dr. Chris Cann and colleagues. They examined, through the National Cancer database, over 150,000 patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer and found that only 2.9% received supportive care treatment despite over 65% of these patients receiving care at an academic program.
And so I think that it just really highlighted the need for these patients to really utilize supportive care programs. Perhaps sometimes we have a bias that we refer patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer to supportive care programs. But there's an opportunity to take advantage of these services earlier.
ASCO Daily News: Excellent. Well, Dr. Kunz, looking ahead, do you think there’s scope to leverage social media more in oncology? Tweetorials, for example, are a great vehicle for education and a way to address topics that don't get as much attention as we'd like?
Dr. Pamela Kunz: Absolutely, Geraldine. You know, this was a pilot this year with Dr. Ryan Gentzler and myself. There is an active social media editor, Dr. Shannon Westin, who's a consultant member of the JCO editorial board as well. I think in partnering with the ASCO Annual Meeting Social Media Team, this has really been a team effort. And we are hoping to do more of this in future years, and in particular, take advantage of creating opportunities for perhaps fellows and junior faculty to assist in disseminating some of this information via social media.
ASCO Daily News: Absolutely. This is an incredibly important initiative that will benefit oncologists, patient advocates, and patients alike who are on social media to learn about advances in care. So it's really important that we let our listeners know where they can find these tweetorials. You are on Twitter @PamelKunzMD and Dr. Ryan Gentzler is @ryangentzler. Dr. Kunz, is there anything else you'd like to add before we wrap up the podcast today?
Dr. Pamela Kunz: Well, thank you for the opportunity to highlight this. I think we would also welcome suggestions from our listeners. If you are reading the tweetorials, you can send me a direct message, and we'd welcome suggestions for future years on how to highlight other science from our ASCO Annual Meeting.
ASCO Daily News: Absolutely. And we'd certainly like to encourage our listeners to share these amazing tweetorials.
Well, Dr. Kunz, thanks for coming on the podcast today and for your efforts to elevate abstracts and investigators who are working really hard to address some complex issues in cancer care.
Dr. Pamela Kunz: Thank you for the opportunity.
ASCO Daily News: And thank you to our listeners for joining us today. You will find links to the abstracts discussed today on the transcript of this episode, and we'll post the Twitter handles of Dr. Kunz and Dr. Gentzler in the show notes.
Finally, if you value the insights you hear on the ASCO Daily News podcast, please take a moment to rate, review, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
By Pamela Kunz, MD
By Ryan Gentzler, MD
Dr. Pamela Kunz:
Stock and Other Ownership Interests: Guardant Health
Consulting or Advisory Role: Ipsen, Lexicon, SunPharma, Acrotech Biopharma, Novartis, Genentech/Roche, Amgen, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, RayzeBio, Natera, HUTCHMED
Research Funding (Inst.): Lexicon, Ipsen, Xencor, Brahms (Thermo Fisher Scientific), Novartis
The purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. This is not a substitute for professional medical care and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions.
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