Your Resource for Oncology Information
Rehabilitation Oncology is the primary peer-reviewed, indexed resource for advancing oncologic physical therapy practice and cancer rehabilitation through the dissemination of definitive evidence, translation of clinically relevant knowledge, and integration of theory into education, practice, and research.
July 2020 – Volume 38 – Issue 3
The current coronavirus pandemic, resulting in worldwide infections of COVID-19, is certainly a sad story to follow. Millions have become ill, and hundreds of thousands have died. This is the moment to pause and remember those lost and to thank those valiantly fighting on the front lines to save lives.
This is also the moment to learn. The research community is unified in advancing knowledge related to this coronavirus and how to treat those infected with COVID-19. Research about the coronavirus is quickly disseminated to move research findings into clinical use. Medical journals around the globe are now rapidly publishing peer-reviewed literature related to COVID-19; much of it is offered free to allow for the broadest distribution to the medical community.
The lessons in this response are clear. We must disseminate our knowledge to those on the front lines to be able to put our findings into immediate use. As researchers seeking to improve life after cancer treatment, we must move our findings from our laboratories into the public realm. One way is through conference presentations and journal publications. Rehabilitation Oncology has processes in place for rapid dissemination of peer-reviewed pieces related to the care of the individual with cancer during this pandemic. We invite submissions related to cancer rehabilitation in the time of COVID-19 and, following all necessary peer review, will rapidly publish ahead of print.
As clinicians, we can learn from this pandemic and the rapid dissemination of critical information. We must adopt findings into clinical practice to improve outcomes for our patients now. This issue of Rehabilitation Oncology offers evidence that clinicians can immediately put into practice.
Two articles in this issue focus on the importance of exercise and physical activity. In the article by Moorthy et al, the importance of prehabilitation in esophageal gastric cancer is highlighted, joining the body of evidence of the positive effect of prehabilitation in oncology. Andres and colleagues further demonstrate the value of exercise before, during, and after hospitalization for stem cell transplantation, with all participants demonstrating improved outcomes, and those categorized as high functioning demonstrating lower mortality in overall survival than the low-functioning group. In contrast, Rindfleisch et al report the negative effect of hospitalization for those receiving a stem cell transplant on physical performance scores and suggest that the frail population would benefit from intervention.
Perhaps, one of the most practical methods to implement research into practice is through the application of clinical practice guidelines. In this issue, the reader will find an executive summary of the APTA Academy for Oncologic Physical Therapy Clinical Practice Guideline: Interventions for Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema, which is published in the July issue of Physical Therapy (https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzaa087). This executive summary highlights clinical practice recommendations for treatment of breast cancer–related lymphedema, based on rigorous assessment of the evidence for common lymphedema treatments. By adopting these recommendations, those with breast cancer–related lymphedema can receive the most effective treatments.
Let us all learn the lessons that this coronavirus pandemic has taught us. We can use the evidence to improve the lives of our patients, and we need to use it now.
Lastly, with this issue we introduce our new journal cover. This cover, aligned with the American Physical Therapy Association branding, also conveys the forward arc trajectory of oncology rehabilitation research. This new design reflects the maturing of our journal, now in its 38th year, and portrays the scientific nature of the publication. Use the contents of this journal to move evidence into practice for the betterment of our patient care.
– Editor, Mary Insana Fisher, PT, PhD
Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG): Interventions for Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema now available!
This CPG is the culmination of significant efforts by several APTA Oncology members and we recognize the authors: Claire Davies, PT, PhD, Kimberly Levenhagen, PT, DPT, Kathryn Ryans, PT, DPT, Marisa Perdomo, PT, DPT, MS, and Laura Gilchrist, PT, PhD. We also thank all APTA Oncology members who provided critical feedback during the development of the CPG.
The full CPG is now available (open access as of 7/1/2020) via PT Journal. APTA Oncology members can access an executive summary of the CPG in the latest issue of Rehabilitation Oncology. You can also read APTA’s press release here.
EDGE Annotated Bibliography
As a way to summarize the excellent work and outcomes of our many Oncology EDGE Task Forces, an annotated bibliography has been developed as a quick reference guide. The EDGE findings and recommendations are categorized by diagnosis and/or condition (when not diagnosis-specific). The goal is to promote the utilization of evidence-based outcome measures across settings in order to provide continuity in oncology rehabilitation.
APTA Oncology has several course offerings looking for partners to host. The host facility will be chosen based on the guarantee that they can draw a minimum of 15 registrants.
APTA Oncology's General Listerv is a very productive messaging system for answering your practice questions. In addition, we maintain specialized listservs for our special interest groups.
Any PT or PTA living in a country other than the US or a healthcare provider from another discipline, not eligible for APTA membership, can take advantage of our membership benefits by becoming a Partner of APTA Oncology.