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  • November 22, 2023 7:22 PM | Ariesta Milanti (Administrator)

    Karen Kane McDonnell, PhD, RN, Associate Professor*; Amanda Bennett, MSN, RN, Vera Bratnichenko, MSN, RN, Fattona Umari, BA, BSN, RN, PhD Students; and Ella Weinkle, MSN, RN, Research Associate 

    Cancer Survivorship Research Center, College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, United States

    *Corresponding author: Karenkm@mailbox.sc.edu

    A lack of management of anxiety and depression are associated with diminished quality of life and increased mortality. Both symptoms are underrecognized and undertreated.1

    Integrative oncology is a growing field of cancer care. It is a patient-centered, evidence-based field of supportive cancer care that utilizes integrative therapies such as mind-body practices, acupuncture, massage, music therapy, nutrition, and exercise in collaboration with conventional cancer treatments. Patient interest and utilization has been growing in popularity over several decades. Clinical research has shown the benefits of some of these approaches to improving symptom management and quality of life. The availability of these integrative oncology programs at cancer centers and in communities is also growing, though it is still highly variable from location to location along with program structure and implementation.1

    • A joint effort between the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) reviewed the evidence and made recommendations about therapies targeting adults with cancer experiencing symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.1,2 The recommendations were developed based on a comprehensive review and analyses of the research literature.2 The literature search from 1990 to 2023 identified 110 relevant studies (30 systematic reviews and 80 randomized control trials).2 Most importantly, these new recommendations can guide clinicians as to which interventions will be most effective in helping their patients. 

      The following four questions guided the review:

    • 1.     What integrative therapies are recommended for managing symptoms of anxiety experienced after diagnosis or during active treatment in adults with cancer?
    • 2.     What integrative therapies are recommended for managing symptoms of anxiety experienced post-treatment in adults with cancer?
    • 3.     What integrative therapies are recommended for managing symptoms of depression experienced after diagnosis or during active treatment in adults with cancer?
    • 4.     What integrative therapies are recommended for managing symptoms of depression experienced post-treatment in adults with cancer?2
    • The guideline development process was detailed. An international, multidisciplinary, 18-person expert panel, which included a patient representative, and two doctorly-prepared nurses were responsible for providing critical review and finalizing the guideline. BRIDGE-Wiz software, the GuideLines into Decision Support (GLIDES) methodology, the Cochrane risk-of-bias tool, and the AMSTAR 2 instrument were used to measure the quality of the evidence (rated as High, Intermediate, Low, or Insufficient) and the strength of a recommendation (Strong, Moderate, or Weak).3-5

      Twenty-one recommendations regarding therapies are included in the guideline. The following four recommendations were the only ones rated as Strong:

    • 1.     Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) should be offered to people with cancer to improve anxiety during active treatment. 
    • 2.     MBIs should be offered to people with cancer to improve anxiety post-treatment. 
    • 3.     MBIs should be offered to people with cancer to improve depression during active treatment. 
    • 4.     MBIs should be offered to people with cancer to improve depression post-treatment. 

    Even though the review of MBIs provided the strongest evidence, other types of interventions provided sufficient evidence to inform the recommendations. Those interventions included aroma therapy, acupuncture, expressive writing, hypnosis, music therapy and music-based interventions, reflexology, relaxation techniques, acupuncture, tai chi, qigong, and yoga.2

    Other interventions provided inconclusive evidence for informing recommendations, revealing many gaps in the existing evidence base and demonstrating the need for more research. Studies testing acupressure, dance and movement therapy, dietary supplements, healing touch, therapeutic listening, laughter therapy, light therapy, massage, natural products, nutritional interventions, and psilocybin-assisted therapy were included in this category.2

    Survivors with cancer use integrative (sometimes referred to as complementary) therapies to help manage side effects and symptoms.

    Guideline Implementation

    Guidelines are developed for implementation across health-care settings around the world. However, many barriers can slow dissemination. A team approach—in which clinicians partner with expert mindfulness practitioners and translational researchers in their respective settings—may improve the chances of successful implementation. 

    Due to the evidence base gaps (i.e., not enough studies conducted that could be considered in the review), the expert panel was not able to make recommendations for many supportive care modalities. The panel specifically recommended that more research be conducted with populations other than women with breast cancer, in contexts other than metastatic disease, and among people from diverse backgrounds. 

