Volume 13, Issue 1, February 2009
Coordinator's Corner
Take Advantage of the Cancer Genetics SIG's Many Resources

Lisa Aiello-Laws, RN, MSN, APNG, AOCNS®
North Cape May, NJ

Welcome, members of the Cancer Genetics SIG. I cannot believe that I have already held the position of SIG coordinator for seven months. I haven’t had a chance to meet many of you, directly or online. I thought I would take this time to tell you a little about myself.

I graduated from my undergraduate nursing program from the College of Nursing at Villanova University in 1990. I worked in medical-surgical and telemetry. I was working overtime on the oncology unit and fell in love; I had definitely found my place. As most of us did, I worked on an oncology floor. We did autologous transplants and other miscellaneous treatments and diagnoses. In the meantime, I went back to school at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing to obtain my master’s degree to become an oncology clinical nurse specialist.

My jobs varied dramatically once I received my master’s degree. First, I worked at the University of Pennsylvania in Nutrition Support. I clinically managed patients with cancer on enteral and parenteral feedings, as inpatients and as outpatients. Then I ran a small outpatient gynecology/oncology chemotherapy clinic. I was the only nurse, and there were four chairs. I had many patients with ovarian cancer, some of whom also had a history of breast cancer. But I did not know there may be a connection.

After this role, I truly fell into a position in genetics. After much training and education, I developed and coordinated a Cancer Risk Evaluation Clinic. I started with development, marketing to local physicians and gynecologists, and identifying patients. I worked for a private practice of six medical oncologists/hematologists associated with Pennsylvania Hospital. I primarily worked with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer families. As my expertise grew, I began to counsel families with hereditary risk for colon cancer. One of the oncologists with whom I worked specialized in sarcomas. I began working on a project in sarcoma genetics, collecting data, blood samples, and tissue samples. Of course, I collaborated on prevention studies such as SELECT and STAR. I found genetics to be so interesting. Although I found this specialty unexpectedly, I again found an area within oncology nursing that I truly enjoyed. I was working in this position around 2000, when hereditary genetics was booming. Then genomics and pharmacogenomics became focuses in the cancer world. I knew I found an area that was rapidly changing and at the ground floor of discovery.

I relocated and had to leave this position. I then became the coordinator for a cancer center’s supportive services program. Currently, I work as an oncology care manager for a case management company. Neither of these jobs required my expertise in genetics, but I use it every day. I educate patients and staff, evaluate family histories, refer patients to pursue genetic counseling, and work with the patients’ providers in identifying appropriate care. When identifying appropriate care, we need to look at hormone receptors, HER2/neu receptors, and K-ras receptors. All of these genetic markers assist us in identifying appropriate care.

So, as oncology nurses, we use genetics every day. That is why our SIG is so vital to all oncology nurses. Cancer genetics is not just hereditary counseling. Genetics is a part of all aspects of cancer care, including family history assessment, patient education, interpreting pathology reports and genetic markers, prognosis, treatment planning, and drug selection.

Therefore, I invite all ONS members to join the Cancer Genetics SIG. I also encourage our members to use the Cancer Genetics SIG Virtual Community (VC) Discussion forum to access the expertise within our SIG. By signing up, you can

  • Post a question or comment for discussion.
  • Receive automatic e-mails when a question or response is posted.
  • Volunteer for a position within the Cancer Genetics SIG.

Membership in the Cancer Genetics SIG provides

  • Networking opportunities with more than 380 nurses, including staff working in all types of different positions in oncology nursing, ranging from novice to expert
  • Expert resources and education on hereditary cancer syndromes, genomics, and pharmacogenomics.

I hope everyone takes advantage of what the Cancer Genetics SIG can offer. If you would like to become involved in our SIG or want to learn more, please join us at the ONS Congress for the Cancer Genetics SIG Planning and Networking Meeting, which will be held at 5 pm on Thursday, April 30, in San Antonio, TX. More details are coming soon. I hope to see you there!

