Targeted therapies with distinct toxicities have revolutionized treatment of advanced cancer. Aim of this study was to assess patterns of practice for the management of these AEs, which can impair patient’s(pts) quality of life and hamper compliance, potentially leading to treatment failure.
Between March 2017 and May 2017, an online questionnaire was distributed by HeGYO to oncologists to provide their answers anonymously.
79 oncologists participated in the survey. The majority were medical oncologists (80%), 18% were clinical/radiation oncologists and 2% haematologists oncologists. Of them, 30% were in specialty training and 72% were ESMO members. Although 64.6% stated that they are very familiar with the new treatments in oncology, the majority (67.1%) spend less than 30% of their treatment initiation visit to inform pts on AEs. Only a minority (29.1%) gives diaries to pts for self reporting of AEs, but 59.4% offers educational material and 89.8% reaches proactively to pts. 53.2% do not make follow up phone calls between scheduled visits, while 58.2% report that there is not a call center service available in their institution for the pts to report AEs. More than 80% of oncologists described their practice to treat toxicities as more guideline-based than empiric and 92.4% of them were keen to refer pts to other medical specialties to optimize management of toxicities. 60.8% reported that a dose reduction or discontinuation was necessary in 10-30% of their pts and 59.5% reported that at least 1 of their pts discontinued treatment without informing them. Time constraints and the chaotic nature of web information were the predominant barriers interfering with doctor’s education.
This survey emphasizes the unmet need for continuous education among health professionals and pts and effective multidisciplinary collaboration for the optimization of AEs management. The majority of participants acknowledged the importance of informing their pts and treating their side effects according to guidelines. However, they describe significant obstacles in their daily practice.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Hellenic Group of Young Oncologists (HeGYO), under the auspices of the Hellenic Society of Medical Oncology (HeSMO)
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.