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Inga T. Lennes, Mara Bloom, Nie Bohlen, and Beverly Moy

As part of Massachusetts General Hospital’s overall quality improvement program, the Massachusetts General Hospital Breast Oncology Program participated in the NCCN Breast Cancer Outcomes Database Opportunities for Improvement Program. A review of concordance to breast oncology quality measures revealed that a small proportion of patients with breast cancer started chemotherapy more than 120 days after diagnosis. Therefore, the research team designed a quality improvement project to increase the percentage of concordance with the ASCO quality measure that requires time to treatment of less than 120 days and to decrease the number weeks from last definitive surgery to first adjuvant chemotherapy by 2014. A multipronged approach of improvements was used: to systems and infrastructure, communication among providers, and recruitment of additional staff as needed. This article describes the project and future initiatives to further improve the quality of breast cancer care at the institution.

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Paul F. Engstrom, Mara G. Bloom, George Daniel Demetri, Phillip G. Febbo, William Goeckeler, Marc Ladanyi, Bryan Loy, Kate Murphy, Michael Nerenberg, Paul Papagni, Mark Robson, Robert W. Sweetman, Sean Tunis, Jessica DeMartino, and Jonathan K. Larsen

Personalized medicine in oncology is maturing and evolving rapidly, and the use of molecular biomarkers in clinical decision-making is growing. This raises important issues regarding the safe, effective, and efficient deployment of molecular tests to guide appropriate care, specifically regarding laboratory-developed tests and companion diagnostics. In May 2011, NCCN assembled a work group composed of thought leaders from NCCN Member Institutions and other organizations to identify challenges and provide guidance regarding molecular testing in oncology and its corresponding utility from clinical, scientific, and coverage policy standpoints. The NCCN Molecular Testing Work Group identified challenges surrounding molecular testing, including health care provider knowledge, determining clinical utility, coding and billing for molecular tests, maintaining clinical and analytic validity of molecular tests, efficient use of specimens, and building clinical evidence.

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Subha Perni, Danielle Bitterman, Jennifer Ryan, Julie K. Silver, Eileen Mitchell, Sarah Christensen, Megan Daniels, Mara Bloom, Ephraim Hochberg, David Ryan, Daphne Haas-Kogan, Jay S. Loeffler, Nancy J. Tarbell, Aparna R. Parikh, and Jennifer Wo

Background: Philanthropic donations are important funding sources in academic oncology but may be vulnerable to implicit or explicit biases toward women. However, the influence of gender on donations has not been assessed quantitatively. Methods: We queried a large academic cancer center’s development database for donations over 10 years to the sundry funds of medical and radiation oncologists. Types of donations and total amounts for medical oncologists and radiation oncologists hired prior to April 1, 2018 (allowing ≥2 years on faculty prior to query), were obtained. We also obtained publicly available data on physician/academic rank, gender, specialty, disease site, and Hirsch-index (h-index), a metric of productivity. Results: We identified 127 physicians: 64% men and 36% women. Median h-index was higher for men (31; range, 1–100) than women (17; range, 3–77; P=.003). Men were also more likely to have spent more time at the institution (median, 15 years; range, 2–43 years) than women (median, 12.5 years; range, 3–22 years; P=.025). Those receiving donations were significantly more likely to be men (70% vs 30%; P=.034). Men received significantly higher median amounts ($259,474; range, $0–$29,507,784) versus women ($37,485; range, $0–$7,483,726; P=.019). On multivariable analysis, only h-index and senior academic rank were associated with donation receipt, and only h-index with donation amount. Conclusions: We found significant gender disparities in receipt of philanthropic donations on unadjusted analyses. However, on multivariable analyses, only productivity and rank were significantly associated with donations, suggesting gender disparities in productivity and promotions may contribute to these differences.

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Ndiya Ogba, Nicole M. Arwood, Nancy L. Bartlett, Mara Bloom, Patrick Brown, Christine Brown, Elizabeth Lihua Budde, Robert Carlson, Stephanie Farnia, Terry J. Fry, Morgan Garber, Rebecca A. Gardner, Lauren Gurschick, Patricia Kropf, Jeff J. Reitan, Craig Sauter, Bijal Shah, Elizabeth J. Shpall, and Steven T. Rosen

Patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) cancers have a poor prognosis and limited treatment options. The recent approval of 2 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) autologous T-cell products for R/R B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment is setting the stage for what is possible in other diseases. However, there are important factors that must be considered, including patient selection, toxicity management, and costs associated with CAR T-cell therapy. To begin to address these issues, NCCN organized a task force consisting of a multidisciplinary panel of experts in oncology, cancer center administration, and health policy, which met for the first time in March 2018. This report describes the current state of CAR T-cell therapy and future strategies that should be considered as the application of this novel immunotherapy expands and evolves.