The Cancer Genetics SIG Newsletter is produced by members of the
Cancer Genetics SIG and ONS staff and is not a peer-reviewed publication.

Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2009

Meeting Recap
How Far and How Wide Is the Scope of Genetics Education?

Patricia Kelly, RN, MS, CNS, AOCN®
Dallas, TX

Editor’s note. The following is a report from the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG) 11th Annual Meeting, which was held September 4–5, 2008, in Bethesda, MD. Kelly is the ONS representative to NCHPEG.

After attending the NCHPEG Annual Meeting, Genetics and Common Disease, I wear the lenses of one who sees new possibilities for interdisciplinary genomics education and clinical practice. In September, I was one of 140 meeting attendees from various clinical specialties who met in Bethesda, MD, to learn about advances in genetics and health professional education. Genetic experts presented on a wide range of topics, including genetics and psychiatric disease, genome-wide association studies, family risk assessment tools, online genomic education, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, genetics and the electronic health record, whole genome screening, and many more. (View individual presentations.)

One fascinating topic was the Human Microbiome Project (i.e., how microbial genetics affects common complex diseases). According to Claire Fraser-Liggett, PhD, of the Institute for Genomic Medicine at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine, microbial cells are 10 times more common than human cells and are present in living communities and in partnerships. Microbial cells impact diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, autism, and obesity, and shifts in microbial communities impact key metabolic processes. The human genome is actually an amalgam of human genes and the genes of our microbial partners. Information from the Human Microbiome Project is relevant for diagnosis and treatment of common diseases.

Speakers gave updates on current NCHPEG initiatives. NCHPEG's “Nutrition and Genetics” program is almost completed. This program includes key genomic concepts and associated clinical scenarios for dietetic educators and practitioners in the United States and the United Kingdom. NCHPEG introduced a new year-long interactive colorectal educational initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The program focus is familial and syndromic colon cancer, and the target audience includes a wide range of healthcare professionals, including nurses. The final product will be available to the VA system and on NCHPEG's Web site.* In addition to the regularly scheduled programs, the 12 nurse attendees met to brainstorm ideas for implementation and funding of genomic nursing competencies.

NCHEG is an organization of volunteer interdisciplinary healthcare professionals who are passionate about genetics and education. The NCHPEG staff is lean but strong and works with volunteers to produce professional materials. ONS values its relationship with this important genetics organization and offers opportunities for ONS members to partner with NCHPEG on selected projects.

*NCHPEG/ONS volunteer opportunity: NCHPEG is looking for one or two volunteers with significant expertise in colorectal cancer to review and provide input concerning medical management content for the colorectal education initiative (see description above). Estimated volunteer time is approximately eight hours. If you have questions or would like to volunteer, please contact Holly Peay, NCHPEG staff and project director, at 410-583-0600 or hlpeay@nchpeg.org.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2009

Media Visibility of Pancreatic Cancer Presents a Teaching Moment

Lisa Aiello-Laws, RN, MSN, APNG, AOCNS®
North Cape May, NJ

Pancreatic cancer has been in the news recently, as it was the cause of death for Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon University professor and alumnus who presented The Last Lecture. His lecture became a worldwide sensation and a best-selling book. Actor Patrick Swayze was also diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year ago and continues to receive treatment. Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc., just took a health-related leave of absence. He was treated for a neuroendocrine islet-cell tumor, a type of pancreatic cancer, in 2004. This visibility in the media presents us with a teaching moment for ourselves and our patients. As such, I would like to review hereditary cancer syndromes and new findings.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Most patients present with a poor prognosis and a life expectancy of one year. Hereditary pancreatic cancer, or familial pancreatic cancer, occurs in approximately 10% of pancreatic cancers. Currently, five hereditary cancer syndromes are known to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer: (a) BRCA2, (b) familial atypical multiple mole melanoma, (c) Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, (d) hereditary pancreatitis, and (e) hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer syndrome. However, many cases of familial pancreatic cancer do not fit into one of these syndromes. Hereditary pancreatic cancer is defined as at least a pair of first-degree relatives diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (Hruban & Kern, 2000). Johns Hopkins University has developed the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry. The registry currently contains more than 2,000 families. This is an important tool that will help researchers identify other hereditary links and genetic markers of pancreatic cancer.

