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Multispecialty Coordination & Communication

As more patients with cancer are treated with immunotherapy, members of the multidisciplinary cancer care team need to coordinate with non-oncology clinicians and specialists to ensure that patients receive optimal care. Side effects and toxicities from immunotherapy differ from those of traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy. To provide optimal care for patients treated with IO agents, education on recognition and management of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) must extend beyond the treating oncology team to include other providers who may see the patient, such as Emergency Department providers, hospitalists, primary care physicians. Management of specific immune-related side effects may require consultation with specialists (e.g., dermatologists, gastroenterologists, pulmonologists, and others). Thus care coordination and communication between the treating oncologist and other providers is paramount, including discussion and understanding of survivorship care planning for this patient population.

Meet the members of the IO Multispecialty Coordination & Communication Working Group.

Mark-Faries
Mark Faries, MD
Co-director, Melanoma Program and head of Surgical Oncology
The Angeles Clinic & Research Institute

Dr. Faries is a surgical oncologist and the co-director of the Melanoma Program and head of Surgical Oncology at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute in Los Angeles. He also is the surgical director for Experimental Therapeutics at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He received his undergraduate education at Haverford College and completed medical school at Cornell. He completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and a surgical oncology fellowship at the John Wayne Cancer Institute.

Dr. Faries is principal investigator (PI) for the second Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial, an international trial including more than 4,000 subjects. He serves on the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Melanoma Staging Committee and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)/Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) Melanoma Guidelines panel and is a member of the editorial board of the Annals of Surgical Oncology. His research focuses on surgical treatment of melanoma and immunotherapy.

Dr.-Gregg-headshot
Jeff Gregg, MD
Senior Director, Clinical Pathology; Director, Molecular Diagnostics; Professor of Pathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,
University of California, Davis Medical Center
Dr. Jeffrey Gregg is senior director of Clinical Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics and professor of Pathology at the University of California Davis School of Medicine and UC Davis Health. He is director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Genomics Shared Resource where he uses next generation sequencing and genomic technologies for analysis of tumors and biomarker discovery. He is a member of the UC Davis Molecular Tumor Board and participates in other Molecular Tumor Boards throughout the United States. His clinical and research focus is on developing liquid biopsy as a high-value clinical tool for cancer screening, diagnosis, and surveillance.
Brianna Hoffner
Brianna Hoffner, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCNP
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Lead Advanced Practitioner
University of Colorado Cancer Center

Brianna Hoffner, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCNP, is the lead advanced practice provider for medical oncology at the University of Colorado Hospital, where she provides clinical care to patients with advanced malignancies and research management for patients on clinical trials. Prior to joining the medical staff at the University of Colorado Hospital, she worked as the supervisor of clinical research operations at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai.

Ms. Hoffner received her master’s in nursing - adult oncology from Yale University and her bachelor’s in sociology from Boston College.

Regina Jacob, MD, MSCE
Assistant Professor, Section of General Internal Medicine
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Regina Jacob, MD, MSCE, is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in north Philadelphia. As part of her two main research interests, psychological adjustment and comorbid medical conditions, Dr. Jacob conducted the study, “Coping with Lymphoma to Enhance Adjustment and Reduce Stress,” which assessed the psychological adjustments that may occur after a lymphoma diagnosis, and is currently conducting the study, “Trauma Alert! How Social Complexity Contributes to Medical Complexity,” which assesses the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), depression, and comorbidity in an underserved primary care population.

Dr. Jacob continues to grow her cancer survivorship expertise in education, designing curricula to educate internal medicine residents on how to appropriately tailor primary care for patients with a history of cancer. She completed her medical school degree at the George Washington University, her internal medicine residency at Temple University Hospital, and her master’s in clinical epidemiology at Weill Cornell Medicine in Manhattan, NY.

Jarushka Naidoo
Jarushka Naidoo, MMBBCh
Assistant Professor of Oncology, Department of Oncology
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University

Jarushka Naidoo, MBBCh, is an assistant professor of oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.

She currently leads investigator-initiated trials for patients with lung cancer, specifically stage III non-small lung cancer and those with CNS metastases. She is a leader in the field of immune-related toxicity, having published the first comprehensive analyses of PD-1/PD-L1 pneumonitis, bullous, and inflammatory arthritis. She is recipient of several grants and awards including an NIH KL2 Clinical Scholar Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Merit Award, PRIME Oncology Young Investigator Award for NSCLC, and a Young Immuno-Oncologist Award.

Dr. Naidoo graduated with her medical degree from Trinity College Dublin, completed both internal medicine training and a medical oncology fellowship through the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, and completed an advanced fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Insights from this working group

  • Checkpoint Inhibitors for Those with Complex Medical Needs
    By Jarushka Naidoo, MB BCH

    Patients with complex medical needs, such as those with active autoimmune conditions, hepatitis B or C, and those receiving corticosteroids at baseline, may now receive these agents in the community. This raises important questions regarding safety, monitoring, and the likelihood of an anticancer response in these patients. 

  • Managing irAEs into Post-Treatment Survivorship
    By Brianna Hoffner, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCNP

    Immune-related adverse events (irAEs) are a complex category of symptoms driven by anti-cancer immunotherapy treatments. The use of IO has burgeoned since the approval of ipilimumab in 2011 through multiple approvals of anti-PD-1/PD-L1 drugs and most recently CAR-T therapies, and so too has the number of recognized irAEs.

  • Managing Survivorship Care After Immunotherapy
    By Regina Jacob, MD, MSCE

    Survivorship care planning requires communication, care coordination, and education. Since immune-related adverse events are still being discovered, these discussions are even more imperative.