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Patient Reported Experience Measures: 2022 Highlights!

In 2022, Save Your Skin Foundation ran three major patient surveys in order to collect patient-reported experience measure data (PREMs): 

  • “The Patient Experience: Systemic Treatment of Adult Cutaneous Melanoma” (April/May)
  •  “The Patient Experience: Treatment of Patients with Ocular Melanoma” (April/May)
  • “Patient Survey: Treatment Plan Decision-Making” (September/October)

Long-form reporting of the data for “The Patient Experience: Treatment of Patients with Ocular Melanoma” and “Patient Survey: Treatment Plan Decision-Making” are available on the Save Your Skin website. “Treatment Plan Decision-Making” was available in both English and French, and was developed in partnership with AIM at Melanoma. The following blog highlights some particularly notable outcomes from these surveys; we hope you find something of interest to you!

 

Highlights from “The Patient Experience: Systemic Treatment of Adult Cutaneous Melanoma”
  • When asked if they would consider it reasonable to receive additional treatments should their melanoma recur at a later stage, 78.26% directly indicated that they would be interested in additional treatments (Q12).
  • When asked specifically about their experiences on Pembrolizumab (Keytruda™), 73.68% reported enduring fatigue as a side effect, followed in frequency of votes by skin rashes (36.84%) and cognitive impairment (26.32%) (Q17). 61.11% found these side effects manageable (Q18).
  • 95.45% of participants indicated that the side effects resulting from this therapy were worth it for the benefits of the treatment (Q19).
  • When asked if they would consider receiving drug therapy from a clinical trial, 77.27% responded that they would, should the need arise. Of the 22.73% that responded “not sure,” several added comments indicating that they would consider it, but would need more information (Q22).

 

Highlights from “The Patient Experience: Treatment of Patients with Ocular Melanoma”
  • 63.63% of our ocular melanoma survey participant pool who have not received genetic testing would like to, suggesting that many patients see this as a worthwhile process (Question 11).
  • Unsurprisingly, eye-related side effects are the most common for patients with ocular melanoma. These include loss of vision (64.51% of responses), eye pain (16.12%), cataracts (9.67%), flashes of light in the eyes (12.9%), dry eyes (3.22%), macular edema (3.22%), and retinopathy (3.22%) (Q16).
  • 82.35% of participants have ongoing follow up appointments/testing every 3-6 months (Q20).
  • 79.31% of responses suggested that if their disease were to progress in the future, they would be interested in receiving additional treatments (Q21).
  • 64.71% of survey participants indicated that if they were offered enrolment in a clinical trial, they would take it (Q24).
  • The most frequently cited side effects by participants receiving KIMMTRAK ® (tebentafusp-tebn) for their ocular melanoma were fatigue and skin rashes (both selected by 50% of participants) (Q28).
  • 100% of patients who received KIMMTRAK ® (tebentafusp-tebn) noted that the side effects of this treatment were worth enduring for the survival benefit (Q30)
  • The most frequently cited barrier to accessing KIMMTRAK ® (tebentafusp-tebn) was having to travel to another city, which was both an inconvenience and a financial hardship (Q31).

 

Highlights from “Patient Survey: Treatment Plan Decision-Making” English language survey
  • When asked what was the most important topic to discuss with their healthcare team at the time of diagnosis out of the following options: “care plan,” “prognosis,” “treatment timeline,” “quality of life,” and “financial considerations,” survey participants selected “prognosis” as their primary concern, followed by “treatment timeline” and then “care plan.” That “quality of life” and “financial considerations” are the lowest priorities suggests that patients care about survival above all else (Q7).
  • Questions nine and ten demonstrated that patients are creating a treatment plan with their healthcare team along their ideal timeline, which is either at the time of diagnosis or between their first and third appointments.
  • The majority of survey participants (76.56%) stated that they understood at least “most” of the cancer-related information provided to them (Q12); however, 32.82% expressed dissatisfaction with the amount and quality of the information they received (Q21).
  • When asked what resource they most frequently turn to for cancer-related information (other than their healthcare team), the internet was cited by 82.54% of participants (Q13)
  • Questions 15 and 16 illustrated that 73.44% of participants feel they had an appropriate amount of input in developing their treatment plan. 
  • When asked to prioritise the following factors when developing a care plan: “dosing schedule/logistics,” “long-term survival,” “risk of adverse events/side effects,” “financial concerns,” and “lifestyle and family implications,” patients ranked “long-term survival” as their highest priority (Q17).
  • When asked to indicate the two most significant challenges they experienced during treatment, the need for emotional support (60.94%) and the impact of physiological symptoms (45.31%) had the highest number of votes (Q27).

