Volume 8, Issue 1, February 2004   
Message From the Coordinator
Ten-Year Reflection

Agnes Masny, RN, MPH, MSN, CRNP
Philadelphia, PA

Here we are in 2004. It is only 10 years after the discovery of the BRCA1 gene. We have come a long way in our knowledge and practice in cancer risk assessment and counseling. Many of our members have been trailblazers in getting us started in cancer genetics. Many have received their credentials as Advanced Practice Nurses in Genetics through the International Society of Nurses in Genetics. Several of our members have gone on to get their doctorate degrees to help all of us explore the impact of genetic information on individuals and their families. Our membership in the SIG continues to grow with nurses committed to learning and advancing the practice in cancer genetics. As you read the achievements of many of our SIG members in their publications, presentations, and awards, remember that this has all been accomplished in 10 years. Just think of where we will be 10 years from now. Congratulations to all the efforts of our Cancer Genetics SIG.


Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2004

Message From the Editor
Celebrating Nurses’ Contributions to Cancer Genetics

Marilyn Kile, RN, MSN, APRN, AOCN®
Kearney, NE

The Internet was developed just prior to the discovery of the BRCA1 gene. Both of these developments have made a significant impact on healthcare. The Internet has made consumers savvy. The amount of information on which healthcare providers must remain current is tremendous. Nursing certainly has stepped up to the plate and embraced the changes that are molding the way we care for our patients. This newsletter recognizes the contributions nurses make to cancer genetics.

We sent out a request, via the Internet, asking members of the Cancer Genetics SIG to share with the group their contributions, and the response has been incredible. There is a considerable amount of work being done in this field by nurses caring for patients with hereditary cancers. You also will find examples of how nurses are mentoring one another in this new and revolutionary field. We also celebrate with nurses who are recognized for their contributions and achievements in cancer genetic nursing.

Ellen Giarrelli, EdD, RN, CRNP, a past-editor of the Cancer Genetics SIG, once wrote in the newsletter, “Let us continue to expand our roles in genetic cancer care. Let us collaborate and make a difference” (1999, p.2). Take a few minutes to read and see how nurses are making this challenge a reality.

Giarelli, E. (1999). Message from the co-editor. Cancer Genetics: Special Interest Group Newsletter, 3(3), 2.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2004

Collegial Encouragement: A Personal Publication Experience

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

Last year Judie Much, RN, APN-C, AOCN®, co-editor of the ONS Cancer Genetics SIG newsletter, distributed a questionnaire to all SIG members asking for volunteers to write articles for the newsletter. It was out of character for me, but I completed the survey and offered to do a short case study article on an unusual hereditary breast cancer syndrome, Cowden Syndrome. A colleague who recently published an article in the American Journal of Nursing prompted me to consider the idea. She knew that I had recently done some research on Cowden Syndrome and had prepared a short presentation for the hospital's Genetics Committee. I already had done most of the background work, so she encouraged me to follow up.

I prepared the article, “Hereditary Breast Cancer Considering Cowden Syndrome, A Case Study,” and e-mailed the copy to Judie. A few days later, I received a call. Judie said that she had reviewed the article and felt that the information was valuable and deserved a wider audience than the Genetics SIG newsletter. She also said that the syndrome descriptions had specific application for a patient that she was seeing that week. Those words were music to my ears. We discussed journals that might be a good fit for a case study format and chose Cancer Nursing. I remember thinking at the time that Judie was the ultimate professional. She was playing the role of mentor and encourager. The easier option would have been to simply accept the article for the Cancer Genetics SIG Newsletter.

I wrote the article again to match the manuscript guidelines for the chosen journal, Cancer Nursing. I asked another SIG member and genetics expert, Agnes Masny, MPH, MSN, CRNP, to review the article for content and suggestions. Agnes encouraged me to pursue publication.

Over the next year, I found myself writing, re-writing, and seeking permission to reproduce several graphs and a photograph. I wondered if I was doing this work for naught, as I had never been officially told that the article had been accepted for publication. Another friend, colleague, and former associate editor for the American Journal of Nursing, Elizabeth Winslow, PhD, RN, FAAN, encouraged me to be persistent in the process.

