Achieving Precision Care in Gastrointestinal Cancers

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Release Date: February 28, 2018
Expiration Date: February 28, 2019

Program Overview
Treatment selection is largely dependent on the goals of therapy; however, sequencing of standard therapies with newly approved therapies as patients’ progress is a key factor in improving quality of care. The recent approval of new agents and advances in biomarker detection have supported the individualization of treatment and subsequent improvements in survival for patients with gastrointestinal cancers.

As new agents are expected to enter the treatment paradigm in 2017, clinicians will require guidance on how to best integrate these agents and navigate reimbursement and quality requirements of new payment models. Important practice-changing studies reported at ASCO 2017 will also be addressed, with a focus on metastatic colon cancer, unresectable hepatocellular cancer, and gastric/pancreatic cancer.

Target Audience
The primary audiences for this activity are:

  • Community-based oncologists and hematologists; drivers of evidence-based practice changes, treatments, and care planning across multiple tumor types
  • Oncology nurses, advanced practice nurse (APNs), registered nurses (RNs), and nurse practitioners (NPs); primary point persons for patient management and education
  • Oncology, health-system, and managed-care pharmacists; responsible for dispensing cancer therapies, ensuring appropriate use, and including new agents on Formularies
  • Oncology treatment-team members involved in managing patients with cancer and providing supportive services (e.g. financial advocates, nutrition plans, psychological assessment, genetic counseling, and navigation)


 Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO
Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology
 Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine
 Associate Director of Cooperative Groups
 Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
 Northwestern University
 Chicago, IL


Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL. He is also Associate Director of Cooperative Groups at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, at Northwestern University. He is an Attending Physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, a Staff Physician at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, and a Consultant to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Dr. Benson earned his medical degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo, then completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals in Madison, WI. He was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Illinois and Co-medical Director for the National Public Health Service in Champaign, IL. He then served as a Clinical Oncology and Research Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer Center, where he received an American Cancer Society Fellowship Award. 

Dr. Benson is active on numerous professional committees, often serving as an officer. He is a recipient of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Statesman Award (Fellow of ASCO) and has served on a number of committees.  Dr. Benson is on the editorial board of the ASCO Connection, Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Health and Drug Benefits, Personalized Medicine in Oncology, Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research, and Gastrointestinal Cancer Research among others. His most recent national awards include the NCCN Rodger J. Winn award and the ACCC Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Research Award. Dr. Benson’s research is primarily in the areas of gastrointestinal cancer clinical trials, cancer clinical trials, biologic therapies, phase I cancer clinical trials and cancer guideline development.  He has authored or coauthored numerous reports, reviews and book chapters focusing on these topics.  His research in biologics, cancer therapy, and cancer prevention has been awarded funding from a variety of sources including the NIH.

Educational Objectives
At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Incorporate treatment pathways and quality measures to ensure patients with gastrointestinal cancer receive guideline-consistent care
  • Evaluate the sequential and combination administration of immune checkpoint inhibitors to optimize survival in patients with gastrointestinal cancer
  • Discuss current recommendations for diagnostic testing for gastrointestinal cancer to facilitate treatment selection
  • Assess the safety and efficacy of currently approved and emerging agents for primary and subsequent management of gastrointestinal cancer with attention to cost/benefit and toxicity considerations
  • Employ resources to increase patient access and engagement

Physician Accreditation
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Potomac Center for Medical Education and Rockpointe Oncology. The Potomac Center for Medical Education is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Physician Credit Designation
The Potomac Center for Medical Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM.  Physicians should claim only the credits commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Pharmacist Accreditation
The Potomac Center for Medical Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.


Pharmacist Designation
Total number of CE credits made available at this conference is 1.25 hours (0.125 CEUs).

UAN: 0418-9999-18-203-H04-P

A statement of credit will be issued only upon receipt of a completed activity evaluation.

This is an application-based activity.

For questions regarding CME/CE credit, the post-test, evaluation, please email

Joint Accreditation Statement
In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine, the Potomac Center for Medical Education, and Rockpointe Oncology.  Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Continuing Nursing Education
The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is 1.2 contact hours. Designated for 0.9 contact hours of pharmacotherapy credit for Advance Practice Registered Nurses.

Disclosure Information
The Potomac Center for Medical Education (PCME) adheres to the policies and guidelines, including the Standards for Commercial Support, set forth to providers by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and all other professional organizations, as applicable, stating those activities where continuing education credits are awarded must be balanced, independent, objective, and scientifically rigorous.

All persons in a position to control the content of a continuing medical education program provided by PCME are required to disclose any relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest to PCME as well as to learners. All conflicts of interest are identified and resolved by PCME in accordance with the Standards for Commercial Support in advance of delivery of the activity to learners.

The content of this activity was vetted by an external reviewer to assure objectivity and that the activity is free of commercial bias.

Faculty Disclosures
The faculty and steering committee reported the following relevant financial relationships that they or their spouse/partner have with commercial interests:

Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO: Consultant: Genentech/ Roche, Sanofi, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck Serono, Merck/Schering Plough, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Lilly/ImClone, Celgene, Genomic Health, Vicus Therapeutics, Pharmacyclics, Precision Therapeutics, Taiho Pharmaceutical, Bayer, Alchemia, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Boehringer Ingelheim, Astellas Pharma, EMD Sorono; Grant/Research Support: Genentech

Non-faculty Disclosures
Non-faculty content contributors and/or reviewers reported the following relevant financial relationships that they or their spouse/partner have with commercial interests:

Chad Williamson, MS, MBA, CMPP; Shawna Graves, PhD; Blair St. Amand; Judi Smelker-Mitchek, RN, MSN, MBA; Trace Hutchinson, PharmD; Samantha Mattiucci, PharmD, CHCP; Jan Shultz, MSN, FACEHP, RN, CHCP; Lindsay Scott, PT, DPT, ATC: Nothing to disclose

Gary I. Cohen, MD: Speaker’s Bureau: Genzyme, NantHealth; Shareholder: Celgene

Alex Ganetsky, PharmD: Honoraria/Advisory Board: Jazz; Speaker’s Bureau: Amgen, Incyte

FDA Disclosure
The content of some CME/CE activities may contain discussions of non-approved or off-label uses of some agents mentioned. Please consult the prescribing information for full disclosure of approved uses.

System Requirements
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Instructions for Participants and Obtaining CME/CE Credit
There is no fee for this activity. To receive credit, participants must take the pre-test, view this CME/CE activity in its entirety, and then complete the post-test, with a score of 75% or better, and evaluation. The estimated time for completion of this activity is 1.25 hours. To receive their certificates, participants must demonstrate mastery of the presented material via the post-test.  Participant is allowed to take the post-test multiple times.

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Jointly provided by Potomac Center for Medical Education, Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and Rockpointe Oncology


This activity is supported by independent educational grants from AstraZeneca, Genentech, Lilly, and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. For further information concerning Lilly grant funding visit