K-ras is an oncogene. It has recently been reported that K-ras mutations have been found in a family with pancreatic cancer. K-ras has recently been identified as indicating nonresponsiveness in colorectal cancer to epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors such as cetuximab and panitumumab and nonresponsiveness to erlotinib for non-small cell lung cancer. If a patient’s colorectal tumor has a K-ras mutation, this was also a predictor of a worse prognosis (Lièvre et al., 2006).

We do not know how this will affect patients with pancreatic cancer. It may lead to earlier diagnosis or may indicate effectiveness of treatments, as with colorectal cancer. This is another indication of cancer treatments becoming individualized based on a person’s genetic makeup. Stay tuned for more exciting discoveries.


Hruban, R.H., & Kern, S.E. (2000, December). Hereditary pancreatic cancer. Atlas of Genetics and Cytogenetics in Oncology and Haematology. Retrieved December 20, 2008, from http://AtlasGeneticsOncology.org/Genes/HeredPancrCanID10068.html

Lièvre, A., Bachet, J.B., Le Corre, D., Boige, V., Landi, B., Emile, J.F. et al. (2006). KRAS mutation status is predictive of response to cetuximab therapy in colorectal cancer. Cancer Research, 66(8), 3992–3995.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2009

American Association of Colleges of Nursing Includes Genetics in Baccalaureate Curriculum Guidelines

Jennifer T. Loud, RN, CRNP, DNP
Derwood, MD

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) member institutions voted overwhelmingly to endorse the revised version of The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice, which now includes genetic and genomic content (AACN, 2008). Recognizing that nurses practice at the forefront of health care, where scientific, technologic, and societal changes rapidly occur, AACN supports integrating genetic and genomic content into nursing undergraduate curricula in the life sciences portion of a liberal education. Essential VII specifically addresses the role of the baccalaureate-prepared nurse in clinical prevention and population health. A baccalaureate program prepares a graduate nurse to be able to assess protective and predictive factors, including genetics, and to obtain a health history, including a family history that recognizes genetic risk. As oncology nurses are acutely aware, the speed with which genetic information impacts oncology nursing practice throughout the life cycle has only accelerated over the past decade. Genetic information now informs healthcare decision-making in

  • Cancer risk assessment
  • Cancer risk management
  • Cancer diagnosis
  • Cancer treatment
  • Cancer prognosis
  • Response to cancer treatment.

Taking a detailed family history remains a foundational skill for healthcare providers who provide genetic services to individuals and families. My Family Health Portrait, a patient-oriented, family history tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office, is available free to the public in English and Spanish at the U.S. Surgeon General’s Web site. Although it does not produce a comprehensive, three-generation pedigree for formal pedigree analysis, it is simple to complete, provides health information on the individual and his or her close family members, and helps to identify the possibility of the presence of a hereditary cancer syndrome for busy clinicians. From this simple family pedigree, a more comprehensive pedigree can be developed to conduct a comprehensive cancer genetic risk evaluation. Oncology nurses may want to consider using this tool to help document cancer history in patients and their families. It is also a simple way to become familiar with how to obtain a family history for nurses who have not done so in their nursing practice or for those who need to refresh their skills. And remember: Individual and family history change over time, so think about updating the family history on a regular basis.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2008, October 30). The essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice [Press release]. Retrieved December 16, 2008, from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Media/NewsReleases/2008/BaccEssentials.html

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2009

News You Can Use From the National Cancer Institute

Several recent articles featuring the use of genetic information and cancer care are available on the National Cancer Institute (NCI) News Web site. The following are highlights; click on the links to view the articles in their entirety.