One year and two months later, the manuscript was accepted for publication, “Hereditary Breast Cancer Considering Cowden Syndrome” (2003). The author is listed as Patricia Kelly, RN, MS, AOCN®, but I know that this article would not have been possible without the encouragement and mentoring from fellow nurses. My hope for 2004 is that ONS Genetics SIG members will submit articles for the newsletter and for publication in professional journals and most importantly, that Cancer Genetics SIG members will encourage one another in the process.

Kelly, P. (2003). Hereditary breast cancer considering Cowden Syndrome. Cancer Nursing, 26, 370–375.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2004

News From The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

Jean Jenkins, PhD, RN, FAAN
Bethesda, MD

Unanimous vote passes S. 1053 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:s.01053:
On October 14, the U.S. Senate passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2003 (S. 1053) by a vote of 95-0. This is the first time the Senate has passed a bipartisan genetic nondiscrimination bill. The bill represents more than a year of negotiation between the two parties. It would prevent health insurers and employers from using genetic information to determine eligibility, set premiums, or hire and fire people. This issue continues to be a major concern for consumers considering genetic services. It is now left to the House to pass the bill, which is not expected to occur until 2005. If passed, the President has said he would sign the bill. NHGRI has been working on the issue of genetic discrimination since 1995.

NHGRI Funds Next Generation Of Large-Scale Sequencing Centers
NHGRI announced the selection of five centers to carry out a new generation of large-scale sequencing projects designed to maximize the promise of the Human Genome Project and dramatically expand our understanding of human health and disease (see www.genome.gov/11508922).

Over the next three years, the five centers in NHGRI’s Large-Scale Sequencing Research Network will use high-throughput, robotic technologies to sequence a strategic set of animal genomes totaling as much as 54 billion base pairs or the equivalent of 18 human genomes. These centers will make up the NHGRI Large-Scale Sequencing Research Network, with their primary mission being to produce a publicly available resource of high-quality assembled genome sequences that researchers can use to address human biology and human health. By comparing genome sequences from carefully chosen organisms, scientists are able to identify specific DNA sequences that have been conserved throughout the evolution of different species, which is a strong indicator that these sequences reflect functionally important regions of the genome. For instance, conserved sequences may be involved in turning genes on and off during development and in regulating how much protein a gene produces in various types of cells. Another important goal of the large-scale sequencing program is to develop significant improvements in sequencing efficiency and costs so that sequencing will remain a cutting-edge technology for modern biology.

Beyond Genes: Scientists Venture Deeper Into the Human Genome
NHGRI announced the first grants in a three-year, $36 million scientific reconnaissance mission aimed at discovering all parts of the human genome that are crucial to biological function. “The ultimate goal of the ENCODE project is to create a reference work that will help researchers fully utilize the human sequence to gain a deeper understanding of human biology, as well as to develop new strategies for preventing and treating disease,” said Elise A. Feingold, PhD, the NHGRI program director in charge of the ENCODE project.

An international consortium made up of scientists in government, industry, and academia will carry out the new effort, which is called the ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements (ENCODE). A major aspect of this initiative is a three-year pilot project in which research groups will work cooperatively to test efficient, high-throughput methods for identifying, locating, and fully analyzing all of the functional elements contained in a set of DNA target regions that cover approximately 30 megabases, or about 1%, of the human genome. If the pilot effort proves successful, the project will be expanded to cover the entire genome. For more information about NHGRI’s ENCODE project and recent grant recipients, go to www.genome.gov/ENCODE/.

Recent Articles From the National Human Genome Research Institute
(see www.genome.gov/10506216 to download pdfs of the articles)

  • “Genomics: The Coming Revolution in Medicine” from Global Agenda
  • “The Molecular Biology Database Collection: 2003 Update” in the January issue of Nucleic Acids Research
  • “Race and Genomics: A Challenge to Medical Educators,” a Viewpoint piece in the April 2003 AAMC Reporter
New Book on Genomic Medicine
Johns Hopkins University Press will soon publish a book closely based on the series that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine over the past year. The book, “Genomic Medicine,” should be available in bookstores in February or March.

NCHPEG/GROW Seventh Annual Meeting
Please review the agenda for the annual meeting for NCHPEG by visiting www.nchpeg.org. NCHPEG is looking for genetics programs to review. Have you seen or developed an educational genetic program that we should know about? See the Web site for the NCHPEG Educational Program Submission Form. The pilot review of six programs has recently been posted.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2004

SIG Members Receive Awards
Founders Education Award Honoree

The International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) held its conference on November 2-4, at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at the California Plaza in Los Angeles. During the conference, the Founders Education Award was presented to an ISONG member in honor of her excellence in cancer genetic nursing and patient education. This years’ honoree was Jean Jenkins, PhD, RN, FAAN.

