ASCO 2017: Safety and usefulness of patient-centered shared survivorship care after chemotherapy for testicular cancer

Chicago, IL ( It is known that testicular cancer (TC) survivors are at risk to develop early cardiovascular morbidity. Close collaboration between oncologists and primary care physicians (PCPs) is mandatory for optimal cardiovascular risk management. Dr. Boer presented a simple shared survivorship care program in which TC patients regularly visit their PCP instead of their oncologist. The primary aim of this study was to test safety and feasibility of shared-care follow-up after chemotherapy for metastatic TC.

TC patients older than 18 with complete remission after chemotherapy were eligible for the study (Clinical trial information: NCT01783145). Participants received a personalized survivorship care plan with scheduled visits to the oncologist and PCP, available both on paper and as a mobile application. During PCP visits, signals indicating cancer recurrence, cardiovascular risk and psychosocial issues were assessed. Safety boundaries were defined for the occurrence of failed response to signals indicating cancer recurrence. Patient data were monitored real-time to check if the shared-care follow-up was carried out within these boundaries. Secondary outcomes were satisfaction among TC patients and PCPs, measured with an evaluation questionnaire, and anxiety levels, measured with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

Results showed that 64% of eligible TC patients and 99% of the approached PCPs were willing to participate. A total of 162 patients were enrolled in the shared-care program and 241 primary care visits took place. No failures occurred in the detection of relapsed TC. The shared-care follow-up was demonstrated to be a safe alternative to hospital-only follow-up. Anxiety levels did not increase during shared-care follow-up (3.6 vs 3.3 (p = 0.38). Patients were satisfied with the knowledge of PCPs and appreciated this regular contact. 78% of the PCPs would like to extend their role in shared-care follow-up.

In summary, this easy to use shared survivorship care program was evidenced to be safe and feasible in the follow-up of TC patients.

Presented By: Hink Boer, Department of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands

Written By: Hanan Goldberg, MD, Urologic Oncology Fellow (SUO), University of Toronto, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Twitter: @GoldbergHanan

at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting - June 2 - 6, 2017 – Chicago, Illinois, USA