Variations in Gene Activity Can Predict the Survival of Patients With Lymphoma

Patterns of gene activity in a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma have given researchers a better understanding of factors that contribute to the survival of patients treated for the disease. Gene activity, or expression, is a measure of the biologic activity of a gene. Determining the activity levels of all genes in the genomes of patients with lymphoma allowed researchers, led by Louis M. Staudt, MD, PhD, at NCI, National Institutes of Health (NIH), to identify sets of genes in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) that influenced the effectiveness of treatment. These findings were published in the November 27, 2008, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers studied gene expression levels in tumor biopsy specimens using DNA microarrays, a technology used to measure gene activity. A key finding of their analysis was that certain sets of genes, called gene expression signatures, reflected distinct sets of biologic activities within DLBCL tumors, and these activities differed among diagnosed patients.

The researchers identified three gene expression signatures that were associated with either long or short survival in both the CHOP-treated and R-CHOP–treated patients. One signature, termed the germinal center B-cell signature, was expressed by malignant cells in the tumors and reflected whether the tumors were of the GCB or ABC-DLBCL subtype. In contrast, the other two gene expression signatures reflected different activities of the nonmalignant cells within the tumor microenvironment. One signature, termed stromal-1, was found in tumors that expressed genes involved in forming or modifying the extracellular matrix, the fibrous network of molecules between cells that regulates the structure and function of tissues. These tumors also contained many macrophages, a type of white blood cell. High expression of this signature was associated with good prognosis. Another signature, termed stromal-2, was present in DLBCL tumors that had abundant angiogenesis, the process whereby new blood vessels are formed, which is important for tumors to grow. The stromal-2 signature was associated with poor prognosis.

“Our findings reveal new biological variations in DLBCL that influence whether a patient is likely to be cured by chemotherapy," said Staudt. "These biological variations are significant in patients treated with the current standard of care, R-CHOP. Our results provide many fresh ideas about how existing drugs might be utilized to overcome the remaining resistance of some DLBCL tumors to our current therapy."

Study Provides Clues About How Cancer Cells Develop Resistance to Chemotherapy Drug

Researchers have shown that increased expression of a gene called SIRT1 in cancer cells plays a significant role in the development of resistance to the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. The SIRT1 gene, which regulates several important cellular processes including nutrient use and metabolism, appears to contribute to the development of cisplatin resistance by reducing the uptake and use of glucose by cells and by altering the function of their mitochondria, which are cellular structures that produce most of the energy in cells. These findings, by researchers at NIH’s NCI and colleagues, were published in the September 15, 2008, issue of Molecular Cancer Research.

Many factors contribute to cisplatin resistance and may include mechanisms that limit cellular uptake of the drug, altered mechanisms that allow cells to repair damage to their DNA, and mechanisms that help cells survive. "This study is part of a larger effort by scientists to determine important cellular changes that cause cancer cells to become resistant to chemotherapy drugs," said Michael Gottesman, MD, of NCI's Center for Cancer Research and an author of the study. "Different types of genetic mutations can occur during the development of cellular resistance to anticancer drugs. Therefore, the first step is to elucidate the genes that contribute to this resistance in tumors."

Previous research by this team and others has shown that cisplatin-resistant cells grow more slowly and demonstrate reduced uptake of certain substances, including nutrients such as glucose, than cells that are sensitive to the drug. It was also known that, as a survival strategy, tumors alter their metabolism when nutrients are scarce. In this study, the researchers found that cancer cells increased their expression of SIRT1 and became more resistant to cisplatin treatment as the level of glucose in their environment was reduced. They also found that the uptake of glucose in resistant cells was four- to five-fold less than in cells that were sensitive to cisplatin. Oxygen consumption, an indicator of glucose use and energy production, decreased by 30%–60% compared to cisplatin-sensitive cells.