Jean is a leader in the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG). She is committed to increasing nursing knowledge in cancer genetics and has published numerous texts and articles related to cancer genetics. SIG membership will recognize Jean as a regular contributor to the Cancer Genetics SIG Newsletter. Congratulations to Jean Jenkins, this year’s recipient of ISONG’s Founders Education Award.

ONS Publication on Cancer Genetics and Risk Assessment Wins First Prize
The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) has awarded “Genetics in Oncology Practice: Cancer Risk Assessment” first prize in the Allied Health category of the 2003 medical books awards competition. Many dedicated SIG members authored this book. Amy Straus Tranin, ARNP, MS, AOCN®, and Jean Jenkins, RN, BS, MSN, PhD, FAAN, and Agnes Masny, RN, MPH, MSN, CRNP, edited the text. The three editors received their award in December 2003 and were featured in the AMWA journal. “Genetics in Oncology Practice: Cancer Risk Assessment” is available by calling the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) toll free at 866-257-4ONS or by logging on to the ONS Web site at www.ons.org. AMWA is a professional organization for writers, editors, and other communicators of biomedical information and currently has 4,700 members in 26 countries. Founded in 1940 by physicians interested in the quality of medical writing and editing, the association’s mission is to promote excellence in writing, editing, and the production of printed and electronic communications.

Doctoral Scholarship Awards
Deborah J. MacDonald, RN, MS, APNG, is the Genetics Associate and Assistant Director of the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical Cancer Genetics Department in Duarte, CA. Deborah was awarded the ONS Foundation’s Thomas Jordan Doctoral Scholarship and the American Cancer Society’s Doctoral Scholarship in cancer nursing. Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology supports the Thomas Jordan Doctoral Scholarship. Deborah is a SIG member and recently completed the 2003 Summer Research Mentorship at UCLA, where she worked under the direction of Linda Sarna, RN, DNSc, FAAN, in the doctoral program to develop a paper for publication. About 100 graduate students were awarded the mentorship, and Deborah was the first and only nurse to receive the award.

Research Grant Received
Carrie Snyder, RN, BSN, OCN®, Genetic Research Nurse and Clinical Coordinator at Creighton University in Omaha, NE, was awarded a research grant from the Department of Defense, U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command. The title of her study is “Effect of Reminder Telephone Calls on Mammography Compliance in High-Risk Women.” The study will begin in early 2004 and is funded for two years in the total amount of $150,000. Carrie responded to a call for grants in the Proposal Category of Clinical Research Nurse Award, which targets nurses who are pursuing advanced degrees. She is currently pursuing her master’s of science degree as a nurse practitioner in community health nursing at Creighton University and will be starting her second year.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2004

SIG Member Publications

Armstrong, K., Weber, B., Stopfer, J., Calzone, K., Putt, M., Coyne, J., et al. (2003). Early use of clinical BRCA1/2 testing: Associations with race and breast cancer risk. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 117A, 154–160.

Cassells, J., Jenkins, J., Gaul, A., Lea, D., Calzone, K., & Johnson, E. (2003). An ethical assessment framework for addressing global genetic issues in clinical practice. Oncology Nursing Forum, 30, 383–390.

Cohn, W.F., Ropka, M.E., Jones, S., & Miesfeldt, S. (2003). Information needs about hereditary cancer among women with early-onset breast cancer. Cancer Detection and Prevention, 27, 345–352.

Coyne, J., Kruus, L., Racioppo, M., Calzone, K., & Armstrong, K. (2003). What do ratings of cancer-specific distress mean among women at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer? American Journal of Medical Genetics, 116A, 222–228.

Domchek, S., Eisen, A., Calzone, K., Stopfer, J., Blackwood, A., & Weber, B. (2003). Application of breast cancer risk prediction models in clinical practice. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 21, 593–601.

Goetsch, C. (2003). Hereditary cancer predisposition. Virginia Mason Bulletin, 57(2), 38–45.

Goulet, M., Ahonen, L., Nagy, R., Sweet, K., Vassy, L., Sickle-Santanello, B., et al. (2003). Novel approach to improved access to cancer genetics services: The Columbus, Ohio solution [Abstract]. American Journal of Human Genetics, 73(5), 406.

Hadley, D., Jenkins, J., Dimond, E., Nakahara, K., Grogan, L., Liewehr, D., et al. (2003). Genetic counseling and testing in families with hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer. Archives of Internal Medicine, 163, 573–582.

Jenkins, J., & Masny, A. (2003). Why should oncology nurses be interested in genetics? Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 7, 576–584. Book excerpt from A. Tranin, A. Masny, & J. Jenkins, (Eds.). (2003). Genetics in oncology practice: Cancer risk assessment. Pittsbugh, PA: Oncology Nursing Society.

Martin, A.M., Kanetsky, P.A., Colligon, T.A., Athanasiadis, G., Shih, H.A., Gerrero, M.R., et al. (2003). Germline TP53 mutations in breast cancer families with multiple primary cancers: Is TP53 a modifier of BRCA1? Journal of Medical Genetics, 40, e34.

Miesfeldt, S., Cohn, W.F., Jones, S.M., Weinstein, J.C., & Ropka, M.E. (2003). Breast cancer survivors’ attitudes about communication of breast cancer risk to their children. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics, 119C, 45-50.

Olsen, S., Feetham, S., Jenkins, J., Lewis, J., Nissly, T., Sigmon, H., et al. (2003). Creating a nursing vision for leadership in genetics. Medsurg Nursing, 12(3), 177–183.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2004

SIG Member Presentations

Cancer Genetics SIG members’ presentations over the previous six months are included in this listing.

Goetsch, C.M. (2003, September). Cancer genetics and your nursing practice. Puget Sound Oncology Nursing Education Cooperative’s Fundamental of Oncology Nursing, biannual education program, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA.

Goetsch, C.M. (2003, September). Overview of hereditary risk in GI and pancreatobiliary cancers. Washington State Medical Oncology Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA.

Goetsch, C.M. (2003, September). Recognizing hereditary cancer risk. Medical Residency Graduate Education Program, Virginia Mason Medical Center (VMMC), Seattle, WA.

Masny, A., & Calzone, K. (2003, November). The impact of the Human Genome Project on the role of oncology nursing. Onocolgy Nursing Society’s Institute of Learning, Philadelphia, PA.

Olsen, S.J., Hughes-Halbert, C., Malvern, K.T., Smith, C., & Griffin, C. (2003). Feasibility study to identify methods for enhancing African American recruitment to an NCI-funded Cancer Genetics Network (CGN). Accepted for poster presentation at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, Los Angeles, CA.

Ropka, M.E. (2003, November). Psychological factors and genetic testing for hereditary breast, ovarian, and colon cancers: What are we measuring? Poster presentation at the 8th International Meeting on Psycho-social Aspects of Hereditary Cancer, Barcelona, Spain.

Ropka, M.E. (2003, September). A qualitative systematic review of decisions related to cancer genetic counseling and/or testing (CGC/T): Research peaks and valleys. Poster presentation at the 2nd International Shared Decision Making Conference, University of Wales Swansea, United Kingdom.

Ropka, M.E. (2003, July). Genetic health: Decision making by individuals and families dealing with the health threat of hereditary cancer. A challenge for cancer control. Oral presentation at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2004

Conference Updates and Scheduled Programs

Short Course for Cancer Genetics

ONS recently held its third cancer genetics “short course” in Philadelphia from November 9–11. This course was made possible through the vision and persistence of several members of the Cancer Genetics SIG. Modeled after ONS’s successful chemotherapy course, this “train-the-trainer” program is in its second year of funding through a grant from the National Cancer Institute.

The participants are advanced practice oncology nurses who have a minimum of a master’s degree in nursing. The focus of the intensive three-day program is to provide advanced practice nurses with sufficient background information on basic and cancer genetics to meet competency criteria to help increase genetics knowledge for other oncology nurses. Course content includes structure of DNA, protein synthesis, gene expression, mechanisms and consequences of DNA mutations, patterns of inheritance, variation in gene expression, pedigree construction/analysis, genetic basis for cancer development, hereditary predisposition, genetic testing, genetic counseling issues, and referral guidelines. Participants engage in study pre-work before coming to the short course and must pass a competency examination to serve as a presenter for cancer genetic workshops. Short course faculty includes two genetic counselors, a director of a genetics laboratory, and a nurse biologist. Two faculty members are long-time ONS members.

Selection as a course participant is a competitive process. At the present time, 99 advanced practice oncology nurses have participated in the short course. Although most participants are from the United States, some have come from as far away as Singapore, Israel, and Canada. A minimum of 11 more short courses will be offered from now until June 2007. For more information about future short course offerings, go to the ONS Web site, click on the “Education” heading, select “Nursing Education,” and click on “Cancer Genetics Short Course for Cancer Nurses.”

Cancer Genetics SIG Dinner Meeting
Looking Ahead to ONS Congress

If you are planning to come to Anaheim, CA, for the ONS 2004 Congress, please join us for our Cancer Genetics SIG meeting. We are planning a special dinner meeting that will include our business meeting and cancer genetic topic presentations. Look for a future e-mail correspondence with the details of time, place, and content for the presentations. If you would like to help with the planning for the SIG dinner meeting, please e-mail Agnes Masny, RN, MPH, MSN, CRNP, newsletter coordinator, at AC_Masny@fccc.edu.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2004

Practice Corner

In the October 2003 issue of the Cancer Genetics SIG Newsletter, the following case study was presented. The study is restated, and reader feedback and actual case results are provided.

Case Study
A woman in her 20s presents for education and counseling for genetic testing at the advice of her medical oncologist. She has had surgery for an abdominal carcinomatosis. The operative report states that there is involvement of the colon and the ovaries, but because it is very poorly differentiated, it is uncertain if it is a colon primary with extension to the ovaries or an ovarian primary with extension to the colon. Chemotherapy recommendations will depend on whether it is an ovarian or colon primary. The consulting oncologist has asked to have BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 testing as well as HNPCC testing to see if there is a genetic mutation. The client is adopted and has no way of obtaining biologic family information. She is a high school graduate with some college courses, has had several jobs since high school and has spent some time in third-world countries. There is no known hazardous material exposure.

The following is a list of questions for your consideration.
Is this an appropriate referral?
Are there any ethical considerations?
How would you counsel and educate her?

Judith Much, RN, APN-C, AOCN®
Ottsville, PA

In order to answer the questions posed in the Practice Corner, one must first determine if there is sufficient information provided in the case.

To make the judgment about the appropriateness of the referral, one needs additional information. Additional patient history information might provide clues about the primary cancer as well as the management. For example, did the patient have any anemia or blood in the stools (either occult or frank) that might point to a colon primary? What is the histology on the pathology report (i.e., is it a poorly differentiated)? Was there a lesion in her colon? Is it apparent that the appendix is affected? Did she have a colon resection? Has she had a total workup? What is her CA-125? Does she have metastatic disease? Does she have children? Do we know anything about her ancestry/ethnicity?

I am reluctant to pursue genetic testing to determine the primary cancer site or for treatment choice. Clinical evidence is not sufficient to utilize genetic testing for treatment decisions. Suppose the patient could not afford the tests, how would she be treated and with what chemotherapy drugs? I usually ask myself, “does this test answer the ‘so what?’ question?” Full sequencing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 is obviously expensive, and in the absence of an affected relative, it is likely to be uninformative. However, given the fact that we have a female in her 20s with carcinomatosis, it is not completely unreasonable to pursue BRCA 1/2 testing. If there is a colon lesion, microsatellite instability (MSI) testing can be performed on the lesion. Again, there can be false negatives. It is also very unusual to have a colon cancer present as carcinomatosis in the absence of a primary lesion unless the primary is appendiceal and the disease has ruptured through the appendix. If there is metastatic disease, one needs to consider the possible benefits of testing. Neither metastatic colon nor ovarian cancer can be cured. If she has no children, who will benefit from the information? Certainly it will not help the patient, and because she has no knowledge of her biological family, it cannot be helpful to them.

In short, I do not believe there is sufficient information given to make a statement about whether the referral is “appropriate.” Given the fact that the patient is in her 20s, the 2003 ASCO Guidelines give the provider the latitude to use clinical judgment regarding whether or not to do the test. This should be done after all of the information has been gathered and in the event that the patient and the clinician feel there will be benefit from it.

The ethical considerations are dependent on whether the patient wants the referral, has a good understanding of the issues, and gives informed consent for testing, if needed. The nurse must assure that the decision is an informed one. This requires education of the patient regarding the nature of the information to be gained, the limitations of the testing process, and the processes in place to protect her privacy. Genetic testing information would possibly give her information about her birth parents. Information regarding the importance of her results for the children (if any) also must be addressed, as well as the potential for discrimination with insurances and employment.

In the near future, it is much easier to see how “chip” technology might be used to determine the genetic fingerprint of the patient’s particular cancer. This can provide insight into the specific chemotherapy regimens that might be effective in her disease. Although not a test for an inherited mutation, this type of genetic testing can be very helpful for the patient and will require all nurses to have knowledge of the technology and its benefits and limitations in order to help patients understand the information gleaned from the test.

Case Study Result
The proband and her mother met with a nurse educator and genetic counselor. Basic education was provided. This included a discussion of the function of DNA, the difference between sporadic and hereditary cancers, common cancer syndromes, pros and cons of genetic testing, the possible results of genetic testing, and the possibility of discrimination because of genetic testing. The proband was adopted, and no information was available about her biological family, so a pedigree could not be constructed.

The proband’s oncologist was quite insistent about needing this information to continue treatment, and the mother and proband agreed with this approach. MSI testing was recommended but never completed because of time necessary to obtain pathology material from another institution and the need to begin adjuvant chemotherapy. During the educational process, there was an opportunity to clarify the information that testing could provide for the proband. Insurance coverage was granted, consent was signed, and blood samples were submitted for analysis.
Results were received and communicated to the proband and her mother. The results of BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing were negative, and a variant of uncertain clinical significance was detected in MSH2. MLH1 had no detectable mutations. Results also were shared with the treating oncologist.

The good news is the patient tolerated chemotherapy well and currently has no evidence of disease.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2004

Welcome New Members

Margaret Hamilton, RN, BSN, Phoenix, AZ
Lindsay Gaido, RN, Austin, TX
Tinanmarie Bauman, RN, MSN, Naperville, IL
Nancy Williams, RN, Nashville, TN
Dawn Betters, BS, Pittsburgh, PA
Melinda Fawbush, MSN, ARNP, Jacksonville, FL
Kelly Smith, RN, MSN, OCN®, Grand Junction, MI
Shirley Veilleux, RN OCN®, Greenville, NC
Nancy White, RN, BSN, MS, AOCN®, Kalamazoo, MI
Marianna Dygan, RN, ND, OCN®, Warren, PA
Laurie DeDecker, Hastings, MI
Maria Katapodi, RN, BSN, San Francisco, CA
Erika Maria Santos, RN, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Florence Basford, RN, BSN, Searsport, ME
Nancy Cameron, RN, OCN®, Southern Pines, NC
Cynthia Lane, RN, BSN, San Antonio,TX
Kathryn Christiansen, RN, BSN, OCN®, Omaha, NE
Lynne McKinnon, RN, BSN, Brockton, MA
David Shaw, RN, Visalia, CA
Duveen Sturgeon, Nashville, TN

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2004

Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing Seeks Peer Reviewers

Do you enjoy reading about recent advances in oncology nursing? Do you like to evaluate new symptom management approaches? Do you want to help select the articles published in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing (CJON)? If so, consider applying to become a CJON reviewer. For an application or more information, e-mail vikki@ons.org or apply online in the CJON area of the ONS Web site.

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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2004

Membership Information

SIG Membership Benefits

  • Network with colleagues in an identified subspecialty area around the country.
  • Contribute articles for your SIG's newsletter.
  • Participate in discussions with other SIG members.
  • Contribute to the future path of the SIG.
  • Share your expertise.
  • Support and/or mentor a colleague.
  • Receive information about the latest advancements in treatments, clinical trials, etc. Participate in ONS leadership by running for SIG Coordinator-Elect or join SIG work groups. Acquire information with a click of a mouse: sig.ons.wego.net/?v2_group=0&p=4918
    • Educational opportunities for your subspecialty
    • Education material on practice
    • Calls to action
    • News impacting or affecting your specific SIG
    • Newsletters
    • Communiques
    • Meeting minutes
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
  • Log on to the ONS Web site (www.ons.org).
  • Select "Virtual Communities" from the Quick Links menu.
  • Then, click on "ONS Special Interest Groups Virtual Community" from the Networking Groups menu shown.
  • Now, select "Find a SIG."
  • Locate and click on the name of your SIG from the list of all ONS SIGs displayed.
  • Once the front page of your SIG's Virtual Community appears on screen, select "New User" from the top left. (This allows you to create log-in credentials.)
  • Type in required information into the text fields as prompted.
  • Click "Finish" (at the bottom right of the text fields) when done.

