Lung cancer is the second-most diagnosed type of cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, claiming nearly 1.8 million lives worldwide in 2020. By mid-2021, an estimated 235,760 new cases and 131,880 deaths from lung cancer were reported in the United States.
August 1 marks World Lung Cancer Day. Cancer therapies have come a long way in recent years. Molecularly targeted therapies based on the expression of specific biomarkers now provide new, optimal treatment options for patients with lung cancer. Such therapies require biomarker testing, through which clinicians can determine whether a person has a biomarker that can be targeted with precision medicine. These therapies are more precise than traditional chemotherapies, and they have fewer harsh side effects. But poor accessibility and high cost can make them out of reach for patients treated in their communities.
ACCC has long been at the forefront of teaching the members of multidisciplinary cancer care teams about how to best implement new and evolving lung cancer therapies into their programs and practices. This guidance has taken the form of focus groups, surveys, research reports, webinars, tools, and other outlets. Our efforts have encouraged and enabled clinicians and their support staff to introduce into their practices more targeted therapies that can provide improved outcomes for their patients.
In 2020, ACCC published a foundational framework for helping community cancer practices and programs improve care coordination for patients on Medicaid who had been diagnosed with lung cancer—the culmination of a three-year effort. The Optimal Care Coordination Model developed during this initiative can help cancer programs objectively assesses how lung cancer care is provided at their institutions, and it provides the scaffolding needed to build quality improvement initiatives that can enhance care coordination for all patients—regardless of insurance status. The solutions produced by this program include an interactive, online evaluation tool, comprehensive report, environmental scan, article, and podcast, among other materials.
Current ACCC projects address the dissemination of best practices, the incorporation of patient feedback into quality improvement initiatives, the education of clinicians about newly approved biomarkers, the availability of molecular testing to patients, and the impact of race-based inequities on patient access to precision therapies.
Below are several ACCC lung cancer projects currently in progress:
Access more of ACCC’s extensive library of materials on lung cancer:
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