Trailblazing Eye Cancer Studies Presented at AAO 2017

 

As you may have heard in our previous blog, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2017 Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana was attended by noteworthy fellowship alumni from the Eye Cancer Foundation, as well as founder and executive director of the ECF, Dr. Paul T. Finger. Held from November 11th to 14th, AAO took place the day following the 2017 AAOOP Annual Meeting, where oral presentations were given by ECF Fellows Dr. Sonal Chaugule and Dr. Abhilasha Maheshwari.

Dr. Chagule spoke on her research regarding the efficiency of intravitreal steroids to treat radiation side-effects, while Dr. Maheshwari spoke on a 12-year study of patients treated with slotted plaque radiation therapy. To read more on AOOP 2017 presentations from these ECF fellows, click here.

At AAO 2017, hosted at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Dr. Sonal Chaugule, Dr. Ekatrina Semenova, and Dr. Nicole Scripsema presented ECF-sponsored research conducted under the guidance of Dr. Paul T. Finger at the New York Eye Cancer Center and at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Dr. Sonal, pictured below along Dr. Finger, presented two studies, the first titled “Regression patterns of Iris Melanoma after Palladium-103 Plaque Brachytherapy”. This study takes into account 50 iris melanoma patients who were closely evaluated following plaque brachytherapy with Palladium-103 as treatment. The results of this study underscored Palladium-103 as effective treatment for iris melanoma. After incisive evaluation, patients showed decreases in tumor size, tumor pigmentation, and more. These findings are particularly important to iris melanoma patients, who endure a rare condition in the already-rare family of cancers (iris melanoma patients are only 2-3% of eye cancer cases). To read more on this paper and its implications, click here.

Dr. Chaugule’s second presentation concerned her paper most-recently published in the Indian Journal of Opthalmology. Titled “Primary Topical Chemotherapy for Giant Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia”, this paper examines and reports the outcomes of using topical chemotherapy eye drops (such as 5-Flurouracil and/or Interferon alpha-2b) to treat giant ocular surface squamous neoplasia. The paper was featured in a past blog post — to read more on the study, which evaluated 10 patients with stage T3 tumors, click here.

Details from AAO do not stop here! Stay tuned for more exciting news on the work ECF Fellows make towards eye cancer research by keeping eyecancer.com in your bookmarks!


When Choosing A Doctor, Results Matter: NYECC Breaks Ground with Clinical Results Available to the Public

Our new Results page began with a question:

how can patients choose the best doctor without knowing their past performance?

In the age of the internet, when HealthGrades and RateMDs are ready to profile a physician with the push of a button, it is now easier than ever to browse for healthcare options. Five-star reviews remarking on wait times and a doctor’s beside manner, while certainly valuable, miss the most important question a patient would like to know: how capable is this doctor of delivering good health outcomes?

For eye cancer patients in particular, understanding where to receive the best possible treatment is paramount. With these patients in mind, The New York Eye Cancer Center is now the first practice of its kind to report patient outcomes on the web in a patient-accessible format. Click here to see our latest Results.

Understanding the Report

We have launched the Results page with reports on three common conditions treated at NYECC: choroidal melanoma, iris-ciliary body melanoma, and squamous conjunctival malignancy. Though Dr. Finger’s clinical practice and peer-reviewed outcomes span his 30 years of practice, this new method of reporting starts with patients treated after December 1, 2017 and will be updated weekly going forward.

For each disease, we report on:

Patients Entered: The number of patients included in these results.

Visual Acuity: The median visual acuity, or eye chart test score, after finishing treatment.

Local Tumor Control: The percentage of patients whose tumors are successfully eliminated through treatment.

Loss of Eye: The percentage of patients whose cases require enucleation, or the removal of the eye, in order to complete treatment.

Metastases: The percentage of patients whose tumors spread to other organs after treatment.

Average Follow Up: Number of years after treatment before additional treatments are required.

The data, located on our Results page and observable through an interactive table, reports on patients treated only by Dr. Finger. Patient data is strictly confidential, HIPPA-compliant and anonymous.

A Piece of the Puzzle

This trailblazing Results page is the next step in a multi-year initiative by Dr. Finger and his colleagues to empower patients and improve outcomes across the ocular oncology specialty.

While medical journals have provided a forum to publish and compare treatment techniques, medicine does not currently have a strong framework to compare overall physician performance in a quantitative, objective manner. In response, a group of eye cancer specialists including Dr. Finger have formed the International Doctor Reported Outcomes (DRO) Initiative.” This initiative is developing a standardized way for doctors to report their results to the public and each other.

Comparing outcomes is a great way to find areas for improvement in medical practice. More importantly for each individual patient, DRO reporting is a clear way to address that essential question: what are the past results of the doctor who is about to treat me? 

The DRO Initiative has been developed over the course of the last two Eye Cancer Working Day conferences, which gathered ocular oncologists from around the world. But identifying a need and making a plan are but a prelude to the achieving our goal: a world in which all medical centers routinely publish their results for the public.

The launch of our results page is the first step, and we encourage other centers to join us in this effort. The Eye Cancer Foundation will offer assistance to any center or solo practitioner in setting up a page akin to the new NYECC Results page.

Let’s hold ourselves accountable to our outcomes and empower patients to make their life-changing choice of eye cancer specialist based on visible results.


Get to Know: Dr. Paul T. Finger

The New York Eye Cancer Center is dedicated to combining both science and technology with a human touch, offering a holistic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of eye cancer. The Founding Director, Dr. Paul T. Finger, aims to extend his streamlined medical approach to others with the focus of not only helping doctors work together, but also providing easy-to-understand information. This is very important for patients who feel overwhelmed by the scope of medical terminology and technology. Every day, swift strides are being made towards a brighter future for eye cancer patients all around the world.

Here at The NYECC, a series of videos have been made and published, ranging from lectures for training specialists, to videos for patients on what to expect throughout the stages of their care.

In this video, Dr. Finger timelines his 30+ year medical career. He discusses his pioneering of the Palladium-103 plaque procedure for intraocular tumors, imaging methods for many eye cancers and anti-VEGF therapy now used world-wide to suppress radiation complications, plus more.

 

Meet Dr. Paul T. Finger, Director of The New York Eye Cancer Center from Paul T Finger on Vimeo.


Patient Stories

"Very well treated by Dr. Finger. He explained everything I needed to know about my issue with detail and attention, putting me at ease and giving me confidence to handle this problem for the rest of my life.”
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