    Read the full joint SIO-ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline for Integrative Oncology Care of Anxiety and Depression in Adults with Cancer at either link below:

    SIO website: https://integrativeonc.org/practice-guidelines/guidelines

    ASCO website: 



    • 1.     Semeniuk, G., Bahadini, B., Ahn, E., Zain, J., Cheng, J., Govindarajan, A., Rose, J., & Lee, R. T. (2023). Integrative oncology and the clinical care network: Challenges and opportunities. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 12(12), 3946. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12123946
    • 2.     Carlson, L. E., Ismaila, N., Addington, E. L., Asher, G. N., Atreya, C., Balneaves, L. G., Bradt, J., Fuller-Shavel, N., Goodman, J., Hoffman, C. J., Huston, A., Mehta, A., Paller, C. J., Richardson, K., Seely, D., Siwik, C. J., Temel, J. S., & Rowland, J. H. (2023). Integrative oncology care of symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults with cancer: Society for Integrative Oncology–ASCO Guideline. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 41(28), 4562–4591. https://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.23.00857
    • 3.     Shiffman, R. N., Michel, G., Rosenfeld, R. M., & Davidson, C. (2012). Building better guidelines with BRIDGE-Wiz: Development and evaluation of a software assistant to promote clarity, transparency, and implementability. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 19(1), 94–101. https://doi.org/10.1136/amiajnl-2011-000172

    • 4.     Higgins, J. P., Altman, D. G., Gøtzsche, P. C., Jüni, P., Moher, D., Oxman, A. D., Savović, J., Schulz, K. F., Weeks, L., & Sterne, J. A. (2011). The Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias in randomised trials. BMJ, 343, d5928. http://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d5928    
    • 5.     Shea, B. J., Reeves, B. C., Wells, G., Thuku, M., Hamel, C., Moran, J., Moher, D., Tugwell, P., Welch, V., Kristjansson, E., & Henry, D. A. (2017). AMSTAR 2: A critical appraisal tool for systematic reviews that include randomised or non-randomised studies of healthcare interventions, or both. BMJ, 358, j4008. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4008

    Disclosure: Karen Kane McDonnell is supported by the American Cancer Society under award number MRSG-17-152-01. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the official views of the American Cancer Society.

  • November 08, 2023 4:23 AM | Ariesta Milanti (Administrator)

    From September 29 to October 2, 2023, the International Conference on Cancer Nursing (ICCN2023) was held in Glasgow for four days. The theme of the conference was "Building Global Excellence in Nursing, Achieving Excellence in Cancer Care," and it was divided into four main themes and five sub-forums. Leading cancer care experts from the UK, USA, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and other countries in Africa gathered to discuss the latest developments in cancer care.

    During the conference, the Palliative Care Committee of the Chinese Nursing Association and the Palliative Care Committee of the Chinese Anti-Cancer Association donated more than 30 books in Chinese and English, including "Palliative Care: A Technical Guide for the Integrated Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer in China." These donation provided strong support for and promoted the development of global palliative care.

    Through this international Cancer Nursing Conference, the influence of the Palliative Care Committee of the Chinese Nursing Association has been further enhanced. We expect that palliative scholars from around the world will actively participate in the practice and research of palliative care, contributing to the further development of palliative care in our country.

  • November 06, 2023 8:54 PM | Ariesta Milanti (Administrator)

    by: Roselyne Anyango Okumu

    ISNCC Travel grant scholarship recipient (2023) 

    President - Oncology Nurses Chapter- Kenya

    The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) was founded in 1984 with a vision to lead global nursing communities in cancer control. ISNCC works towards improving the health and well-being of people at risk of living with cancer through leadership development, supporting the development of cancer nurses around the world, and promoting nurses' role in improving cancer care delivery. The Executive committee included Prof Winnie So- President, Patsy Yates -- Past president, and Linda Watson - Secretary/Treasurer.

    The ISNCC Nominations and Awards Committee granted me a full travel scholarship to participate in the International Conference on Cancer Nursing 2023 (ICCN 2023) in Glasgow, UK, 29 September– 2 October 2023. The scholarship program was established to further the mission and vision of the ISNCC to foster the development of cancer nursing internationally. The planning process was smooth air travel and accommodation organized by the ISNCC secretariat, my stay in Glasgow was very interesting. I enjoyed the sumptuous dinner themed on Scottish culture and the dance.

    The experience at ICCN was unmatched as I followed the proceedings, I learned a lot from the research, best practices, and experiences of nurses across the globe. It was also exciting to learn about progress made in nursing education across the globe as well as to identify gaps and explore possibilities of continuous improvement in cancer care. Indeed, these aligned very well with the conference theme of Building Global Nursing Excellence for Tomorrow’s Cancer Realities. Additionally, the networking with colleagues was very exciting accompanied by meeting some people that we have depended on reading their research papers and articles to inform practice in my home country was very inspiring.

    I also attended the ISNCC General meeting where I got great insights, especially on what it takes the leadership to manage operations at such a high-level institution. I was also delighted to know that the Oncology Nurses Chapter Kenya (ONC-K) has now become a member of ISNCC. I also learned a lot about what is happening around the globe and the need to have ISNCC global citizens. We were pleased to meet some of the ISNCC board members and the leadership and to learn from them. As I come back home, I am thrilled to know that we have an organization that we can look up to for mentorship in order to prepare ourselves to better handle future challenges in cancer care across the continuum.

