Message from SIOG President

Written by Stu Lichtman

It is a privilege to introduce the current Nursing and Allied Health Newsletter.  This month’s issue discusses a number of important topics. I am very happy we can have a reduced fee for nurses from BENELUX for the Saturday session of the Annual Conference.  We are hoping this will allow an increase in regional participation for the meeting. The NAH program has an all-day session at the Annual Conference covering a variety of topics and will also allow for the presentation of research studies.  The newsletter also has an excellent discussion of issues in cognition by Cindy Borghgraef. The list of publications in the 3-month period is particularly impressive.  Twenty articles in this brief period of time.  This speaks to the expertise and enthusiasm of the NAH group.  I know this will continue. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Amsterdam!

SIOG 2018 Annual Conference

Since this is already the September issue of 2018, we hope everyone has had a great summer holiday. We are already looking forward to seeing many of you this November at the SIOG Annual Conference in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

We are also delighted to announce that this year we have a full day in the program for nurses and allied health professionals.  The program includes a research session, as well as a NAH poster walk and a round table discussion.  An education session focusing on CGA implementation in different countries is also scheduled in the program. This session is a partnership with the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) and with the Canadian Association for Nurses in Oncology.

The preliminary program is already published on the website. Don’t miss the registration deadline. Special registration discounts are applicable for nurses. Nurses from the BENELUX can register at discounted rates for the program on Saturday November 17.

How to deal with cognitive function: a major challenge in Geriatric Oncology

Written by Cindy Borghgraef (BE), psychologist specialist in neuropsychology

Cognitive function is fundamental in daily living for both basic and more complex activities. Cognitive impairment can potentially affect social and/or occupational functioning and induce psychological distress. Unfortunately, cancer and related treatments are known to potentially induce cognitive changes through several mechanisms including cerebral changes, inflammation, oxidative stress and fatigue1. The possibility of cognitive impairments becomes particularly important in older cancer patients as they cumulate cognitive risk factors including advanced age, comorbidities, cancer and related treatments2...<More>

Research (June 2018-August 2018)

List of publications related to the care for older patients with cancer by SIOG Nursing and Allied Health members (June 2018-August 2018):

List of publications:

  1. Alfano CM, Pergolotti M. Next-Generation Cancer Rehabilitation: A Giant Step Forward for Patient Care. Rehabilitation nursing : the official journal of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses. 2018;43(4):186-94.
  2. Chow R, Warr DG, Navari RM, Tsao M, Popovic M, Chiu L, et al. Should palonosetron be a preferred 5-HT3 receptor antagonist for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting? An updated systematic review and meta-analysis. Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer. 2018;26(8):2519-49.
  3.  Diaz PL, Furfari A, Wan BA, Lam H, Charames G, Drost L, et al. Predictive biomarkers of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: a review. Biomarkers in medicine. 2018;12(8):907-16.
  4. Donkor A, Luckett T, Aranda S, Phillips J. Barriers and facilitators to implementation of cancer treatment and palliative care strategies in low- and middle-income countries: systematic review. International journal of public health. 2018.<More>

Member Profile

Meet and greet a SIOG NAH member: Michelle Hannan

Michelle is a clinical nurse specialist in oncology at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) in the south-east of Ireland. She is also currently undertaking a master’s in Advanced Practice at University College Dublin (UCD).
On a day-to-day basis, Michelle runs and coordinates nurse-led oral chemotherapy clinics, a bisphosphonate clinic and a subcutaneous Herceptin clinic. In these clinics, she provides education and support to patients, assesses, identifies and manages therapy side effects of disease progression. In addition, Michelle also coordinates a geriatric oncology clinic under the guidance of Dr. Anne M. Horgan. This is the first clinic of its kind in Ireland. Michelle also performs comprehensive geriatric assessments and collaborates with her medical colleagues to develop individualised treatment plans for her patients. This year the clinic won an award for innovation and service development at the Hospital Professional awards and Michelle hopes to continue with its development both within and outside of UHW.
At UHW, Michelle is currently involved in a study to identify cancer caregiver burden at the South East Cancer Centre in Ireland. Her research thesis will be focusing on the attitudes of staff towards the introduction of geriatric oncology services, and will identify barriers and future areas of education amongst both oncology and geriatric medical and nursing staff.

Brief Report of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) Annual Meeting

The Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer held its annual meeting Vienna, Austria June 28-30 2018.  This year the society welcomed 1,254 delegates across various disciplines, representing 61 countries, including 122 new MASCC members.

This year’s meeting covered a variety of topics in different sessions, which ranged from use of social media to further health intelligence, how to prevent cardiotoxicity prevention, cannabinoids for symptom management, management of cachexia syndrome, management of sleep disruption and fatigue, to support for caregivers, and many more.

In one of the sessions: Never Too Old - The Important Role of Exercise in Older Adults with Cancer, Dr. Beatrice Edwards presented data on malnutrition and overall survival in older patients with cancer, while Schroder Sattar presented data on a recent mixed-methods study on assessment, reporting, and impact of falls on cancer treatment in community-dwelling older adults with cancer.

The geriatric study group of MASCC, chaired by Dr. Christopher Steer (@drcbsteer), met and in part discussed salient potential topics surrounding advances in supportive oncology care in particular for older adults as well as use of technology to facilitate supportive care. Dr. Steer also spoke about prognostication in patients with advanced cancer in one of the workshops as well as use of Twitter in the session: Navigating the Twittersphere – How the Supportive Care Community Can Best Use Social Media to Further Our Health Intelligence.

Save the date for MASCC 2019 in San Francisco, USA, June 21-23 2019.

Future events

An overview of future events is standing on the SIOG website

You can find all issues of the SIOG NAH newsletter online at and on our Facebook page (SIOG Nursing & Allied Health Interest Group).