Dr. Finger recently attended the 2016 Commission on Cancer Spring Meeting in Chicago. It was an opportunity to not only network with other cancer doctors from around the United States, but to plan and move forward a number of initiatives that will benefit the eye cancer care community and its patients.
Dr. Finger serves as a representative of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) to the Commission on Cancer (CoC). He chairs the Ophthalmic Oncology Task Force of the AJCC, which was recently tasked with developing a scientific language that can be used to describe all eye cancers globally. [Learn more about the Eye Cancer Bioinformatics Grid here.]
The CoC is part of the American College of Surgeons, a consortium made up of surgeons and representatives of 56 national professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients. Dr. Finger has been a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (F.A.C.S.) for 24 years. The Commission focuses on a number of areas, including standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and monitoring comprehensive quality care. It is responsible for defining and establishing evidence- and consensus-based standards of cancer care and for monitoring compliance with those guidelines.
During the 2-day meeting, Dr. Finger attended lectures and participated in committee work. An example of the learning opportunities at the meeting was a Quintiles Corporation lecture explaining how to link EMR programs from around the world in order to extract clinical data and improve patient care.
The meeting served as an opportunity for Dr. Finger to network with other cancer specialists from around the country. For example, he was able to spend some time with Dr. Stephen Edge, the former CEO of the AJCC. Dr. Edge was instrumental in helping ophthalmic oncology develop a specific scientific language “staging system” for orbital lymphoma, the most common orbital malignancy.
The meeting also connected Dr. Finger with up-and-coming cancer physicians through participation in the CoC Mentor Program, in order to pass on knowledge and experience accumulated over his long career. Dr. Finger was paired with Dr. Sangeetha Prabhakaran, Surgical Oncology Research Fellow at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla.
Dr. Finger’s ongoing work with the Commission on Cancer is part of his commitment to the global fight against eye cancer.
“Medicine is rapidly evolving, so we should always improve. My colleagues are doing groundbreaking work and any chance to cooperate makes us all better physicians. I enjoyed my visit to Chicago very much, and look forward to working even more closely with the CoC to advance eye cancer care.”
The Working Day Initiative
Dr. Finger is helping develop similar projects through the Working Day Initiative that will benefit eye cancer patients worldwide. These include providing eye cancer fellowship grants to bring qualified specialists to unserved countries, developing an open-access surgical text to help generalists currently caring for eye cancer patients, and sharing knowledge among eye cancer specialists. The Working Day Initiative is developing methods to improve quality, by giving the public access to both doctor- and patient-reported outcomes.