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CONTACT: ARIANNE NARDO
(319) 356-8981
CONTACT: TOM MOORE
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Release: Aug. 18, 1999

UI Cancer Center to host interactive video conference

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Cancer Center will be a host site for the "Interactive Video Conference for Cancer Care Physicians and Healthcare Professionals," sponsored by the American Joint Committee on Cancer. The event is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 16 from noon - 2 p.m. in the Braley Auditorium, located in the Pomerantz Family Pavilion at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

The conference has a two-part focus: to provide information about cancer staging and to assist physicians in meeting their Approvals Program requirements.

The video conference will be broadcast from Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. It will incorporate a panel discussion, visual presentations and an open dialogue between more than 50 national cancer institutions. The conference is designed to address the purpose and need for TNM staging, a system used to evaluate tumors based on three elements: primary tumors (T), regional nodes (N) and metastasis (M).

On the conference agenda is a tumor board format of common cancer case presentations (breast, colon, prostate, lung), highlighting clinical staging, an overview of general rules and common errors in staging, and cancer prognostic factors.

Carol Scott-Conner, M.D., UI professor and head of surgery, wrote the original slide set used by the Commission on Cancer of the American Cancer Society (ACS) before the video conference was developed. She cited the important role TNM staging plays in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

"TNM staging provides a common language that allows clinicians to exchange information and researchers to accumulate new knowledge," Scott-Conner said. "It is critically important that physicians involved in the care of patients with cancer understand the system and how it applies to those kinds of cancer they treat."

The Commission on Cancer and the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) strongly feel that TNM staging should be done by the treating physician, rather than a pathologist, because additional

information is more readily available to the doctor, according to Scott-Conner. The ACoS is offering two continuing medical education (CME) credits for physicians attending this conference.

All physicians or other health care professionals are welcome. To register or for more information, contact the UI Cancer Information Service at (319) 356-4262 or via email at cancer-information @uiowa.edu. The UI Cancer Center will pay the $25 registration fee for university faculty and staff interested in participating in the video conference.

A fifth edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer's "Cancer Staging Handbook" also is available to registered participants.