As novel treatments have increased survival rates and changed treatment paradigms for lymphoma, the need to better understand the side effects of these new treatments on patients has been magnified. Some types of lymphoma are now treated with continuous pill therapies and immune therapies, among others, which have a side effect profile that is dramatically different from conventional chemotherapies. As a result, Lymphoma Research Foundation Scientific Advisory Board chair, Thomas Haberman, MD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester) and LRF grantee, Gita Thanarajasingam, MD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester) recently published a study in the prestigious journal, The Lancet Hematology, that analyzes how current methods of reporting adverse events to therapies often fail to identify some chronic, cumulative and late side effects that can significantly impact patients’ lives during and after treatment.
The unique commission – entitled Beyond Maximum Grade: Modernising the Assessment and Reporting of Adverse Events in Haematological Malignancies – brought together 40 world-leading clinicians, clinical investigators, regulators, biostatisticians and patient advocates, who propose new ways of evaluating side effects to improve patient outcomes.
The Commission aims to improve toxicity assessment in clinical trials and acknowledges the need to incorporate patient-reported outcomes into the clinical trial design in order to better capture and understand the side effects that patients experience during treatment.
“Measures to address the broad facets of toxicity assessment must be prioritized and further developed to ultimately enhance accurate, comprehensive, patient-centered toxicity reporting that will meaningfully inform the care of patients with blood cancers,” says LRF grantee, Gita Thanarajasingam, MD.
The Commission seeks to create electronic databases that can collect and compile provider reported and patient reported outcomes in a standardized format to allow clinicians to better identify and assess toxicities in real world patients, not only those treated on studies. Ultimately, the goal is to create a more patient-focused, streamlined and optimized process to improve patient care and quality of life for patients with lymphoma.