Patient-centered innovations, education, and technology for cancer care, cancer survivorship, and cancer research
Editor-in-Chief: Deborah Vollmer Dahlke, DrPH
Deborah Vollmer Dahlke, DrPH
JMIR Cancer (JC) is a Pubmed- and ESCI-indexed, peer-reviewed journal with a focus on education, innovation and technology in cancer care, cancer survivorship and cancer research, as well as in participatory and patient-centred approaches. This journal also includes research on non-Internet approaches to improve cancer care and cancer research.
We invite submissions of original research, viewpoints, reviews, tutorials, case studies, and non-conventional articles (e.g. open patient education material and software resources that are not yet evaluated but free for others to use/implement).
In our "Patients' Corner", we invite patients and survivors to submit short essays and viewpoints on all aspects of cancer, but in particular suggestions on how to improve the health care system, and suggestions for new technologies, applications and approaches (this section has no article processing fees).
JC is open access and all articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution license. JC has been accepted for indexing in PubMed Central and PubMed, Scopus, and the Emerging Sources Citation Index (Clarivate).
In case of acceptance, an Article Processing Fee will be charged to cover copyediting and typesetting costs (see fee schedule).
Cancer is one of the predominant causes of morbidity and mortality in older adult populations worldwide. Among a range of barriers, comorbidity particularly poses a clinical challenge in cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment owing to its heterogeneous nature. While accurate comorbidity assessments and appropriate treatment administration can result in better patient outcomes, evidence related to older adult cancer populations is limited as these individuals are often excluded from regular clinical trials due to age and comorbid conditions.
Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is used to evaluate the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. In a long-term therapy setting, HRQoL can be used as an important benchmark for treatment success. With the help of digital apps, HRQoL monitoring can be extended to more remote areas and be administered on a more frequent basis.
Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. Tobacco smoking, including secondhand smoking, causes cancer and is responsible for over 22% of global cancer deaths. The adverse impacts of secondhand smoke are more pronounced for expectant mothers, and can deteriorate both mothers’ and infants’ health and well-being. Research suggests that secondhand smoke significantly increases expectant mothers’ risk of miscarriage, cancer, and other chronic disease conditions, and exposes their unborn babies to an increased likelihood of having life-long poor health. In China, a pregnant woman’s family members, such as her husband, parents, or in-laws, are the most likely people to be smoking around her. Due to traditional Chinese cultural practices, even though some expectant mothers understand the harm of secondhand smoke, they may be reluctant to report their family members’ smoking behaviors. Resulting in severe underreporting, this compromises health experts’ ability to understand the severity of the issue. This paper proposes a novel approach to measure secondhand smoke exposure of pregnant women in the Chinese context. The proposed system could act as a stepping stone that inspires creative methods to help researchers more accurately measure secondhand smoking rates of expectant mothers in China. This, in turn, could help health experts better establish cancer control measures for expectant mothers and decrease their cancer risk.
With the increasing number of older cancer survivors, it is imperative to optimize the reach of interventions that promote healthy lifestyles. Web-based delivery holds promise for increasing the reach of such interventions with the rapid increase in internet use among older adults. However, few studies have explored the views of middle-aged and older cancer survivors on this approach and potential variations in these views by gender or rural and urban residence.
As the number of cancer survivors is increasing, it is important to be able to offer exercise and physical activity (PA)–promoting interventions that are both effective and reasonably accessible. Internet-based interventions are typically less expensive and more accessible alternatives to on-site supervised interventions. Currently, little is known about the characteristics of nonparticipants in PA promotion trials in the cancer survivorship setting, both in general and specifically in trials using internet-supported interventions.
Racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trials for cancer treatment is essential for the development of treatments that are effective for all patients and for identifying potential differences in toxicity between different demographics. Mining of social media discussions about clinical trials has been used previously to identify patient barriers to enrollment in clinical trials; however, a comprehensive breakdown of sentiments and barriers by various racial and ethnic groups is lacking.
Genetic testing, particularly for BRCA1/2, is increasingly important in prostate cancer (PCa) care, with impact on PCa management and hereditary cancer risk. However, the extent of public awareness and online discourse on social media is unknown, and presents opportunities to identify gaps and enhance population awareness and uptake of advances in PCa precision medicine.
Physical activity (PA) interventions can increase PA and improve well-being among adults affected by cancer; however, most adults do not meet cancer-specific PA recommendations. Lack of time, facility access, and travel distances are barriers to participation in PA interventions. eHealth technologies may address some of these barriers, serving as a viable way to promote PA behavior change in this population. However, no review from July 2018 has synthesized available evidence across eHealth and cancer types or examined the use of behavioral theory and behavior change techniques (BCTs), leaving important gaps in knowledge.
The Patient-Reported Outcomes Version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE) item library covers a wide range of symptoms relevant to oncology care. There is a need to select a subset of items relevant to specific patient populations to enable the implementation of PRO-CTCAE–based symptom monitoring in clinical practice.
Cancer affects individuals, their family members, and friends, and increasingly, some of these individuals are turning to online cancer forums to express their thoughts/feelings and seek support such as asking cancer-related questions. The thoughts/feelings expressed and the support needed from these online forums may differ depending on if (1) an individual has or had cancer or (2) an individual is a family member or friend of an individual who has or had cancer; the language used in posts in these forums may reflect these differences.
eHealth interventions may represent the way forward in following up patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) after hospital discharge to support them in coping with the illness, strengthen their self-management, and increase their quality of life. By involving end users of eHealth in cocreation processes when designing eHealth solutions, an acceptable and relevant product can be secured. Stakeholders’ perspectives could aid in closing the gap between research-developed products and the implementation of eHealth services in real-life scenarios.