SIDEBAR: ASCO’s Role Recognized

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One point that Paul H. Sugarbaker, MD, and David P. Ryan, MD, agreed on was that ASCO has done a service to the oncology community by presenting their debate about cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. That debate, conducted at the 2011 ASCO Annual Meeting, sparked interest from colleagues and patients and coverage by the national media.

Dr. Ryan said that continuing coverage of the issue would be beneficial. “We have to do something about this to fully educate people because the approach is incredibly controversial, and we don’t know whether it is beneficial or harmful,” he said.

“From my perspective, the educational value of this ASCO debate is almost incredible,” Dr. Sugarbaker said, “because I think medical oncologists are beginning to think that peritoneal metastases are potentially curable. This thinking needs to be part of the multidisciplinary team’s considerations. Patients deserve attention to this option when intraperitoneal metastases are first diagnosed.” ■

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