Tag Archive for: early stage lung cancer

How Can Lung Cancer Physician-Patient Communication Be Improved?

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How Can Lung Cancer Physician-Patient Communication Be Improved? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Lung cancer physician-patient communication can sometimes present challenges. Experts Dr. Lyudmila Bazhenova and Dr. Jessica Bauman share factors that can create challenges and methods they’ve used to improve their communication and patient care.

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Transcript:

Dr. Nicole Rochester: 

Can you each share some examples from your own practice around improving physician-patient communication that may serve as exemplary for providers that are watching this program? And we’ll start with you, Dr. Bazhenova.

Dr. Lyudmila Bazhenova: 

I think it also has some challenges, because in the current environment of practicing medicine, we are, as physicians, we are pushed to see more patients, it’s all about productivity. So when you do that, something has to give. And a time that we can spend with the patient is limited. And I think it’s important, for myself, as a practice, I have the same, I call it spiel that I give to all my patients. It’s the same picture I write down when I speak and I give that paper to the patients. I’ve had, you know, created some preprinted things that I used to give to the patients. Don’t do it anymore. But I think that’s another thing, have some kind of information that is a patient level that I can give to the patients.

And I think we have to educate the patients as well, either by ourselves or using the platforms that we are exhibiting here, that is outside of our primary institutions. And to make sure that the patients are aware that each one of them who have a stage IV lung cancer, as well as early stage lung cancer needs to be tested for the molecular testing. And kind of put it also have the patient question the physician, did you do that? Was that test done? That’s one part of information.  And I think the second part is, we do have to do better in allowing our patients to get a faster access to us. And we kind of accept the fact that we are going to be working after hours. When the clinic is over, that’s where I’m going to go to my charts, and I’m going to answer my patient’s question.

It’s kind of an intrinsic, is the work of the physician. Hours is…unfortunately, doesn’t really count. There is no limit to that. So whatever it works, like having a nurse educator. We have in our institution, we have…we call her tissue coordinator, but she’s the person who can actually make sure that the tissue is done, she can also make sure that reports are sent to the patient and make sure that patient has ability to ask questions of somebody. And I think the EMR, electronic medical record, it’s kind of a love-hate relationship, I think, with all of us. But one thing that I find it made it much easier for me is to communicate with my patients using my chart and this ability to release the result to the patient by one click of a button, that saves time for me so I can spend that time to actually visit the patient and explain to the patient what needs to be done.

Dr. Nicole Rochster: 

That is awesome, thank you. Do you have anything to add, Dr. Bauman?

Dr. Jessica Bauman: 

Yes, yes, I agree that I think that this overall requires a lot of education, and especially when patients come in and they want to know tomorrow or yesterday, actually, what they’re going to get for treatment and what we’re going to start with. And so telling them that actually we still can’t decide for at least another week or two, that in of itself can be challenging. I think the other piece of this that’s always important is, in general, when we’re doing molecular and biomarker testing, we’re looking for changes in the tumor, we’re looking for what we call somatic mutations, but there is also the second concern where on rare occasion, issues with molecular testing can bring up issues with germline testing, meaning some abnormality that’s found that may impact their own familial risk for cancer, and so that of course requires a lot of thought and careful education as well, in addition to the treatment decision-making that we’re really ordering the test to decide upon.


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How Do Lung Cancer Patients Benefit From MRD Testing?

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How Do Lung Cancer Patients Benefit From MRD Testing? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

MRD testing is another tool in the lung cancer care toolkit. Expert Dr. Christian Rolfo from Mount Sinai explains how MRD testing aids in patient monitoring, use of liquid biopsies in patient care, and updates about immunotherapy for early stage lung cancer.

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Transcript:

Dr. Nicole Rochester: 

There are a few questions from our audience that I would love to present to you, and so one of them comes from MacKenzie and MacKenzie asked, “Can you speak about MRD testing and what that means for lung cancer?”

Dr. Christian Rolfo: 

Yeah, and that we were discussing briefly. So minimal residual disease is the…as I say, when we have an operation, we can have the opportunity to have completely resected a tumor, but we don’t know more than with the CT scan when the patient will recover. So we are without an answer believing every follow-up visit what has happened, seeing if it has gone. So we are trying to reduce this…reduce the anxiety first of all, to try to get the tools that are able to identify patients that they can recurrence, have a recurrence so liquid biopsies, one of them, and we have now the several methods that are trials and several data coming that there are some companies that actually they are a market for some of the options, we are still having validations, required validations, but we will certainly be there very shortly in time to identify these patients and to treat them in the proper time.

Dr. Nicole Rochester: 

Wonderful, and I think you just addressed a question that came in from Harold, which was., “Is liquid biopsy playing a role in monitoring disease recurrence in lung cancer?”

Dr. Christian Rolfo: 

Sure, we are actually tailoring treatments and checking the patients, and I have several, several experiences in patients that they’re monitoring over the time, and we have actually some of the vendors that are proposing this approach monitoring, liquid biopsy is a great tool because it’s minimally invasive, it’s just a blood draw, and we can continue. Not all the patients have the possibility in terms of they are not all cheaters, that is something we need to know DNA, so it’s the majority of them, we can do it in some minimal proportion, we cannot do it when there are also possibilities to follow them.

Dr. Nicole Rochester:  

And our last question from the audience comes from Laura, and she wants to know, “Are  immunotherapy combinations in the metastatic setting, expanding to treat earlier stage lung cancer?”

Dr. Christian Rolfo: 

Yeah, absolutely, we have actually an FDA approval for us, one of the immunotherapeutic drugs in patients after the resection of the disease with some characteristics, but we are there and actually we are having more and more clinical trials using in earlier stages so we will say in the other stage from the earlier stage from that is the neoadjuvant, and we call that when we are doing a treatment to reduce two months to be operated later on, so we have also some trials that are going there, but we have an approval already for the adjuvant setting that is after the surgery in some patients. 

Dr. Nicole Rochester: 

That’s wonderful. You’ve given us a lot of good news. A lot of hopeful news, Dr. Rolfo, it is time for us to wrap up. I want to thank you again for being here for sharing your expertise.