August 10 was a beautiful day for a trip to Cannon Falls. All six of our 2017 Sarcoma Scholars and four Boot Camp "Faculty” assembled at the Mayo Clinic in Cannon Falls for an evening of Sarcoma information immersion. After filling their plates with pizza, the scholars sat down to hear four lectures on sarcoma.
Dr. Randy Hurley (HealthPartners- Regions Hospital) led off with a history of early efforts to diagnose and cure sarcoma. He then talked about staging sarcomas and how that differs from other cancers. He finished with information on the pilot project he is leading to educate primary care physicians on diagnosing sarcomas. Presentation: "Overview of the epidemiology, evaluation and staging of soft tissue sarcomas"
Next, Dr. Christian Ogilvie (University of Minnesota) talked about differential diagnosis and the correct approach to the evaluation of a lump or mass and some of the principals of surgery and biopsy.
The presentations continued with Dr. Scott Okuno (Mayo Clinic) who discussed chemotherapy principles, including decisions on whether to use chemo as an adjuvant therapy or at time of recurrence, the use of multiple drugs, side effects and when and how to evaluate response. Presentation: "Chemotherapy Principles Response Evaluation"
Dr. Katherine Dusenbery (University of Minnesota) ended the formal presentations with a discussion of when to use radiotherapy and the most effective ways to use it.
The scholars asked great, probing questions throughout the event. When asked by the Red Flags Committee about their boot camp experience, all of the scholars said that it was a very valuable evening of intense learning and gave them a good foundation for their year of helping to educate medical students and the public about sarcomas. The Scholars have several good ideas for their year, so look for updates on their projects in future posts.
Learn more about the RIS Sarcoma Scholar program.