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Fall Reflections

Pfalzer, Lucinda (Cindy), PT, PhD, FACSM, FAPTA

doi: 10.1097/01.REO.0000000000000141

Editor of Oncology Rehabilitation and Emeriti Professor, Physical Therapy Department, University of Michigan-Flint, Flint, MI

Correspondence: Lucinda (Cindy) Pfalzer, PT, PhD, FACSM, FAPTA, Physical Therapy Department, 2157 WSW Bldg, University of Michigan-Flint, Flint, MI 48502 (

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Fall makes me think about progress the journal and the Section made in the past year. I reviewed many of the Section's achievements in the July 2018 Editor's Message, now an “Academy,” on behalf of members, patients, and communities we serve. You will see the new academy logo in the January issue. The Academy and the journal have an outstanding record of achievement in a short period of time; however, the groundwork was laid over of a period of years, and we reached a wonderful tipping point. Another achievement to add to all the others is the establishment of the new balance and falls Special Interest group (ONC BF SIG). The SIG Web page URL is, and the SIG is listed on the members' page as well ( The Listserv is available for members to subscribe to via the Listserv page (, and the e-mail address used for the Listserv is If you practice with older cancer survivors, you may find the SIG helpful.

The Oncology Academy will see that oncology clinical specialization become a reality with the first examination offered in March 2019. The significant work to make this happen such as creating the examination, overseeing the application, and examination process is ongoing, and the work on maintenance has begun. Thank you to all the physical therapists (PTs) who served as item writers and those pioneering PTs who applied to take the examination. Good luck and study! To that end, the journal under the leadership of senior editor Mary Fisher, and in partnership with the APTA Learning Center, created a new professional development and continuing education opportunity, “ONC Read” rolled out in August. This effort provides members and nonmembers with the opportunity to earn 2 CEUs for reading a journal article and taking and passing a posttest through the APTA Learning Center. Also, I hope you took advantage of “August EDGE month,” with free access to 28 systematic reviews of about 300 outcome measures published in the journal that provide new and better evidence for practice. Please check out the collections tab to easily locate the EDGE systematic reviews—it may save you some valuable time searching for outcome measures and evidence for practice. For those of you studying for the specialization examination, you will find the collections tab an easy way to pull up a topic for review.

The journal made significant progress, achieving several milestones over the past 4 years to better meet the mission of the journal to publish new knowledge and translate that knowledge to practice and better meet the needs of our readers and Section members. These milestones include, but are not limited to, publication of 28 EDGE systematic reviews of clinical outcome measures and more than 150 research reports, finalizing the infrastructure of the journal and journal home page with the move to a new publisher including a software-based blinded manuscript review process, collections on the home page along with publications ahead-of-print, indexing in OVID, metrics to assess the effect of the journal, podcasts and press releases, a new outstanding manuscript reviewer award, partnering with Oncology Times to share our knowledge with more than 42 000 oncology nurses, physicians, and pharmacists, excellent January special topics issues under the outstanding leadership of our guest editors, joint publication of the Academy's first clinical practice guideline (CPG), moving toward an online journal with move of case reports, clinical conversation, and research round-up columns and CSM research abstracts to ONLINE ONLY publication, and finally, our third reader survey to better meet the mission of the journal and Academy will be sent out in this late fall. For example, “ONC Read” was developed on the basis of member feedback we received on the survey. Please take the time to complete the reader survey. Know that your responses to the reader's survey have informed the direction of the journal and future plans and do not hesitate to contact me with any additional feedback you have for the journal at cpfalzer@umich. The Editorial Board and I look forward to your feedback. Having said that we are on a journey to improve oncologic PT practice. With all our progress I was recently reminded, however, for clinicians the challenges to implement models of care that are more effective and efficient such as prospective surveillance and prehabilitation remain and we need all of the contributions of our PTs and PT assistants to our practice to continue to “Move Forward.”

This issue of the journal has a focus on physical activity and includes 5 original research articles, 4 with a focus on physical activity: “Exercise in African American and White Colorectal Cancer Survivors: A Mixed-Methods Approach,” “Changes in Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior Among Breast Cancer Survivors Undergoing Treatment,” “Translating Research to Practice Using a Team-Based Approach to Cancer Rehabilitation: A Physical Therapy–Based Exercise Program Improves Fatigue and Aerobic Capacity,” and “Cancer Survivors Awaiting Rehabilitation Rarely Meet Recommended Physical Activity Levels: An Observational Study.” The fifth research report addresses a measure for use in head and neck cancer: “The Brief Rehabilitation Assessment for Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer (BRASH): Content and Discriminant Validity.”

A perspective paper is authored by Steve Morris, and he addresses exercise in both, the perspective paper and his President's Perspective column, respectively: “Who Is the Best Exercise Professional to Provide an Exercise Training Program in an Oncology Rehabilitation Setting—It Depends!” and “Exercise as a Standard of Care in Oncology Rehabilitation: Harsh Reality Versus Aspiration.” As in the third issue of 2018 the Online Only publications include a case report addressing exercise, titled “Effects of Preoperative Exercise on Physical Function and Body Composition in Pancreatic Cancer Survivors Receiving Neoadjuvant Therapy: A Case Series”; the Research Round-Up column addresses an import exercise-related topic for breast cancer survivors as it is their leading cause of death, “Breast Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease: Defining the Role of Physical Therapists”; finally, the Clinical Conversation column provides an excellent lead in to the January special issue on PT and rehabilitation of HIV from the HIV SIG, titled, “HIV, Trauma, and Support: Caregiving in the Age of #MeToo.”

Winter is approaching and that means CSM. From the Academy in this issue is your opportunity from some excellent continuing education—the announcement of the preconference courses offered at CSM in 2019. Please review the slate of candidates for Oncology Academy offices in this issue and VOTE. At CSM, it is always great to see so many old and new friends at the Section programming, “Celebration of Life” reception, and Section booth. Swing by the Section booth at CSM and get the current information from the Section and see our journal or visit Wolters Kluwer in the exhibit hall and see our journal at its booth. Interested in submitting a manuscript to the journal, pick up the information on the call for papers postcard or go to the instructions for authors at If you do research or practice in palliative care and hospice, pick up the call for papers for the January 2020 special issue on palliative care and hospice with guest editors Christopher Wilson and Richard Briggs.

Do not forget to check for epubs ahead-of-print on the journal home page or the collections on the home page to speed up your literature searches. Look for the Abstracts of 2019 CSM Research Presentations (Platforms/Posters) as an epub ahead-of-print this fall and consider attending the research platforms at CSM or visit the research posters and speak with the author. Please consider submitting your research and case reports to the journal to continue to move our science and evidence for practice forward. Finally, if you are interested in HIV physical therapy and rehabilitation, look for the next issue in late January 2019 with Mary Lou Galantino and Davis Kietrys as guest editors. Finally, the fall issue as the last issue of the year is where I get the opportunity to give thanks for the hard work and the dedication of the authors, reviewers, Associate Editors, and our publisher. This journal would not exist without your efforts. Thinking of CSM tells me the holidays are around the corner. I hope you all have wonderful holidays.

©2018 (C) Academy of Oncologic Physical Therapy, APTA