Message to ITONF Members from ITONF Chair

Dear ITONF members,

On behalf of the entire ITONF steering committee, we would like to thank all those who participated in our Thoracic Oncology Nurse and Allied-Health Workshop held on September 6, 2015 in Denver, Colorado, USA in conjunction with IASLC – 15th World Conference on Lung Cancer. The workshop was well attended and featured internationally recognized world leaders in thoracic oncology nursing. Nurses from around the world attended the workshop, representing Australia, United Kingdom, United States, Israel, Canada, Japan, New Mexico and New Zealand. Rebecca Lehto (USA) delivered the keynote address with the focus topic of Symptom Burden in Lung Cancer. Other topics and invited speakers included:

• Michelle Turner (USA) – Management of toxicity of TKI’s in a nurse practitioner clinic
• Angela Tod (UK) – Update on the positive impact of specialist lung cancer nurses on better patient outcomes
• John McPhelim (UK) – Early detection of lung cancer
• Anne Fraser (NZ) – Lung cancer in vulnerable populations
• Mary Duffy (AUS) – Radiation induced esophagitis and management

On behalf of the entire ITONF, we would like to thank all of the speakers for sharing their time, dedication and expertise. Multiple international collaborations have been both established and strengthened as a result of this workshop, ultimately working toward the goal of providing state-of-the art, high quality nursing care to thoracic oncology patients worldwide. Many members of ITONF were invited speakers in the IASLC-WCLC 2015 program.

The ITONF steering committee held a planning luncheon on Monday, September 6. During this luncheon we welcomed new steering committee members from the United States and Canada: Beth Sandy (USA), Kathleen Gamblin (USA) and Massey Nematollahi (CAN). The positions of Chair and Deputy Chair were transitioned. A big thanks to Beth Imvey (AUS),for serving as chair since the groups formation some 4 years ago and leading the group to its current status in such a short space of time. Mary Hesdorffer (USA), a founding member, stepped down from her position on the steering committee but remains as a active member of ITONF as well as a world authority on mesothelioma.

The ITONF leadership had the opportunity to reflect on the organization’s progress to date and formulate key initiatives for future growth. These initiatives include:

1. Strategic Plan Development
2. Establishment of subcommittees to include: Sponsorship, Communication, Education, Research and Membership.
3. Increasing membership

The ITONF steering committee’s work over the next year will focus on these initiatives and engaging the ITONF membership to play an active role in achieving our goals. As you reflect on your professional area of expertise in thoracic oncology nursing, please consider joining a subcommittee and becoming an active ITONF member. Contact any member of the steering committee with your expression of interest and we will work together to raise awareness of lung cancer and mesothelioma globally and to improve the care our patients receive today and in the future.


Melissa Culligan, RN, BSN, MS (USA)
Chair, International Thoracic Oncology Nurse Forum

Maria Guerin, Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist (UK)
Deputy Chair, International Thoracic Oncology Nurse Forum