 

Highlights from “Patient Survey: Treatment Plan Decision-Making” French language survey
  • When asked what was the most important topic to discuss with their healthcare team at the time of diagnosis out of the following options: “care plan,” “prognosis,” “treatment timeline,” “quality of life,” and “financial considerations,” survey participants selected “care plan” as their primary concern, followed by “prognosis” and then “quality of life” (Q7).
  • Like the English language cohort, the French language survey participants received care plans along their ideal timeline of either at the time of diagnosis or between the first and third appointments (Q9, 10).
  • In the French language survey, a greater percentage of participants indicated having more responsibility for the development of their care plans. Only 27.27% felt “appropriately involved,” while 63.63% indicated that they made the decision more independently (Q15).
  • When asked to prioritise the following factors when developing a care plan: “dosing schedule/logistics,” “long-term survival,” “risk of adverse events/side effects,” “financial concerns,” and “lifestyle and family implications,” the French language patients also ranked “long-term survival” as their highest priority (Q17).
  • When asked whether they felt prepared for treatment, participants had polarised responses; 63.64% reported feeling “entirely prepared for treatment,” while 27.27% were “mostly unprepared for treatment” (Q24).
  • When asked to indicate the two most significant challenges they experienced during treatment, the French language survey participants voted most frequently for physiological symptoms (54.55%), followed by emotional support and a lack of information, which were tied for votes (36.36% each). This suggests that the need for emotional support is more satisfied for the French language survey participants (Q27).

 

The data from patient reported experience measures, sampled above, is instrumental to our operations as a patient group. We consider these reports when we are prioritising our initiatives for the new year, preparing our strategic plans for patient support, education, awareness, health policy, and advocacy, and share them with other stakeholders in the cancer space. We hope this information was valuable to you, and that the new year brings you joy, prosperity, and good health.

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November is Ocular Melanoma Awareness Month

November is Ocular Melanoma Awareness month – and it is the time of year we at Save Your Skin Foundation and Ocumel Canada bring extra public awareness to the importance of dilated eye exams for the detection of ocular melanoma.

Through our work, we will continue the conversation and maintain the #EyeGetDilated campaign beyond November, so that all Canadians can learn about their options for head to toe body health and to include eye checks in their list of doctor exams.

Early detection is incredibly important for many eye diseases, including ocular melanoma. Ocular melanoma is rare, affecting approximately five in a million people. About 200 cases are diagnosed per year in Canada. While it represents only 5% of melanomas, ocular melanoma can be rapid and aggressive, accounting for 9% of melanoma deaths. Also referred to as uveal melanoma, ocular is a more inclusive term; 90% of primary ocular melanoma develops in the choroid.

To read more about the importance of annual dilated eye exams, click on Brianne’s story below:

We are proud to have partnered with the groups BC Doctors of Optometry and Alberta Association of Optometrists!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about Ocumel Canada and the work we do, visit any of the following pages:

OcumelCanada.ca

About Ocular Melanoma

Helpful Links

Resources and Support

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with primary or metastatic ocular melanoma, connect with our community of support, Canadian bilingual Facebook group:  Ocular Melanoma Connect/Connexion mélanome oculaire 

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Upcoming Webinar: Prognostic Testing and What It Means to Ocular Melanoma Patients

Join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, September 14 at 5pm PST | 8pm EST.

