Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed cancer care with the rapid expansion of telemedicine, but given the limited use of telemedicine in oncology, concerns have been raised about the quality of care being delivered. We assessed the patient experience with telemedicine in routine radiation oncology practice to determine satisfaction, quality of care, and opportunities for optimization. Patients and Methods: Patients seen within a multistate comprehensive cancer center for prepandemic office visits and intrapandemic telemedicine visits in December 2019 through June 2020 who completed patient experience questionnaires were evaluated. Patient satisfaction between office and telemedicine consultations were compared, patient visit-type preferences were assessed, and factors associated with an office visit preference were determined. Results: In total, 1,077 patients were assessed (office visit, n=726; telemedicine, n=351). The telemedicine-consult survey response rate was 40%. No significant differences were seen in satisfaction scores between office and telemedicine consultations, including the appointment experience versus expectation, quality of physician’s explanation, and level of physician concern and friendliness. Among telemedicine survey respondents, 45% and 34% preferred telemedicine and office visits, respectively, and 21% had no preference for their visit type. Most respondents found their confidence in their physician (90%), understanding of the treatment plan (88%), and confidence in their treatment (87%) to be better or no different than with an office visit. Patients with better performance status and who were married/partnered were more likely to prefer in-person office visit consultations (odds ratio [OR], 1.04 [95% CI, 1.00–1.08]; P=.047, and 2.41 [95% CI, 1.14–5.47]; P=.009, respectively). Patients with telephone-only encounters were more likely to report better treatment plan understanding with an office visit (OR, 2.25; 95% CI, 1.00–4.77; P=.04). Conclusions: This study is the first to assess telemedicine in routine radiation oncology practice, and found high patient satisfaction and confidence in their care. Optimization of telemedicine in oncology should be a priority, specifically access to audiovisual capabilities that can improve patient–oncologist communication.
Narek Shaverdian, Erin F. Gillespie, Elaine Cha, Soo Young Kim, Stephanie Benvengo, Fumiko Chino, Jung Julie Kang, Yuelin Li, Thomas M. Atkinson, Nancy Lee, Charles M. Washington, Oren Cahlon, and Daniel R. Gomez
Featured Updates to the NCCN Guidelines
Margaret A. Tempero, Mokenge P. Malafa, E. Gabriela Chiorean, Brian Czito, Courtney Scaife, Amol K. Narang, Christos Fountzilas, Brian M. Wolpin, Mahmoud Al-Hawary, Horacio Asbun, Stephen W. Behrman, Al B. Benson III, Ellen Binder, Dana B. Cardin, Charles Cha, Vincent Chung, Mary Dillhoff, Efrat Dotan, Cristina R. Ferrone, George Fisher, Jeffrey Hardacre, William G. Hawkins, Andrew H. Ko, Noelle LoConte, Andrew M. Lowy, Cassadie Moravek, Eric K. Nakakura, Eileen M. O’Reilly, Jorge Obando, Sushanth Reddy, Sarah Thayer, Robert A. Wolff, Jennifer L. Burns, and Griselda Zuccarino-Catania
The NCCN Guidelines for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma discuss the diagnosis and management of adenocarcinomas of the exocrine pancreas and are intended to assist with clinical decision-making. These NCCN Guidelines Insights discuss important updates to the 2019 version of the guidelines, focusing on postoperative adjuvant treatment of patients with pancreatic cancers.
Margaret A. Tempero, Mokenge P. Malafa, Mahmoud Al-Hawary, Horacio Asbun, Andrew Bain, Stephen W. Behrman, Al B. Benson III, Ellen Binder, Dana B. Cardin, Charles Cha, E. Gabriela Chiorean, Vincent Chung, Brian Czito, Mary Dillhoff, Efrat Dotan, Cristina R. Ferrone, Jeffrey Hardacre, William G. Hawkins, Joseph Herman, Andrew H. Ko, Srinadh Komanduri, Albert Koong, Noelle LoConte, Andrew M. Lowy, Cassadie Moravek, Eric K. Nakakura, Eileen M. O'Reilly, Jorge Obando, Sushanth Reddy, Courtney Scaife, Sarah Thayer, Colin D. Weekes, Robert A. Wolff, Brian M. Wolpin, Jennifer Burns, and Susan Darlow
Ductal adenocarcinoma and its variants account for most pancreatic malignancies. High-quality multiphase imaging can help to preoperatively distinguish between patients eligible for resection with curative intent and those with unresectable disease. Systemic therapy is used in the neoadjuvant or adjuvant pancreatic cancer setting, as well as in the management of locally advanced unresectable and metastatic disease. Clinical trials are critical for making progress in treatment of pancreatic cancer. The NCCN Guidelines for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma focus on diagnosis and treatment with systemic therapy, radiation therapy, and surgical resection.