    I am very grateful for this opportunity to participate in this year's presentation on the status of cancer in Kenya; and the role of oncology nurse. It pleases me as the ONC-K leader that one of our mem- bers was granted the past president award in line with her contributions to cancer care. We look forward to building the relationship further as we learn and empower the nurses.

    It was such a pleasure attending this conference and am continually indebted to ISNCC for this. I will endeavor to share the knowledge gained with my colleagues as we seek to improve the quality of cancer care. I will be willing to take up any role assigned to me by ISNCC in furtherance of its agenda. Please allow me to invite you to come and visit Kenya and see what we are doing at various institutions and at ONC-K as we seek opportunities to collaborate.

    Thank you

  • March 16, 2023 9:35 PM | Ariesta Milanti (Administrator)

    Author: Yongyi Chen, Boyong Shen, Junchen Guo

    Affiliations: Hunan Cancer Hospital; Palliative Care Technology Training and Guidance Base of Hunan Province

    The inaugural meeting of the Hunan Palliative Care Remote Multidisciplinary Collaborative Alliance was successfully held in Changsha, China on March 10, 2023. More than 300 representatives from 93 medical institutions from within and outside Hunan Province attended this conference.

    Professor Yimin Zhu, Deputy Director of the Health Commission of Hunan Province, delivered a keynote speech. He stressed that the development of palliative care in Hunan Province needs the joint efforts of the whole province to achieve common progress and benefit more patients, and hoped that the Hunan Palliative Care Remote Multidisciplinary Collaborative Alliance would spare no effort to promote palliative care with high starting point planning, high standard promotion, high efficiency implementation, and high-quality implementation.

    Professor Yazhou Xiao, President of Hunan Cancer Hospital, pointed out that the Hunan Palliative Care Remote Multidisciplinary Collaborative Alliance is in line with the overall development healthy, and is based on the current situation of the ageing population and high incidence of cancer. Hunan Cancer Hospital will shoulder the mission and play a leading role to further comprehensively improve the quality of life of end-stage patients.

    Professor Winnie So, President of the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care, joined the conference online. She said that the establishment of the Hunan Palliative Care Remote Multidisciplinary Collaborative Alliance is a model for the provision of high-quality palliative care. The collaboration of multidisciplinary experts can have a synergistic effect so that more patients in need of palliative care can live the last journey of life in peace, comfort and dignity without regrets.

    The conference formally established Hunan Cancer Hospital as the presiding unit of the first Hunan Palliative Care Remote Multidisciplinary Collaboration Alliance; Professor Lihui Zhu, the deputy secretary of Hunan Cancer Hospital, as the chairman of the alliance; and Professor Yongyi Chen as the chief expert. 8 hospitals were included as the vice-chairman institutes, and 84 hospitals were included as the committee institutes.

    The establishment of the Hunan Palliative Care Remote Multidisciplinary Collaborative Alliance shows that palliative care work in Hunan has reached a new stage. As a next step, the Alliance will gradually improve the palliative care service system and standardise the industry standards in Hunan.

  • February 02, 2023 7:56 PM | Leya Duigu (Administrator)

    World Cancer Day is coming up on February 4th and the ISNCC Board of Directors are pleased to mark the date by releasing a video series and forum on the critical role of nursing leadership in closing the cancer care gap.

    These videos explore the role of nurse leaders and examine strategies to accelerate nursing leadership developing. Presentations are delivered by outstanding nursing leaders in cancer control who share examples of how nursing leadership is applied at the system and organizational levels to close the cancer care gap.

    Visit the video series page by clicking on the button below and we invite you to share your ideas and ask questions in the public discussion forum.


  • December 20, 2022 4:31 PM | Leya Duigu (Administrator)

    Author: Kathryn Ciccolini DNP, AGACNP-BC, OCN, Mount Sinai Hospital

    Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AlloSCT) is potentially a curative treatment for various hematologic malignancies. Patients referred for evaluation for an AlloSCT to the bone marrow transplant (BMT) program at Mount Sinai Hospital (MSH) are immediately evaluated for donor availability. The process of a donor search is multifaceted requiring a specialized and highly unique skillset. At MSH, our group of transplant nurse coordinators and administrative donor coordinators have extensive training and are one of the very few members in the hospital who perform this exceptionally rewarding patient care coordination. Although, identifying a donor is not so straightforward, let’s delve behind-the scenes to learn more.

    Basics of HLA and Transplantation

    There are many factors that can influence transplantation outcome, one of which is an absolute pre-requisite and a paramount criterion for an alloSCT, donor-recipient histocompatibility (matching of donor and recipient human leukocyte antigen [HLA] protein). In short, HLA proteins are cell-surface inherited proteins found on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and play a major role in the immune defense system’s ability to identify self from non-self (NMDP 2021). The most pertinent genes for transplantation belong to MHC Class I (HLA-A, HLA-B, and HLA-C), and MHC Class II (HLA-DR, HLA-DQ, and HLA-DP) (Furst et al, 2019). Detailed HLA typing is used to determine match grade between recipient and donor and donor eligibility. Matched HLA allows for engraftment and reduces the risk of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and graft rejection. It is also the most consistent, predictive factor for outcome post HSCT from unrelated donors (Petersdorf, 2016). Donors can be related or unrelated as the source of stem cells resulting in several possible approaches for transplantation. Related donors can either be full match or half match thus siblings, children, parents and even second degree relatives can be considered (NMDP 2022; Sugita, 2019). While an HLA-identical matched sibling donor remains the preferred stem cell source for allogeneic stem cell transplantation, only 30% of patients clinical situation meet this standard leaving the remaining 70% requiring further exploration in other donor sources emphasizing the importance of volunteer donor registries such as National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) (Ayuk, & Balduzzi, 2019; Petersdorf, 2016; Sugita, 2019). Factors to consider for a successful transplant beyond HLA are donor age, CMV status, cell dose, donor sex, pregnancy history, ABO compatibility, and the presence of donor specific HLA antibodies (DSA) (Ayuk, & Balduzzi, 2019).

    Related Donors

    At the initial BMT clinic visit, the patient (recipient) is extensively educated on the donor search process for their transplant and is assessed for their initial HLA lab markers by blood test. The recipient completes a family information sheet which is used to arrange initial HLA related donor HLA blood testing. The selection of related donors per recipient can vary with sometimes having over ten options, all of which the interdisciplinary team manages simultaneously. The HLA results of both recipient and donor(s) are compared to assess their match degree. All potentially qualified donors are notified and assessed for willingness to voluntarily donate to share the results with the recipient. The prospective donors are screened for eligibility and suitability by a transplant physician (who is not primary physician of the recipient) and nurse coordinator which includes a comprehensive history and physical evaluation, infectious disease screening and educational session on modes of donation (bone marrow harvest and peripheral blood stem cell), collection process, and medical clearance. Once a donor is identified, and donation stem cell source preference is established by the clinical team and donor, they are brought to the apheresis center for a tour, the nurse coordinator arranges mobilization therapy, addresses central venous catheter requirements, and organizes their collection.

    Unrelated Donors

    However, when a related donor search is not feasible or did not yield a potential donor, the nurse coordinators initiate a preliminary search through the NMDP, a national resource for facilitating unrelated donor and cord blood stem cell transplants. This is the only organization in the USA that matches unrelated volunteer donors, arranges collections and transportations of stem cells, manages collection and analysis of multi-center data on both donor and cord blood unit (CBU) process, stem cell donation side effects, patient transplant outcomes, and histocompatibility, and maintains a research sample repository (NMDP 2021). Preliminary searches are often proactively done in tandem of conducting related donor searches in the circumstance a suitable related donor is not found. This search identifies potential unrelated stem cell donors and CBU representing a “snap shot’ of potential matches at a given time which can help shape a recipient’s treatment plan. When potential donors are selected from this search after thorough collaborative clinical team discussion, the search is formalized by requesting confirmatory HLA testing on identified potential unrelated donors. The coordinators work closely with NMDP case manager on unrelated donor workup, eligibility and clearance domestically, nationally, and internationally requiring consistent follow up and assurance of donor medical clearance. Once the donor is identified and cleared, the team works with the NMDP case manager on the donor collection, delivery of cells to MSH requiring tremendous logistical coordinator with NMDP, recipient, family, our Cell Therapy Lab, and other members of the BMT program.

    Challenges with Donation Coordination

    Besides the inherently complex process from donor identification to recipient transfusion, there are many donor-related challenges the coordinators address including physical symptoms and often moral distress. Donors may experience feelings of ambivalence, grief, anguish, fear, pressure in being responsible for the recipient’s outcomes, feeling pressured (Gutierrez-Aguirre et al. 2021). The coordinators are heavily relied upon to demystify the process of what it means to be a donor, address psychosocial concerns, dispel misconceptions of donation, educate on expected adverse events associated with donation, and could be faced with donors with religious conviction or occupational barriers (Garcia et al, 2013; NMDP 2022). Further, the coordinators face challenges with donors living in remote areas with limited access to medical care, communicating with donors who are in different time zones and in different languages, governmental import and export restrictions for international donors, and travel limitations for donors with visa issues. A large majority of the donors registered in the database are of Western European ancestry impeding HLA match access for certain ethnic origins (Tiercy, 2016). Our geographic location and the diversity of New York City complicates finding a well-matched related or unrelated donor resulting in exploration of alternative donors allowing for greater degree of mismatch.

