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Lung Cancer


Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) is the second most common cancer in both men and women (excluding skin cancer), accounting for about 14 percent of all new cancers. In 2016, the American Cancer Society estimates that the U.S. will see about 224, 390 new cases of lung cancer (117,920 in men and 106,470 in women). In 2013, there were an estimated 415,707 people living with lung and bronchus cancer in the United States. 1

Optimal Care Coordination Model for Lung Cancer Patients on Medicaid

In 2016 the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) launched a three-year initiative to develop an optimal care coordination model to serve Medicaid patients with lung cancer. Through a collaborative approach, the project will focus on building effective partnerships among community organizations, patients, and primary and specialty providers with the goal of providing stakeholders a scalable plan for outreach and treatment that is replicable and sustainable across cancer programs. The work is supported by a three-year grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF).

While developing optimal care coordination models for all populations of cancer patients is challenging, the burden of disease is greatest for Medicaid patients, creating unique care coordination challenges. Studies have shown that patients with lung cancer covered by Medicaid had poorer outcomes, including higher incidence rates, later stage at diagnosis, and poorer survival rates, even after adjustment for stage of diagnoses.

ACCC will develop the Optimal Care Coordination Model to engage ACCC member cancer programs and practices, community health centers, patient advocacy organizations, health system leadership, payers and policymakers, to strengthen lung cancer systems of care and improve outcomes for Medicaid patients by expanding access to and use of care.

Testing and Treating ALK+ Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Advances in diagnostics and treatments for lung cancer have led to the development of targeted therapies for some lung cancer subtypes. Patients with ALK+ non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are appropriate candidates for such targeted therapy. ALK+ NSCLC is rare (40% of NSCLCs are adenocarcinomas and only 5% of these cancers are ALK+). Biomarker testing is needed to identify ALK+ NSCLC patients and to determine the most appropriate plan of care. This can present unique challenges for community-based providers who may only see a few ALK+ NSCLC patients each year.

This ACCC education initiative aims to support community-based practices and programs in the use of molecular testing in caring for patients with ALK+ NSCLC by providing examples of effective practices when diagnosing, testing, and treating this patient population. Learn more.

Molecular Testing in the Community Setting

The evolution of biomarker-driven medicine to diagnose and treat lung cancer continues to play a central role in the delivery of precision medicine for patients. Bio-marker testing provides specific information about a patient’s tumor that can be used in diagnosis, development of a treatment plan, and in following the patient’s progress. ACCC process improvement resources focused on molecular testing in lung cancer include:

  • Learning Labs for Process Improvement. Eight ACCC Cancer Program member institutions participated in these facilitated learning labs, focused on improving molecular testing at the system level. The project identified key areas for improvement and developed potential action items for each.
  • New! A.C.T. (Assess, Change, Test) on Molecular Testing. For this project, ACCC, LUNGevity, CHEST, and CAP have partnered on creating a process improvement toolkit for molecular testing programs for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The toolkit materials are designed to help team members conduct process improvement initiatives for integrating, optimizing, and tracking biomarker testing at their sites. Access these resources and start your own process improvement initiative today by visiting the ACCC e-learning portal. If you have any questions about getting started, please reach out to us at
AAPI White PaperUnderstanding & Improving Lung Cancer Treatment in Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in the Community Setting

This white paper explores the unique challenges facing this growing patient population, including disparity and access issues, communication and cultural barriers, and issues related to lung cancer management and treatment. Plus, practical improvement strategies to help cancer programs meet these challenges and improve patient care.

Lung Cancer Screening

In December 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) grade "B" recommendation for CT screening for high-risk individuals was made final. The USPSTF defines as high-risk factors as:

  • People ages 55-80
  • Those with ≥ 30 pack-year smoking history
  • Current or former smokers who have quit within the past 15 years.

On February 5, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final national coverage determination (NCD) that provides for Medicare coverage of screening lung cancer with low dose computed tomography (LDCT). The coverage was effective immediately.

Many ACCC member programs are interested in developing and/or enhancing their programs for lung cancer screening. ACCC is pleased to partner with the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) on a web section featuring resources on lung cancer screening programs.

Access resources here.

Lung Cancer News

General Lung Cancer News

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Lung Cancer News: Select Clinical Journals

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1 SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Lung and Bronchus Cancer.

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