In this webinar, Katherina Alsina, PhD, Castle BioSciences, Dr. Ezekiel Weis, Provincial Medical Lead, Alberta Ocular Brachytherapy Program, and Dr. Marcus Butler, Medical Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, will help patients understand prognostic testing when diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma. They will also discuss options for HCPs for prognostic testing, what it can mean to patients and how it can affect treatment decisions. The presentations will be followed by a live Q&A session.
Click here to register
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Big steps forward in OM treatment & support in Canada

Ocumel Canada in the News

As Ocumel Canada continues to support and advocate for patients touched by ocular melanoma (OM), we are happy to see a monumental step forward in the treatment of this disease across Canada. Last week, Health Canada granted a notice of compliance (NOC) for Kimmtrak® (tebentafusp) for the treatment of metastatic ocular melanoma, closely following approvals in the United States, Australia, and the European Union.

Many patients with this rare cancer have been needing to travel from their home provinces coast to coast – to Toronto – for treatment, which is not an ideal situation for any patient, as they need to be close to their home and support system for ease and comfort as they fight this disease. Ocumel Canada is happy to report that in partnership with treating Physicians and Partners we are making progress in this situation and getting patients treated closer to home.

Global News spoke to two patients in this interview, click HERE to watch the recording.

Ocumel Canada and Save Your Skin Foundation applaud Health Canada’s approval of Kimmtrak® (tebentafusp) for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma in HLA-A*02:01-positive adult patients. We now hope that every province and territory will take swift steps to list this drug on their public formularies in order to make this therapy available to patients across Canada.

We thank all patients and their caregivers who shared their experience and feedback to this process. To learn more about this immunotherapy treatment and the approval, read our full press release by clicking HERE.

To add to all of this great news – we wish to invite all Canadian OM patients or caregivers to join the VISION Registry, an online research database created by our friends at CureOM, Melanoma Research Foundation.

The database will allow researchers to better understand ocular melanoma (OM) as well as the needs and preferences of patients. For example, researchers can look at the socio-demographics, genetics, accompanying conditions, and treatments of patients from around the world and any potential links to OM that might exist.

The research will also look at patients’ experience from onset of symptoms to confirmed diagnosis and how that can be improved.

For the VISION Registry to be successful we need as many patients as possible to securely share their data. There is power in numbers!  Please register and add your information to the registry. We are eager to learn together to advance knowledge and eventually find a cure for OM.

(At this time, the registry is available in English only, but we are working on a French-Canadian translation, stay tuned!)

Click here to learn more and join the Vision Registry: https://melanoma.org/visionregistry/

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WEBINAR: Latest news on melanoma/skin cancer/ocular melanoma from ASCO 2022

(le français suit)

Don’t miss our webinar with Dr. Marcus Butler, the Medical Oncology Disease Site Lead for Melanoma/Skin Oncology at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is also the Clinical Director for the Immune Monitoring Team at the Princess Margaret where he focuses on the immunologic impact of anti-cancer immunotherapies.

This webinar reviews late breaking news, key takeaways, clinical data and other updates presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting taking place in Chicago, Illinois, in June 2022.

Dr. Butler shares his key insights into what the landscape of melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and ocular melanoma treatment looks like for the near future in Canada.

Click HERE to view the recording

 

WEBINAIRE : Mise à jour sur le mélanome/cancer de la peau/mélanome oculaire de l’ASCO 2022

Regardez l’enregistrement du webinaire avec le Dr Marcus Butler, responsable du site d’oncologie médicale pour le mélanome et l’oncologie de la peau au Princess Margaret Cancer Centre et professeur adjoint de médecine à l’Université de Toronto. Il est également le directeur clinique de l’équipe de surveillance immunitaire du Princess Margaret, où il se concentre sur l’impact immunologique des immunothérapies anticancéreuses.