    Final Thoughts

    It takes up to an estimated ten hours per recipient to perform preliminary searches, formalize donor searches to clear and collect a donor, and coordinate cell delivery to MSH and recipient admission given exquisite and meticulous logistical coordination and attention. Between 2020 and 2021, 469 related donors were typed requiring coordination of HLA testing and counseling on donor matches and process. I hope this article sheds light on the value of a strong donor search coordination program and the highly unique skills needed to provide quality care within our bone marrow transplant and cellular therapy program at Mount Sinai Hospital. 


    Ayuk, F. & Balduzzi, A. (2019). The EBMT Handbook: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies [Internet]. 7th edition. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554000/

    Furst, D., Neuchel, C., Tsamadou, C., Schrezenmeier, H., & Mytilineos, J. (2019). HLA Matching in Unrelated Stem Cell Transplantation up to Date. Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy, 46(5), 326-336.

    Garcia, M.C, Chapman, J.R., Shaw, P.J., Gottlieb, D.J, Ralph, A., Craig, J.C., & Tong, A. (2013). Motivations, Experiences, and Perspectives of Bone Marrow and Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Donors: Thematic Synthesis of Qualitative Studies. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 19(7), 1046-1058.

    Gutierrez-Aguirre, C.H., Jaime-Perez, J.C., de la Garza-Salazar, F., Guerrero-Gonzalez, G., Guzman-Lopez, A., Ruiza-Arguelles, G.J., Gomez-Almaguer, D., & Cantu-Rodriguez, O.G. (2021). Moral Distress: Its Manifestations in Healthy Donors during Peripheral Blood Hematopoietic Stem Cell Harvesting. Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, 27(10), 853-858.

    National Marrow Donor Program (2021). Manual of Operations Chapter 2: NMDP Search and Matching Process. Retrieved from https://network.bethematchclinical.org/transplant-centers/policies-and-protocols/tc-manual-of-operations/

    National Marrow Donor Program (2022). HLA Matching. Retrieved from: https://bethematch.org/

    Petersdorf, E.W. (2016). Mismatched Unrelated Donor Transplantation. Semin Hematol, 53(4), 230–236.

    Sugita, 2019. Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematological malignancies: an algorithm for donor selection. Rinsho Ketsueki, 60(6), 626-634.

    Tiercy, J. (2016). How to select the best available related or unrelated donor of hematopoietic stem cells? Haematologica, 101(6), 680-687.

  • November 28, 2022 3:18 PM | Anonymous

    About this ICCN Scholarship Series Blog

    In February 2022 ICCN held their second virtual conference, Building Sustainability & Resilience: Global Perspective on Cancer Nursing. ICCN was a three-day event culminating in Plenary 4 simply titled Building Sustainability & Resilience. It was a series of interviews with nursing leaders including ISNCC President Patsy Yates, International Council of Nurses, CEO Howard Caton and European Oncology Nursing Society, President Johan de Munter plus cancer nurses from Afghanistan and Ethiopia discussing the challenges that are facing oncology nurses tasked with providing cancer and palliative care across diverse cultures. This was a highlight of the conference as it showcased the strength and fortitude of nurses who have continued to provide the best possible care during COVID19 pandemic and in some regions war and political challenges. I am pleased to present M. Asif Huassainyar a nurse leader from Afghanistan who was a speaker in plenary 4 and also a recipient of a scholarship from Canadian Oncology Nurses Society [CANO] who writes this blog.

    Suzanne Bishaw
    ISNCC Chair ICCN Portfolio

    Experiences of attending the International Conference in Cancer Nursing (ICCN2022)

    Author: Mohammad Asif Hussainyar, Nursing Instructor, Aga Khan University Academic Projects Afghanistan and Board Member Afghanistan Cancer foundation

    In Afghanistan, there is not any speciality in nursing including oncology nursing. The nurses who are working in the oncology wards are General Nursing Diploma graduates with few training opportunities in oncology. In Afghanistan there is only one oncology ward in one of the tertiary hospitals with two regional chemotherapy centres in Herat and Mazar Provinces.

    The workload caring for oncology patients including those with palliative care needs, is increasing day by day, likely due to borders being closed as a consequence of COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden collapse of government and continuity of care.

    The concept of Palliative Care in Afghanistan is new and few nurses have the knowledge and skills to provide palliative care in for people with cancer and other conditions. However, palliative care was added for the first time to the General Nursing Diploma Programme in 2020.

    As a BSc Nurse who has the experience of one of the premier hospitals and a renowned university (Aga Khan) and a board member of the Afghanistan Cancer Foundation, I am a great advocate for palliative care for those in need. Moreover, I acknowledge the knowledge and skills of those nurses working in the oncology ward need support.

    I appreciate the kind words and fellowship of organisations such as the International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) in bringing together the International Conference in Cancer Nursing which I found extremely valuable; it is important for nurses to discuss and debate trends in oncology nursing.

    This is a call to action to members of the national and international nursing organizations working in health and in particular, in cancer, to support the Afghanistan Nursing Society and also include cancer and palliative care in their curricula as appropriate.  This will lead to a cadre of specialist oncology nurses.  Find out about your global scholarships, visiting fellowships and shared training  - all for nurses in Afghanistan to scale up their knowledge and skills.

    Thank you.


  • November 23, 2022 5:13 PM | Leya Duigu (Administrator)

    Karen Kane McDonnell PhD, RN, Associate Professor, Co-Director, Cancer Survivorship Research Center; Amanda R. Bennett MSN, RN, PhD Student; & Vera Bratnichenko MSN, RN, PhD Student; College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, United States

    November brings awareness to individuals living with lung cancer and their family members and friends. Regardless of the prognosis, a diagnosis of lung cancer creates substantial physical, emotional, and financial challenges on individuals, families, communities, health systems, and countries.1 Lung cancer continues to be the most common cancer type and the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Around the globe, the general cancer burden is high and increasing.The highest incidence rates of lung cancer are observed in parts of North America, in East Asia, and in parts of central and eastern Europe.1

    There is good news which fosters HOPE! The number of new lung cancer diagnoses is declining steadily in some countries. The American Cancer Society describes trends in cancer death rates as the best measure of progress against cancer. In the United States, lung cancer death rates declined by 56% since 1990 in men and 32% since 2002 in women. These improvements in lung cancer survival are due to declines in cigarette smoking and advances in early detection and treatments, mostly for non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) the more common classification of lung cancer (NSCLC; 82%).2 In recent years, more individuals with lung cancer are being diagnosed when the cancer is at an early stage and living longer as a result. The rate of localized-stage disease diagnoses increased by 4.5% yearly from 2014 to 2018, while there were steep declines in advanced disease diagnoses. The result was an overall increase in 3-year survival rates (from 21% to 31%).2.3

    It is widely accepted that the major cause of lung cancer is tobacco smoking, which is responsible for 80–85% of lung cancer cases worldwide. The World Health Organization describes tobacco use as a global epidemic.4 Tobacco smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals and at least 69 carcinogens, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, and benzene. About 8 out of 10 (81%) deaths from lung cancer are expected to be caused from smoking cigarettes. Both the amount and how long someone smokes increase the risk of dying from lung cancer. People who smoke are about 25 times more likely to develop lung cancer than those who never smoked. Second-hand smoke causes almost 3% of new diagnoses of lung cancer and is expected to cause about 3% of deaths. After smoking, the next leading cause of lung cancer is exposure to radon gas, which is released from soil and can build up indoors. Relative to the hazards of smoking cigarettes and cigars, the full hazard profile presented by electronic nicotine delivery systems (NEDS) and by cannabis smoking are largely unknown at this time.2,3,4

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the most common smoking-related illness in the world and the most common co-morbidity for persons with lung cancer. Even though, it is well established that COPD is associated with the risk of lung cancer it is often under-emphasized as a comorbidity for those with lung cancer.5 Clinically, the co-existence of lung cancer and COPD can have a dramatic impact on the patient’s quality of life (QOL) and survival.5

    Optimal treatment of concurrent lung cancer and COPD is crucial to the success of lung cancer therapy. Oncology and advanced practice nurses can play an essential role in these patients’ care, which requires early and close attention to prevention, assessment, treatment, and surveillance of both diseases, related symptomatology, and lifestyle behaviors. Patients with lung cancer and COPD benefit from a multidisciplinary disease management approach throughout their illnesses to ensure maximum QOL and functional status. In collaboration with a team that includes pulmonologists and oncology physicians, oncology nurses can help improve these patients’ health outcomes using pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments and symptom management. More clinical research is needed to expand our understanding of the management of patients with this twofold disease burden, to increase the use of existing evidence-based interventions, and to develop, and test new QOL-boosting interventions.5

    The outlook is more promising than ever for individuals with lung cancer at all stages of disease with and without COPD. Around the world, nurses who care for persons with a history or current diagnosis of lung cancer can make a positive impact. The Position Statement on Cancer Nursing’s Potential to Reduce the Growing Burden of Cancer Across the World describes nurses as “essential” to cancer control.6 The Call to Action is clear. It is our role as nurses to reduce the global burden of cancer across the cancer trajectory. 

    1.    Wild, C. P., Weiderpass, E., & Stewart, B. W. (Eds.) (2020). World Cancer Report: Cancer Research for Cancer Prevention. International Agency for Research on Cancer. http://publications.iarc.fr/586.

    2.    Siegel, R. L., Miller, K. D., Fuchs, H. E., & Jemal, A. (2022). Cancer statistics, 2022. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 72(1), 7–33. https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21708

    3.    American Cancer Society. (2022). Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts & Figures 2022–2024.

    4.    World Health Organization. (2021). WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2021: Addressing new and emerging products. World Health Organization.

