March 19, 2018

Events Educate Professionals on Gastrointestinal Cancer Advances

March 19, 2018 | Two UAMS events combined forces for the second year in a row to educate health care providers on the latest advances in gastrointestinal cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Oncology Update for Primary Care and the Charles William Rasco, III Symposium on Colorectal Cancer and GI Malignancies were offered back-to-back March 8-9 at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.

Jane English of Arkansas Ostomy demonstrates how to apply a pouch to an ostomy during the Oncology Update for Primary Care.

Jane English of Arkansas Ostomy demonstrates how to apply a pouch to an ostomy during the Oncology Update for Primary Care.

While the annual Oncology Update has traditionally focused on a variety of cancer-related presentations as they pertain to primary care, this year narrowed its focus to coincide with the Rasco Symposium’s topic of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. Oncology Update is conducted by the Community Health and Education (CHE) Division of the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Family and Preventative Medicine.

“We took a different approach to the Oncology Update this year, and it proved to be rewarding for those in attendance. To parallel with the Rasco Symposium, we kept the GI theme and included the National Colorectal Roundtable, a hands-on ostomy workshop and information on GI tobacco-related cancers. Attendees’ evaluations confirmed that we offered fresh information to take back to their practices,” said Alysia Dubriske, CHE director.

Shashank Kraleti, M.D., assistant professor with the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, served as medical director for the Oncology Update. Co-sponsors were the Arkansas Cancer Coalition, Arkansas Department of Health and KCI.

The 21st annual Rasco Symposium brought together physicians, nurses, pharmacists, scientists and other health care professionals to learn about advances in GI cancer therapy and diagnosis, as well as quality-of-life concerns for patients living with GI cancers. A keynote address titled “Advances in Rectal Cancer Surgery” was presented by Ronald Bleday, M.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

A. Mazin Safar, M.D., Rasco Symposium curriculum director, and Michael Anders, director of simulation technology at UAMS, field questions from participants.

A. Mazin Safar, M.D., Rasco Symposium curriculum director, and Michael Anders, director of simulation technology at UAMS, field questions from participants.

“As a teaching institution, it’s vital for UAMS to offer events such as the Rasco Symposium. Our ability to serve our patients relies heavily on our knowledge of the most recent research findings and advancements in clinical care, and the Rasco Symposium is an important component of that for the UAMS community,” said Issam Makhoul, M.D., professor and director of the Division of Medical Oncology in the UAMS College of Medicine.

Makhoul has served as course director of the Rasco Symposium for many years. A. Mazin Safar, M.D., associate professor in the Division of Medical Oncology, served as curriculum director. The Rasco Symposium honors the memory of Charles William Rasco III, who died from colon cancer in 1994.

Participants at both events also had the opportunity to visit booths representing a number of programs and services related to research and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers.