Spotlight on Research at COPH – Dr. Islam is currently conducting a study that compares treatment preferences of patient groups that have been diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer living in rural and urban areas of Nebraska and South Dakota. Stage IV lung cancers most often affect the elderly. When the disease is advanced, chemotherapy is the main treatment. There are many chemotherapy combinations that are available for the treatment of late-stage lung cancer that have a similar survival effect for the cancer patient but differ in the accompanied side effects.
Dr. Islam’s study examines patient drug choices that have the same survival rate but have different levels of side effects. Knowing the side effects of the different drugs is important for patients and allows both the patient and physician to choose the best treatment plan. During treatment planning, patients often have little guidance regarding treatment choices, possible chemotherapy combinations and possible side effects.
In his study, Dr. Islam will compare the treatment choices and side effect preferences among patient groups and communicate the preferences to the patient’s physicians while evaluating possible changes in clinical practice. The study will provide valuable guidance for physicians in treating late-stage lung cancer patients based on the drug/side effect preferences.
Learn more about the recently awarded study from Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
KM Islam, MD PhD, is an assistant professor in the UNMC COPH Department of Epidemiology.