    5.    Newsome, B. R., McDonnell, K. K., Hucks, J., & Estrada, R. D. (2018). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: clinical implications for patients with lung cancer. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 22(2), 184.

    6.    Yates, P., Charalambous, A., Fennimore, L., Nevidjon, B., So, W. K., Suh, E. E., Woodford, E. Young, A. (2020). Position Statement on Cancer Nursing’s Potential to Reduce the Growing Burden of Cancer Across the World. Cancer Nursing, 43(6) 433-435. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000900

    Disclosure: An American Cancer Society (ACS) Mentored Research Scholar Grant support Dr. Karen Kane McDonnell [#MRSG-17-152-01].

  • November 21, 2022 3:17 PM | Anonymous

    Ya-Ting GAO RN, MN 1,2 ; Yan LOU PhD, Associate Professor 1 ; Ying LIN RN, MN 1 ; Shuai-Ni LI RN, MN 1,3 ; Mei-Rong HONG RN, BN 1 ; Yu-Lu XU RN, BN 1 ; Wei YU RN, BN 1
    1.  School of Nursing, Department of Medicine, Hangzhou Normal University
    2.  Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital (SRRSH), School of Medicine, Zhejiang University
    3.  The Children's Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University

    Cancer-related fatigue is a long-lasting and distressing symptom for CRC patients, and it would exhibit a detrimental effect on their quality of life. Physical activity could relieve fatigue, and aerobic exercise combined with resistance training can maximize the fatigue-relieving effect. Nevertheless, it has been challenging in promoting combined aerobic exercise and resistance training among CRC patients, especially training for improving lower limb flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance.1 Novel strategies are needed to enable these individuals to monitor their physical activity levels, encouraging them to set goals to achieve adequate physical activity levels for themselves. Mobile-health was suggested to be a desirable platform to administer physical activity program for this purpose.2

    We conducted a study that aimed to design and implement a combined aerobic exercise and resistance training program for CRC patients with fatigue via a mobile-health platform. Overall, our twelve-week exercise program involved a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training, and it was supplemented with flexibility exercises. Progressive increase in the frequency, intensity, duration and volume of the exercise have been introduced as the participants progressed through the program. The core elements of personalized intervention included an individualized goal setting, autonomous habit training, staged professional guidance and targeted interactive encouragement. The feasibility and applicability of the mobile-health-based personalized exercise management program for CRC patients with fatigue were also evaluated.

    This study was conducted using a multi-step approach.

    Step 1:  Development of the exercise movement library
    Four exercise guidance movement libraries were established . Specific movements included: (i) the dynamic stretching movement library; (ii) the aerobic exercise movement library; (iii) the resistance training movement library (iv) the static stretching movement library. The combination of these movements forms three progressive aerobic exercise and resistance training sets.

    Step 2:  Digitization of intervention program
    We used multi-media technology including audio, video, and motion graphics to present the program and make it adaptable to the mobile-health platform.

    Step 3: Evaluation of intervention program
    Face-to-face or virtual expert consultation method were used to evaluate the feasibility and applicability of the program. Seven experts with a professional background of human kinesiology or nursing care for CRC patients validated the applicability of the exercise management program, and the suitability of movement library for CRC patients. These experts provided feedback and comments on the ways to improve the program.

    Step 4: Design of the mobile-health platform
    WeChat Mini Program was selected as the mobile-health platform for the presentation of the exercise management program. An iterative interactive process was used. The research team and the software designers held six rounds of face-to-face interviews, and online communications were also established with them, where the technical aspects of presenting the program via the mobile-health platform were discussed and sorted.  

    Step 5: Preliminary test
    Twenty CRC inpatients and their families were invited using a purposive sampling method to evaluate the WeChat Mini Program. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were used to collect the qualitative data on the patients’ experience and feedback in using the WeChat Mini program. The thematic analysis method was used to extract themes from the data.

    Overall, the development and implementation of the personalized exercise management program for colorectal cancer patients with fatigue appeared to be feasible. CRC patients and their families who participated in this program perceived that the WeChat Mini Program, “Huì Dòng” (Smart Exercise), was easy to use. Program content was suitable and beneficial for them to do exercises, and almost all of participants expressed willingness to continue using it, although two were concerned about the low potential of long-term adherence to the program. The WeChat Mini Program could be improved from the perspective of optimized format design, such as the use of light color background in the video, the incorporation of oral interpretation into the motion graph, and enhancement of cognition education on exercise. Further cohort studies should be conducted to evaluate its effect on the level of physical activity, the relief on CRF, self-efficacy in exercise and quality of life.

    Figure: The Resistance Training Program-Beginning Level.


    1. Nakagawa H, Sasai H, Tanaka K. Physical Fitness Levels among Colon Cancer Survivors with a Stoma: A Preliminary Study. Medicina (Kaunas). 2020 Nov 10;56(11):601. doi: 10.3390/medicina56110601.