Because mitochondria use glucose and oxygen to produce energy, the team investigated the function of mitochondria in cisplatin-resistant cells. They found that, as cellular resistance to cisplatin increased, the potential of mitochondria to produce energy decreased, indicating that the metabolic role of mitochondria in resistant cells is different from that in cells that are sensitive to the drug. The researchers also found that the mitochondria of resistant cells were smaller and that the internal structures were irregular compared to the mitochondria of cells that were sensitive to the drug.

Gottesman and colleagues are developing molecular tools to define the drug-resistance genes that are expressed in individual cancers and, in the future, hope to use this information to predict a patient's response to therapy and to design new ways to circumvent resistance.

The Cancer Genome Atlas Reports First Results of Comprehensive Study of Brain Tumors: Large-Scale Effort Identifies New Genetic Mutations, Core Pathways

The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network, a collaborative effort funded by NCI and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), NIH, recently reported the first results of its large-scale, comprehensive study of the most common form of brain cancer, glioblastoma (GBM). In a paper published September 4, 2008, in the advance online edition of the journal Nature, the TCGA team described the discovery of new genetic mutations and other types of DNA alterations with potential implications for the diagnosis and treatment of GBM.

In its Nature paper, the TCGA Research Network describes the interim results of its analyses of GBM, the first type of cancer to be studied in the TCGA pilot. The pioneering work pulled together and integrated multiple types of data generated by several genome characterization technologies from investigators at 18 different participating institutions and organizations. The data include small changes in DNA sequence, known as genetic mutations; larger-scale changes in chromosomes, known as copy number variations and chromosomal translocations; the levels of protein-coding RNA being produced by genes, known as gene expression; patterns of how certain molecules, such as methyl groups, interact with DNA, known as epigenomics; and information related to patients' clinical treatment.

The TCGA team combined sequencing data with other types of genome characterization information, such as gene expression and DNA methylation patterns, to generate an unprecedented overview that delineated core biologic pathways potentially involved in GBM. The three pathways, each of which was found to be disrupted in more than three-quarters of GBM tumors, were the CDK/cyclin/CDK inhibitor/RB pathway, which is involved in the regulation of cell division; the P53 pathway, which is involved in response to DNA damage and cell death; and the RTK/RAS/PI3K pathway, which is involved in the regulation of growth factor signals.

The pathway mapping promises to be particularly informative for researchers working to develop therapeutic strategies that are aimed more precisely at specific cancers or that are better tailored to each patient's particular subtype of tumor.

"This represents another major step towards our ultimate goal of using information about the human genome to improve human health," said NHGRI Acting Director Alan E. Guttmacher, MD. "It's thrilling to see what the cancer and genomics research communities can achieve through working together in a collaborative manner. I am confident that this paper is just the first of many exciting results that TCGA will generate."

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2009

International Society of Nurses in Genetics Annual Meeting Was Great Success

Julie Eggert, RN, PhD, GNP-C, AOCN®
Greer, SC

The 2008 International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) meeting was held November 8–11, 2008, in Philadelphia, PA. More than 150 attendees offered many opportunities for sharing information, networking, and having reunions! Continental breakfasts and morning breaks provided lots of downtime for exchanging ideas and chatting. The layout of the hotel’s first floor presented an atmosphere of relaxation, with easy access to a computer bank, restaurant, and bar.
The preconference morning workshop focused on “Implications of Genomics for Nursing Practice.” The presenters stimulated the audience to “know what the public knows,” to use pedigrees to “make history” in clinical practice beyond the genetics office setting, to extend our knowledge base to include the growing field of pharmacogenomics, and to listen to patients and their experiences. During the afternoon workshop, the presenters discussed the essential competencies for genetics/genomics, described activities of genomic/genetic nursing integration into nursing, and discussed ways to integrate the competencies into the classroom. All of the sessions yielded active interaction between the audience and presenters, with realistic ideas for application.

