UAB Offers, continued from page 8
the right situation, it can be incredibly valuable for patients in terms of quality of care. This is the most advanced platform in minimally invasive surgery, and at UAB we are trying to keep at the leading edge of the curve.” Nix has been involved with the development of the single port robot as a stakeholder for several years, providing feedback on prototypes, so he was in a position to use the technology early after it was available. He and his colleagues participated in training on cadavers before using the device on an actual patient. And while he has found it to be all he expected, he doesn’t anticipate other institutions coming on board quickly. “You are probably not going to see this pervade the U.S. as quickly as the other units have,” he said. “You see the old-school multi-port robots all over the place. You probably won’t see hospitals jump as fast at the single-port. There’s a big learning curve, and it’s a big enough leap that I don’t think you’ll see the adoption as quick. I expect referrals will increase, but you will still see multi-port surgeries. It takes some time to adapt.” In the meantime, Nix encourages physicians to view a video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jm63JdTrp4 to understand the single port robot better. “If you can see the 20-second video, you will understand it, and see right away why this is revolutionary,” he said.
Recognition and Management of Skin Toxicities of Cancer Therapy By rAJini K. Murthy MD
The field of oncodermatology has emerged as a result of remarkable advances in cancer treatment. Unlike traditional chemotherapy, targeted anticancer agents such as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors are associated with decreased systemic toxicities. These agents do, however, present a unique set of dermatologic toxicities which can have an impact on the quality of life of patients undergoing treatment. One of the most characteristic examples is the papulopustular acneiform eruption seen with EGFR inhibitors, which is observed in almost 80 percent of patients on therapy. This skin toxicity can be severe enough to result in a dose modification in 70 percent of patients and discontinuation in 30 percent of patients on treatment. Other dermatologic toxicities associated with targeted therapy may include benign or malignant skin growths, pruritus, photosensitivity, or nail changes such as paronychia. The introduction of immune checkpoint inhibitors has revolutionized the
treatment of advanced cancer. By releasing the body’s own antitumor immune response, immunotherapy offers the potential for long-term, progression-free survival. In turn, however, immune-related adverse effects (irAEs) across organ systems occur in 80 percent of patients on treatment and may be severe and treatment limiting. Notably, skin toxicities, which may occur in up to 60 percent of patients, are the earliest and most frequently encountered adverse events during treatment. The most common skin toxicities encountered with immunotherapy include rash, pruritus, and vitiligo. Others may resemble autoimmune diseases such as lupus, lichen planus, or psoriasis. Worsening of pre-existing skin diseases, such as eczema or psoriasis, may also occur. Education, prevention, early recognition, and initiation of treatment for skin toxicities may prevent the delay or discontinuation of cancer treatment. Dry skin care and sunprotection are essential. Maintaining a good dry skin care regimen is key for patients on cancer therapy. This includes taking lukewarm, short showers
limited to five to 10 minutes, using mild soaps or cleansers, gently patting the skin dry, and applying a moisturizer immediately after bathing. Sunprotection also plays a vital role. For dermatologists, skin toxicities resulting from targeted anticancer agents or immunotherapy are likely familiar rashes, just in an unfamiliar setting. Prior studies have shown that the recognition, prevention, and treatment of skin toxicities may help to improve the quality of life of patients undergoing cancer treatment and allow for continuing therapy. Supportive oncodermatology provides an opportunity for a multidisciplinary approach to cancer, with a common goal to provide supportive care to allow patients to remain on potentially life-saving cancer therapies. Rajini K. Murthy MD practices dermatology at Total Skin & Beauty Dermatology Center.
Are You A Great Doctor? Self-insure to benefit from your stellar practice Physician-owned captives are being formed now. • Build custom coverage • Get rewarded for managing your risk well • Create a vehicle for long-term reinvestment or dividends
Call today to set up your FREE consultation Inspirien’s full-service Captive consulting offers Captive matching and formation services. With one quick assessment, you’ll see if a Captive can provide the right coverage for you.
inspirien.net Birmingham Medical News
MAY 2019 • 9
Birmingham Medical News May 2019