Ce webinaire a passé en revue les dernières nouvelles, les points essentiels, les données cliniques et d’autres mises à jour présentées lors de l’assemblée annuelle de l’American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) qui a eu lieu à Chicago, en Illinois, en juin 2022.

Le Dr Butler a partagé ses idées clés sur ce à quoi ressemble le paysage du traitement du mélanome, des cancers de la peau autres que le mélanome et du mélanome oculaire dans un avenir proche au Canada.

Cliquez ici pour le webinaire

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Check out our national and international Melanoma Awareness Month initiatives!

May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month

This May, Save Your Skin Foundation and Ocumel Canada are running local, national and international campaigns to raise awareness on the importance of prevention and early detection of skin cancers. See a full list of our Melanoma Skin Cancer Month and Ocular Melanoma awareness initiatives HERE.

For the third year in a row, Save your Skin Foundation’s proclamation initiative has invited Canadian municipalities to take a stance against skin cancer and educate their communities on sun safety through mayoral proclamations. Over 38 municipalities across 8 provinces have issued signed Proclamations to proclaim the month of May 2022 ‘Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month’.  Look for your city on the list here

Members of our SYSF team have also had the honour to present to the Mayors and Councils of a dozen municipalities across the country to share their experiences as patients and spread the message of sun safety and early detection of skin cancer.

Skin check awareness

Save Your Skin Foundation is part of the Global Melanoma Coalition, a group of 43 organizations from 28 different countries bringing the patient voice to the melanoma space. The below videos have been created in collaboration with the Global Coalition.

It’s funny what you can miss when you’re not looking for it. Watch the Global Coalition video and learn the importance of checking your skin for melanoma and skin cancer:

Skin self-exam tutorial

This video covers the ABCD&E warning signs of melanoma and skin cancer, and the seven steps for checking the body. Pauses between the seven steps have been included in the film, so you can simply take your phone or tablet into a bathroom, hit play, and follow the instructions in real time:

 

#EyePatchDay

Having regular eye examinations could save your life! Routine eye tests can lead to early detection of ocular melanoma and many other health issues. However, statistics show that we are not visiting the optometrist as frequently as we should.

Make a commitment to booking an eye exam this month!

Visit OcumelCanada.ca to learn more

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Looking Back at 2021

Our 2021 Annual Reports are out now!

It’s always a rewarding experience to look back on the past year and see how much the Foundation has accomplished.

Despite another year amid the pandemic, Save Your Skin Foundation and Ocumel Canada have continued to grow partnerships, operations and services, and reach more people touched by melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and ocular melanoma.

We are extremely grateful to our community of patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and sponsors who continue to inspire and support us in our endeavors.

Click on the images below to view the reports:

 

 

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Continuing Ocular Melanoma Awareness all year round

November is Ocular Melanoma Awareness month – and it is the time of year we at Ocumel Canada bring awareness to the importance of dilated eye exams for the detection of ocular melanoma.

We will take this opportunity though, to continue the conversation and maintain the #EyeGetDilated campaign beyond November, so that all Canadians can learn about their options for head to toe body health and to include eye checks in their list of doctor exams.

Early detection is incredibly important for many eye diseases, including ocular melanoma. Ocular melanoma is rare, affecting approximately five in a million people. About 200 cases are diagnosed per year in Canada. While it represents only 5% of melanomas, ocular melanoma can be rapid and aggressive, accounting for 9% of melanoma deaths. Also referred to as uveal melanoma, ocular is a more inclusive term; 90% of primary ocular melanoma develops in the choroid.

