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Ethan Basch, MD
Ethan Basch, MD

People with advanced cancer who communicated their symptoms weekly using an electronic survey had about a one-third better physical function and over a 15% better control of their symptoms compared to those who were evaluated less frequently via in-person clinical visits, according to findings from a multi-state study conducted at 52 community cancer clinics.

The PRO-TECT (Patient Reported Outcomes TEnhance Cancer Treatment) trial was led by Ethan Basch, MD, MSc, FASCO, and other researchers at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The findings were published online June 5, 2022, in the Journal of the American Medical Association and simultaneously presented at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago, provided more in-depth analyses of data that were presented during a virtual ASCO plenary presentation in November 2021.

“We had very high engagement with patients and their care teams in this study, with patients completing more than ninety percent of their symptom surveys, and nurses frequently reaching out to patients when severe or worsening symptoms were electronically reported,” said Basch, who is the Richard Goldberg Distinguished Professor and chief of medical oncology at UNC School of Medicine, director of UNC Lineberger’s Cancer Outcomes Research Program and physician-in-chief of the North Carolina Cancer Hospital. “This likely reflects how accustomed many patients and providers have become to telehealth and electronic communications.”

[Read more at UNC Lineberger]