The two-and-one-half days of the conference were packed with topics for everyone, including international perspectives of genomics in practice, law and ethics, public policy, clinical application of a variety of genetic disorders/diseases, as well as concurrent sessions on specific areas of interest in education, practice, and research. Posters were available during the breaks for participants to peruse and interact with the authors.

Part of ISONG’s initiative of the year is to promote the use and integration of the Essential Nursing Competencies and Curricula Guidelines for Genetics and Genomics. All participants were encouraged to take the competencies home and use and share them.

A particular highlight was the session by Dr. Francis Collins. His down-to-earth, practical approach was interesting and entertaining. He was willing to have his picture taken with some of the participants and sign his book, The Language of God. Discussion of his retirement from his position at the Human Genome Project brought sighs of regret from the audience but with an understanding of his need for “a new phase.”

Another highlight was organization of ISONG’s new Oncology Special Interest Group. Priorities for 2008–2009 were identified. Most of the members are also part of ONS, and all agreed to make incorporation of the Essential Nursing Competencies on Genetics and Genomics into oncology the first priority. If anyone is interested in working on a dynamic project, this could be the one! Contact Julie Eggert for more information.

To recap the meeting succinctly: It was awesome! Many of the participants agreed that it was the best ever and are looking forward to this year’s meeting, which will be held October 16–19 at The Catamaran Resort and Spa in San Diego, CA. I hope to see you there!

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2009

Editor's Note
Cancer Genetics SIG Seeks New Editor

Millie Arnold, RN, OCN®, CCRC
Mesquite, TX

“The best way to learn is to get involved” has been my personal life motto that has never failed. As a mom, grandmother, oncology nurse, and church member, I have volunteered for a variety of community and national organizations ranging from ONS to the Boy Scouts of America. Each volunteer opportunity has provided a new learning experience and a unique opportunity to meet interesting, intelligent individuals who are professional mentors, resources, and friends.

Since 2007, I have volunteered as the Cancer Genetics SIG virtual newsletter editor. I appeal to anyone who is interested in becoming the 2009 newsletter editor for the SIG. Serving as editor provides a great opportunity to share ideas and meet oncology nurses across the country. This position is neither time consuming nor difficult. It consists of coordinating the newsletter content three times a year and working with a fabulous group of nurses who are phenomenal genetic resources. It is a good entry-level position to become active in your SIG. The position provides a mentorship opportunity to learn more about cancer genetics that encompasses a variety of oncology specialties. Please e-mail me for further information.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2009

Surgeon Generalís New Family Health History Tool Released

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released an updated and improved version of the Surgeon General’s Internet-based family health history tool. The new tool makes it easier for consumers to assemble and share family health history information. It can also help practitioners make better use of health history information so they can provide more informed and personalized care for their patients.

“Family history has always been an important part of good health care, but it has been underused,” said Acting Surgeon General Steven Galson, a rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service. “Today, with our growing knowledge of genetics, family history is becoming even more important. The new tool will help consumers and clinicians alike. It will also serve as a platform for developing new risk assessment software that will help in screening and prevention of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.”

The following are key features of the new version of the Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait.

  • Convenience: Consumers can access the tool easily on the Web. Completing the family health history profile typically takes 15–20 minutes. Consumers should not have to keep filling out different health history forms for different practitioners. Information is easily updated or amended.
  • Consumer control and privacy: The family health history tool gives consumers access to software that builds a family health tree. But the personal information entered during the use of the tool is not kept by a government or other site. Consumers download their information to their own computer. From there, they have control over how the information is used.
  • Sharing: Because the information is in electronic form, it can be easily shared with relatives or with practitioners. Relatives can add to the information, and a special reindexing feature helps relatives easily start their own history based on data in a history they received. Practitioners can help consumers understand and use their information.
  • Electronic health record-ready, decision support-ready: Because the new tool is based on commonly used standards, the information it generates is ready for use in electronic health records and personal health records. It can be used in developing clinical decision software, which helps the practitioner understand and make the most use of family health information.
  • Personalization of care: Family history information can help alert practitioners and patients to patient-specific susceptibilities.
  • Downloadable and customizable: The code for the new tool is openly available for others to adopt. Health organizations are invited to download and customize, using the tool under their own brand and adding features that serve their needs. Developers may also use the code to create new risk assessment software tools.
The Surgeon General’s new My Family Health Portrait tool is located at https://familyhistory.hhs.gov. In addition, a presentation of sample risk assessment tools under development can be viewed at http://videocast.nih.gov/summary.asp?live=7297.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2009