To read more about the importance of annual dilated eye exams, click on Sheila and Leanne’s stories:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are proud to have partnered with the groups BC Doctors of Optometry and Alberta Association of Optometrists! Please click here to learn more about them and how they have supported the #EyeGetDilated campaign this year:

 

 

For more information about Ocumel Canada and the work we do, visit any of the following pages:

OcumelCanada.ca

Ocumel Canada – About Ocular Melanoma

Ocumel Canada – Helpful Links

Ocumel Canada – Resources and Support

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with primary or metastatic ocular melanoma, connect with our community of support, Canadian bilingual Facebook group:  Ocular Melanoma Connect/Connexion mélanome oculaire 

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ASCO 2021 Conference Report by SYSF

The 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting took place from June 4-8, 2021. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the convention was conducted entirely online. This event brings together over thirty thousand oncologists, pharmaceutical representatives, and patient advocates from across the world and across cancer types for five days of networking, learning, and presenting new research. Every year, Save Your Skin Foundation puts together a report of the panels regarding innovative treatments in the melanoma sphere. In this report are detailed recollections of these panels, categorized by topic. All information offered in this report is the intellectual property of the presenter and their team, as cited by the report.

Click here to read the report!

 

Every year, melanoma and uveal melanoma become more widely covered by clinical trials. While the continued innovation of treatment for these cancers is exciting, it means that we were unable to include every presentation and abstract related to melanoma, uveal melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancers. Therefore, abstracts and presentations that provide updates on safety profiles of past studies and abstracts that do not produce promising clinical results have been excluded. We have also excluded abstracts which, at the time of the meeting, did not have confirmed data.

The informational resources cited in this report are a combination of the transcripts and slides from the ASCO meeting library. All images are courtesy of the author of the respective talk. Any queries may be directed to natalie@saveyourskin.ca

If you are interested in more information from the ASCO 2021 annual meeting, Save Your Skin Foundations is pleased to offer a Post-ASCO 2021 Update with Dr Omid Hamid video concentrated on melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancers, and ocular melanoma. Click HERE to view the recording on youTube

 

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Ocumel Canada News!

The Ocumel Canada team has been very busy working on initiatives and strategies to help bring awareness to Ocular Melanoma (OM) and improve care pathways for patients across Canada.  In the spring we conducted a patient/caregiver survey with the intent to gather current information about primary and metastatic OM patient experiences across the country, from diagnosis and genetic testing options, to varying methods of treatment.

We deeply appreciate respondents’ time in filling out this survey, and we have now released a comprehensive report detailing their feedback.

Please click here to view the full report.  This data helps inform our work, and we share it with the treating physicians who handle our cases every day.  We work with treaters and treatment providers to create an ongoing and open dialogue which we believe will serve patients and their families in the most positive way.  We welcome any questions or feedback – please email ocumelcanada@saveyourskin.ca to get in touch!

And in other Ocumel Canada news…

 

We have expanded our participation in the annual SYSF event called “Move for Melanoma” – an activity challenge across Canada to raise funds for melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and ocular melanoma patients.  For the last two years OM patients and supporters have created their own teams on the Move for Melanoma platform, and they are welcome to do so again this year! But for those who may be just meeting us for the first time, or who might simply like to support Ocumel Canada with a donation, we have created Team Ocumel Canadaclick here to check it out.

Save Your Skin Foundation is the only organization in Canada that supports skin cancer and ocular melanoma patients financially when they need it most. All the money raised through donations goes directly to patients in the form of cab fares, treatment costs, flights, accommodation and other necessary but costly expenses incurred while receiving treatment.

To join the movement, our friend Laurence has shared his story and is a spokesperson and feature patient for this event.  Laurence has been fighting a battle with Ocular Melanoma for almost four years. Thanks to our Move For Melanoma fundraisers and donors, Save Your Skin Foundation can continue helping Laurence travel to receive a promising new treatment. Read Laurence’s story HERE.

Download these posters for print, and be ready to  register for Move for Melanoma 2021!

 

 

Please note – these resources are all available in French – email us at marianne@saveyourskin.ca for French.

 

ALSO!  Check out our new Ocumel Canada merchandise

Get your shirt today to help support Team Ocumel Canada and the work we do, supporting OM patients across Canada:

           

 

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