December 2016, Vol. 5, No. 10

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Reflections on Personalizing Oncology Care in 2016

Letter to Our Readers

Dear Colleague,

Untitled-17As the close of 2016 approaches and we look forward to the year ahead, I would like to thank you, our Personalized Medicine in Oncology (PMO) reading community, for your support, contributions, and loyal readership. In our pages and on our website, we have offered the best in research, opinions, and practices that have forever improved our ability to personalize care for our patients. Personalizing treatments has become the expectation for patients and has indeed become an indispensable service to ensure the best possible outcomes. The successes we report related to our ability to use personalized genetic and/or genomic information about patient or tumor have affected the very culture of oncology care at every phase from prevention through survivorship. As a result, we are seeing improvements in quality of life and survival.

In this issue, we feature an interview with Roni Zeiger of Smart Patients about the creation of online health communities and the untapped potential in connecting—and ultimately empowering—patients.

Much debate has taken place over optimal treatment options for patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma, but what about our patients with wild-type BRAF? We are pleased to present a paper from Drs Rahman and Tarhini about treatment options for patients with wild-type BRAF melanoma.

In this age of personalized medicine, there is much discussion about the role of the pathologist on the multidisciplinary oncology team. To elaborate on the topic, we invited Drs Washington and Salaria to contribute a paper exploring the role of the pathologist beyond their traditional roles in cancer diagnosis and staging as well as to clarify the importance of the pathologist in the era of personalized medicine.

Our editorial board member, Cristi Radford, provides an insightful column on BRCA testing for adolescents in her Genetic Counseling department.

2016 has been a great year for us, and it is my pleasure to serve you as Editor in Chief of PMO. My very best to you this holiday season and in the New Year.


Editor in Chief
Personalized Medicine in Oncology

Melanoma - December 9, 2016

Treatment Strategies for BRAF Wild-Type Metastatic Melanoma

An estimated 76,380 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in 2016, with an estimated 10,130 dying of this disease. Incidence rates for melanoma have increased steadily over the past several decades. In fact, in the United States, melanoma now has the 5th and 7th highest incidence for all cancers [ Read More ]

Association for Value-Based Cancer Care - December 9, 2016

Precision Medicine Is the Future of Cancer Care, but Cost Remains a Major Barrier

Precision medicine is the optimal approach to the future of cancer care, but unless a new pricing model for innovative treatments is implemented, the cost of care will be the greatest barrier to effective treatment, said Maurie Markman, MD, President, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, and Clinical Professor of Medicine, [ Read More ]