  • Special notices
    • If you already have log-in credentials generated from the ONS Web site, use this information instead attempting to generate new information.
    • If you created log-in credentials for the ONS Web site and wish to have different log-in information, you will not be able to use the same e-mail address to generate your new credentials. Instead, use an alternate e-mail address.
Subscribing to your SIG's Virtual Community Discussion Forum

All members are encouraged to participate in their SIG's discussion forum. This area affords the opportunity for exchange of information between members and non-members on topics specific to all oncology subspecialties. Once you have your log in credentials, you are ready to subscribe to your SIG's Virtual Community discussion forum. To do so
  • Select "Log In," located next to New User and enter your information.
  • Next, click on the Discussion tab on the top right of the title bar.
  • Now, select "Featured Discussion" from the left drop-down menu.
  • Locate and select "Subscribe to Discussion" inside the Featured Discussion section.
  • Go to Subscription Options and select "Options."
  • When you have selected and entered all required criteria, you will receive a confirmation message.
  • Click "Finish."
  • You are now ready to begin participating in your SIG's discussion forum.
To 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.
  • Click on "Discussion" from the top title bar.
  • Select "Featured Discussion" from the left drop-down menu.
  • Click on any posted topic to view contents and post responses.
Signing up to receive your SIG's Virtual Community Announcements

As an added feature, members are also 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. This appears right above the posted announcements section.
  • Select the Click here feature, which will take you to a link to subscribe.
  • Once the For Announcement Subscription Only page appears on screen, select how you wish to receive your announcements:
    • As individual e-mails each time a new announcement is posted
    • One e-mail per day comprised of all new daily announcements posted
    • Opt-out, indicating that you will frequently browse your SIG's Virtual Community page for new postings
  • Enter your e-mail address.
  • Click on "Next Page."
  • Because you have already joined your SIG's Virtual Community, you will receive a security prompt with your registered user name already listed. Enter your password at this prompt and click "Finish."
  • This will bring up a listing of your SIG's posted announcements. Click on "My SIG's Page" to view all postings in their entirety or to conclude the registration process and begin browsing.
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Special Interest Group Newsletter  February 2004

Cancer Genetics SIG Officers

Agnes Masny, RN, MPH, MSN, CRNP
Fox Chase Cancer Center
7701 Burholme Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19111-2412
215-728-2892 (O)
215-728-4061 (fax)

Newsletter Editor
Marilyn Kile, RN, MSN, AOCN®, APRN
Good Samaritan Health Systems Cancer Center
10 E. 31st Street
Kearney, NE 68848-1990
308-865-7199 (O)
308-865-2907 (fax)

Newsletter Co-Editor/Coordinator-Elect
Judie Much, RN, APN-C, AOCN®
9027 Easton Rd.
Ottsville, PA 18942-9653
610-847-5402 (H)
732-235-6925 (O)
732-235-7715 (fax)

Newsletter Co-Editors
Patricia Kelly, RN, MS, AOCN®
9649 Covemeadow Dr.
Dallas, TX 75238-1819
214-345-8324 (O)
214-345-6349 (fax)


Patricia B. Herman, MSN, RN, AOCN®
St. Luke’s Hospital and Health Network
801 Ostrum St.
Bethlehem, PA 18015
610-954-3579 (O)
610-954-3583 (fax)

Deborah MacDonald RN, MS, CS, APNG(c)
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
1500 Duarte Rd
Duarte CA 91010-3012
626-256-6882 (O)

ONS Publishing Division Staff
Lori Wilson, BA
Staff Editor
Business: 412-859-6288


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ONS Membership/Leadership Team Contact Information
Angie Stengel, Director of Membership/Leadership

Diedrea White, Manager Member Relations and Diversity Initiatives

Carol DeMarco, Membership/Leadership Administrative Assistant

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