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2435 Communication That Enables Shared Decision-Making in Myelodysplastic Syndrome Is Suboptimal: Early Results from the Cancer Experience Registry

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 906. Outcomes Research – Myeloid Malignancies: Poster I
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Research, Clinical Research, health outcomes research, patient-reported outcomes, registries
Saturday, December 9, 2023, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM

Melissa F Miller, PhD1*, Kimberly Rogers, PhD2*, Stuart L. Goldberg, MD3, Erica E Fortune4*, Victoria G Morris, PhD1*, Tracey Iraca5* and Claire Saxton, MBA1*

1Cancer Support Community, Washington, DC
2Cancer Support Community, Philadelphia, PA
3Division of Leukemia, The John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack, NJ
4Research Department, Cancer Support Community, Philadelphia, PA
5MDS Foundation, Yardville, NJ

Background: Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) are a heterogeneous group of marrow failure diseases whose prognosis and treatments are guided by marrow morphology, degrees of cytopenias, and genetic changes. Due to the complexity of the disorder, combined with the advanced age and frailty of most patients, conveying crucial information for shared decision-making poses challenges. Despite efforts designed to enhance communication, there is limited understanding of these initiatives’ effectiveness.

Methods: The Cancer Experience Registry® is an ongoing online research study conducted by the Cancer Support Community that seeks to uncover the emotional, physical, practical, and financial impact of cancer from the patient’s perspective. In association with the MDS Foundation, this observational, cross-sectional study enrolls patients with MDS who provide socio-economic and clinical history, supplemented with information related to their MDS diagnosis. Frequencies and descriptive statistics are presented.

Results: Between December 2021 and February 2023, 140 MDS patients joined the registry. By self-report, the study population was 51% female and 91% non-Hispanic white with a median age 61 (range 34-93). Like other cancer disease cohorts in the online registry, the MDS population was highly educated (81% attending college and 31% obtaining advanced degrees). 18% reported gross annual incomes less than $40,000 but 29% reported incomes above $80,000 (with 25% not responding). 70% were retired, 15% were still employed and 11% considered themselves unemployed due to disability.

41% of the patients were newly diagnosed (disease duration less than 1 year) and an additional 19% had MDS for less than 2 years. Interestingly, 24% carried a diagnosis of MDS for more than 6 years (including 11% reporting >10 years duration). 51% were in active treatment, 18% were between therapies, and 26% had never received any MDS-directed therapy. 76% self-reported a primary MDS diagnosis and 7% secondary MDS, with the remainder unsure. 33% of the respondents did not know their WHO morphologic subtype with 13% stating that they were never informed and 16% unsure if they were told this information. Similarly, although the IPSS-R is a critical determinant of prognosis and informs treatment decisions, 23% could not recall this score with 11% stating that they were not told their IPSS-R and 9% not sure if they were informed. Among 118 respondents, only 18% could remember their genetic testing results.

120 participants answered questions regarding whether they received additional assistance with MDS-related information and when this was provided. By patient recall, general information about MDS was provided to 78% at the time of diagnosis and an additional 5% after starting treatment. Help in understanding the WHO subtype and IPSS-R was remembered by 41% and 52%, respectively, at the time of diagnosis, and 8% and 9% after starting treatment. A third could not recall being informed about genetic mutational testing. Information about the possibility of MDS transforming into AML was not recalled by 21%. Information about transfusion support was remembered by 46% at the time of diagnosis and 17% after starting treatment (with 29% stating that they had not received information about transfusions and 8% unable to recall). A discussion about transplant options was remembered by 67%. Although a quarter of patients have never received therapy, 32% stated that they had never had a discussion of treatment options and an additional 6% were unsure if a discussion had occurred. A discussion about specific MDS medications was remembered by 51% at the time of diagnosis and 19% only after the start of therapy, with 30% not recalling any assistance in understanding medication options.

Conclusions: Based on the early results of the Cancer Experience Registry® derived from a cohort of highly educated and motivated MDS patients, it appears that effective communication about MDS and treatment options is suboptimal. A significant proportion of respondents were unable to recall information about their diagnosis critical to informed shared decision-making. Given the complexities of an MDS diagnosis, additional efforts to educate patients are necessary. Patient support organizations, such as the Cancer Support Community and the MDS Foundation, can serve as valuable educational resources.

Disclosures: Miller: Astellas Pharma: Research Funding; BeiGene: Research Funding; Bristol Myers Squibb: Research Funding; Genentech (member of Roche Group): Research Funding; Geron: Research Funding; Gilead Sciences: Research Funding; GlaxoSmithKline: Research Funding; Janssen Pharmaceuticals/Janssen Oncology: Research Funding; Takeda Oncology: Research Funding; Taiho Oncology: Research Funding; Seagen: Research Funding; Pfizer: Research Funding; Novartis: Research Funding; Merck: Research Funding. Goldberg: Novartis Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; COTA, Inc: Current equity holder in private company, Current holder of stock options in a privately-held company. Fortune: Amgen Oncology: Research Funding; AstraZeneca: Research Funding; AbbVie: Research Funding; Astellas Pharma: Research Funding; Bristol Myers Squibb: Research Funding; Genentech: Research Funding; Gilead Sciences: Research Funding; Lilly Oncology: Research Funding; Merck & Co: Research Funding; Sanofi: Research Funding; Servier: Research Funding; Sumimoto: Research Funding; Dainippon Pharma Co: Research Funding; Takeda Oncology: Research Funding. Saxton: Bristol Myers Squibb: Research Funding; Blue Note Therapeutics: Research Funding.

*signifies non-member of ASH