    2. Cheong IY, An SY, Cha WC, et al. Efficacy of Mobile Health Care Application and Wearable Device in Improvement of Physical Performance in Colorectal Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy. Clin Colorectal Cancer. Jun 2018;17(2):e353-e362.

  • November 14, 2022 3:14 PM | Anonymous

    Haiqin Hu, MMed, Department of Thyroid Surgery, The Cancer Hospital of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Zhejiang Cancer Hospital), Institute of Basic Medicine and Cancer (IBMC), Chinese Academy of Sciences

    Oral cancer is a malignant tumor occurring in the oral cavity. Currently, surgical resection is still the major treatment strategy for oral cancer, but undergoing such treatment may lead to a repertoire of postoperative conditions such as bacterial imbalance, a condition that involves an imbalance of health-promoting and pathogenic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. This may have an adverse effect on the prognosis and quality of life of patients after surgery. The perioperative care requirements of oral cancer patients are different from those of patients of other diseases, which demands proficiency of the nurses in their professional practice. At present, there is still a lack of corresponding evidence-based practice of oral care in China. To enhance the quality of life of people with oral cancer, a set of care standards for oral cancer management needs to be developed. To facilitate this, we conducted a review on the evidence-based practice of oral care for oral cancer patients, with the aim to develop, based on the JBI evidence-based health care model, a set of scientific and standardized evidence-based oral care practice program that can guide clinical nursing staff for increasing the efficacy of oral cancer care that they can deliver. This may help provide a more scientific and effective decision-making basis for clinical nursing practice in oral care.

    To start off, we first established a research team, consisting of nursing professors, medical specialists in head and neck, clinical psychologist, dietician rehabilitation nurse specialist. The team members conducted a review in order to summarize and evaluate the literature that reports oral care programs currently practiced worldwide. PubMed, Cochrane Library ,Web of Science , the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) were used in the literature search, using a combination of keywords including oral cancer, oral care and perioperative. In our search, we retrieved four articles for inclusion in this review, including three practice guideline papers and one systematic review paper (Adelstein et al., 2017; Cervenka et al., 2019; Dort et al., 2017; Joo et al., 2019). Upon the retrieval of these articles, we conducted a summary of the evidence presented in these articles, and an evaluation on their suitability in clinical practice. The collected evidence was then summarized narratively in our review, presenting the latest evidence-based practice for perioperative oral care of patients with oral cancer. Recommendations on the care practice were classified into six major themes, including perioperative oral care rehabilitation, behavioral habits, psychology, flap care, nutrition, and pain.

    According to the included evidence and the preliminary investigation, the possible obstacles in the implementation of oral care practice were also analyzed. We finally established the final draft of perioperative oral care practice plan for oral cancer patients, including an action plan and a flow chart of this plan (Figure 1).

    In order to scientifically and effectively establish an evidence-based practice plan for perioperative oral care for patients with oral cancer, we also carried out a survey among current oral cancer patients. After review of the survey data, we found that current oral care practice does not involve the medical staff to evaluate the oral function of patients before surgery, to guide patients to quit smoking, nor to use skin temperature detectors to monitor the oral flap temperature of patients after surgery.

    Overall, our review and survey have highlighted the importance of the evaluation of preoperative and postoperative oral function, nutrition, pain and psychological status among patients, the provision of rehabilitation training to patients, as well as the guidance for them to quit smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

    Adelstein D, Gillison ML, Pfister DG, Spencer S, Adkins D, Brizel DM, Burtness B, Busse PM, Caudell JJ, Cmelak AJ, et al. NCCN Guidelines Insights: Head and Neck Cancers, Version 2.2017. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2017; 15(6): 761-770.

    Cervenka B, Pipkorn P, Fagan J, Zafereo M, Aswani J, Macharia C, Kundiona I, Mashamba V, Zender C, Moore M. Oral cavity cancer management guidelines for low-resource regions. Head Neck. 2019; 41(3): 799-812.

    Dort JC, Farwell DG, Findlay M, Huber GF, Kerr P, Shea-Budgell MA, Simon C, Uppington J, Zygun D, Ljungqvist O, et al. Optimal Perioperative Care in Major Head and Neck Cancer Surgery With Free Flap Reconstruction: A Consensus Review and Recommendations From the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Society. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017; 143(3): 292-303.

    Joo YH, Cho JK, Koo BS, Kwon M, Kwon SK, Kwon SY, Kim MS, Kim JK, Kim H, Nam I, et al. Guidelines for the Surgical Management of Oral Cancer: Korean Society of Thyroid-Head and Neck Surgery. Clin Exp Otorhinolaryngol. 2019; 12(2): 107-144.

    Figure 1. Flowchart of perioperative oral care plan for patients with oral cancer.                             

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