Accessing Novel Treatments in the Community Setting

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Virginia Cancer Specialists

Dipti Patel-Donnelly, MD, discusses the gaps between academic centers and community oncology regarding treatments for hematologic malignancies.


The potential of new cancer therapies like chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, bispecific antibodies, and antibody drug conjugates is exciting, but their accessibility remains a challenge. Many of these treatments are currently restricted to academic centers, leaving patients in local communities with fewer options.

At the American Society of Hematology 2023 Annual Meeting, Dipti Patel-Donnelly, MD, medical oncologist at Virginia Cancer Specialists, discussed how to bridge the gap between academic centers and community oncology settings.

Transcription:

0:09 | The exciting thing of hematologic malignancies is there's actually a panoply of new options including CAR T or cellular therapy, bispecific monoclonal antibodies, antibody drug conjugates. And all of these are exciting; however, many of them are started in the inpatient setting at an academic center and so they don't have access in local communities or the expertise or experience. And if we're really going to use these revolutionary therapies and actually bring them to patients, we have to understand how to administer them and manage the toxicities locally, to be able to really reach out to the people who probably need it the most. I think it's incredibly helpful to have a multidisciplinary approach. You can actually do it in the setting of having a medical specialist, a surgical specialist, a radiation doctor, and having people who have a deep expertise in the local community with hematologic malignancies are better apt to address some of those more niche or atypical presentations and also therapies. The other thing is, certainly, research increases when patients and physicians are aligned into 1 interest. And I think enrollment of these patients into clinical trials locally is a very important part of not only access but bringing revolutionary or novel therapies locally to our patients. I think there has to be a bridge between what academia does and what the community physicians do. And I think all of these novel agents may start in the world or realm of academia, I think they can be operationalized in the community. I think there's there's a lot of alignment between community physicians and academic physicians, a co-management strategy I like as I like to call it. I think that really enhances that not only communication, but impact of those therapies to those patients that require it the most.

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