What is the Next Key Topic in Oncology?


Oncology Icons will discuss a key oncology topic selected by Targeted Oncology readers.

In July, the Targeted Oncology Icons program recognized a few community-based oncologists who all have contributed to clinical oncology research. Thus, research became the unofficial theme of the quarter.

We know that even though oncologists/hematologists working in academia play an important role in the moving new therapies forward for the treatment of cancer, oncologists in community practices also have a part to play. Specifically, real-world data (RWD) have become highly sought after information for oncologists. Regulatory bodies like the FDA also look for RWD when deciding on whether to approve a novel therapy.

As the deadline for the October Oncology Icons award approaches, the oncology community is abuzz with multiple topics that have the potential to greatly impact the future of the field.

  • Artificial Intelligence – According to experts, there is room for artificial intelligence (AI) in cancer pathology as well as in diagnostics. Deep learning, a form of machine learning, is being fused into the pathology workflow.1 In diagnostics, AI tools such as photoacoustic microscopy, MUSE microscopy, and the generative adversarial network have been introduced in recent years. The future of AI in oncology may involve companion diagnostics, AI-based medical devices, and more.2

  • Drug Shortages – Throughout 2022 and 2023, several cancer therapies have been short on supply and have greatly impacted patient care. Of late, vital chemotherapy agents like carboplatin and cisplatin have been scarce. The drug shortages led the FDA to consider importing drugs from outside of the United States (US) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Center has been investigating the impact these shortages have had on oncology care.

  • Financial Toxicity – As the US economy continues to change, both oncologists and their patients are feeling the financial burden of cancer treatment. One study showed a $64,253 mean monthly cost of cancer care per patient. These costs were predominantly for medical expenses. Insurance costs also contributed to the financial burden and differed based on type of insurance.

Which topic would you like to hear and Oncology Icon discuss next?

Artificial intelligence
Financial toxicity
Drug shortages

Nominations for the Oncology Icons award program are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. To be eligible for the Q3 award that will be annouced in October, please submit your nomination no later than September 15, 2023. To submit, please click here.

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