ONS Connect Launches New Blog to Continue the Conversation

Join the online conversation as ONS Connect’s new blog, RE:Connect, brings together a diverse group of oncology nurses talking about life at work and at home.

When ONS’s monthly news magazine, ONS Connect, was redesigned in 2007, one intent was to address the interests of those new to the field and provide quick news and information to busy professionals. RE:Connect offers an extension of these goals by establishing an online community for readers to talk about issues and share experiences that they deal with on a daily basis. The RE:Connect blog was launched in November in conjunction with ONS’s annual Institutes of Learning and Advanced Practice Nursing Conference.

Five ONS members have been tapped to initiate the dialogue by posting to the blog on a regular basis.

  • Erin Elphee, RN, MN, CON(C), primary clinic nurse for Lymphoma and Malignant Hematology Disease Site Groups at CancerCare Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada
  • Kimberly George, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, OCN®, adult health clinical nurse specialist in Wichita Falls, TX
  • Jeanine Gordon, RN, MSN, OCN®, clinical nurse specialist/nurse manager from Brooklyn, NY
  • Jennifer K. Mitchell, MSN, APN-BC, GNP-BC, nurse practitioner with the Hematology and Stem Cell Transplant Service at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN
  • Kari Wujcik, nursing student at Belmont University and a nurse extern in the pediatric intensive care and cardiology units at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University

These bloggers will share their thoughts about day-to-day challenges at work, juggling busy lives at home, and keeping up to date with the magnitude of information available for practicing nurses. Readers are encouraged to join in on the conversation and connect with other oncology nurse readers by posting their own stories, tips, ideas, and suggestions in the comments section at the end of each blog post.

Check out RE:Connect today, and share this link with your friends and colleagues!

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2009

Membership Information

SIG Membership Benefits

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Join a Virtual Community

A great way to stay connected to your SIG is to join its Virtual Community. It’s easy to do so. All you will need to do is

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Subscribe to Your SIG’s Virtual Community Discussion Forum
Once you have your log-in credentials, you are ready to subscribe to your SIG’s Virtual Community discussion forum. To do so,

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Participate in Your SIG’s Virtual Community Discussion Forum

  • First, log in. (This allows others to identify you and enables you to receive notification [via e-mail] each time a response or new topic is posted.)
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Sign Up to Receive Your SIG’s Virtual Community Announcements
As an added feature, members also are able to register to receive their SIG’s announcements by e-mail.

  • From your SIG’s Virtual Community page, locate the "Sign Up Here to Receive Your SIG’s Announcements" section.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2009

Cancer Genetics SIG Officers

Coordinator (2008-2010)
Lisa Aiello-Laws, RN, MSN, APNG, AOCNS®
North Cape May, NJ

Ex Officio (2008-2009)
Jennifer T. Loud, RN, CRNP, DNP
Derwood, MD

Millie Arnold, RN, OCN®, CCRC
Mesquite, TX


Julie Eggert, RN, PhD, GNP-C, AOCN®
Greer, SC

Patricia Kelly, RN, MS, CNS, AOCN®
Dallas, TX

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ONS Membership/Leadership Team Contact Information

Angie Stengel, MS, CAE, Director of Membership/Leadership

Diane Scheuring, MBA, CAE, CMP, Manager of Member Services

Carol DeMarco, Membership/Leadership Specialist

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Oncology Nursing Society
125 Enterprise Dr.
Pittsburgh, PA 15275-1214

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