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[Abstract #12785] Educating the Multispecialty Team on Molecular Testing Related to Immunotherapy

  September 30, 2018


Tara Perloff1, Jennie Crews MD2, Dan Raz MD3, Lorna Lucas MSM1, Pam Rattananont MPH1, Wendy Turell PhD4, Jeffrey P. Gregg MD5
1Association of Community Cancer Centers, Rockville, MD/USA,
2Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Network, Seattle, WA/USA, 
3City of Hope, Duarte, CA/USA,
4PlatformQ Health Education, Needham, MA/USA,
5UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sacramento, CA/USA


Clinical guidelines for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) increasingly include molecular testing for actionable biomarkers related to immuno-oncology (IO) use in lung cancer patients. While precision therapies targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway have the potential to improve patient response rates, there is ambiguity regarding optimal biomarker testing and care coordination for NSCLC patients. To address this disparity in health care delivery, an online education program on molecular testing related to immunotherapies was developed for multispecialty providers. Learner responses were evaluated to determine the educational impact.


A thoracic surgeon, medical oncologist and pathologist developed a curriculum to address the current diagnostic landscape in IO, the value of testing and patient response rates, and how to optimize care coordination and communication among multi-specialty team members. In February 2018, a live-online 1-hour video panel discussion with slides, participant polling, and live questions was produced and made available on-demand. Survey responses (pre-test, post-test, 4 weeks post-activity), polling responses, and live questions were tracked to measure knowledge gaps, lessons learned, and educational needs. Demographic information was collected for generalizability.


Seventy-one learners participated in the live webinar; 64 learners on-demand (n=135). Learners were actively engaged for an average of 35.19 minutes (out of 52 minutes). Learners represented 11 unique disciplines and specialties. Most learners indicated specializing in oncology (55%), were practicing physicians (31%), and saw 1-10 new patients on an IO therapy each week (72%) in a hospital-based setting (35%). Seven audience questions were asked prior to, and during the live session. Thirty of 135 learners completed all pre/post/follow-up surveys, 96% of which reported they will actively utilize the knowledge gained into their clinical practice. Because of the education provided, learners reported improvements in their ability to: identify patients to test and treat with IO (75%), comprehend the current diagnostic landscape in IO (100%), and optimize communication and coordination of IO testing (100%). Learners also demonstrated improved comprehension via case study by identifying the optimal next step for a NSCLC clinical stage I patient referred by an oncologist for surgical resection who was found to have pleural disease intraoperatively.


The rapid expansion of cancer immunotherapy-based options for patients with lung cancer requires providers to stay abreast on guidelines related to molecular testing. Continued refinement of care coordination practices between multispecialty team members and education on the value of molecular testing is recommended to improve the diagnosis and appropriate treatment decisions for patients with lung cancer.