Communities around the globe recognize August 1 as World Lung Cancer Day—a day to commemorate, educate, and support individuals and families impacted by lung cancer. Today, in its 10th year, World Lung Cancer Day brings new hope to patients with the disease as rapid advancements in diagnostics, genomics, and precision medicine are transforming lung cancer diagnosis and treatment. Cancer programs and practices everywhere are working hard to implement and expand their use of biomarker testing, molecularly targeted therapies, and genetic counseling every day, which means new treatment options and improved outcomes for patients with lung cancer. More than ever before, greater emphasis is placed on reducing the cancer burden by avoiding risk factors, exercising evidence-based prevention strategies, and early detection.
However, despite these incredible strides, World Health Organization estimates show that 2.21 million new lung cancer cases were diagnosed and 1.8 million people died from the disease in 2020 worldwide. In 2022, the American Cancer Society estimates that 236,740 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 130,180 Americans will lose their battle against the disease. Simply, these statistics mean that our work is not done.
As such, ACCC continues to focus its efforts on developing comprehensive resources for multidisciplinary cancer care teams and patient advocates to better support lung cancer treatment. These resources provide a front-row seat to the innovative science and research developments surrounding biomarkers, molecularly targeted therapies, and genomics that are currently underway; best practices and recommendations for improving clinical care and eliminating disparities related to access and treatment of lung cancer; disease-specific case studies; as well as a plethora of other resources like webinars, e-learning opportunities, patient-education materials, workshops, and quality-improvement publications.
ACCC is sharing the latest and greatest in lung cancer diagnostics and therapies through real-world tools and information that care teams can access and implement into their cancer program or practice today. Below are a few highlights from ACCC’s expansive list of lung cancer initiatives:
Stage III/IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
ACCC conducted a national, multi-phase effort to explore care coordination and communication within the multidisciplinary cancer care team. This effort uncovered barriers and developed process improvement plans for cancer programs to support care optimization for patients with Stage III/IV non-small cell lung cancer.
Six cancer programs from a variety of settings and locations across the United States participated in a six-month ACCC quality improvement (QI) initiative, and the results of this project can be reviewed online. Additionally, participate in ACCC’s World Lung Cancer Day LinkedIn Live Event (August 1 at 1:00 PM EST) to learn about the project’s key findings and improvements your cancer program can make for this patient population.
Barriers to using biomarker testing are common; factors, such as insurance coverage, reimbursement, and insufficient protocols, are among the many issues working against widespread implementation of biomarker testing in cancer programs and practices. To help oncology professionals surmount these barriers and enhance their knowledge of biomarkers, ACCC launched the first phase of its BiomarkerLIVE project in April 2019. Building on the project’s success, Phase II helped cancer professionals better understand what is needed to facilitate the integration of precision medicine into everyday oncology practice.
Look for the Biomarker Testing in Practice: Process Improvement Toolkit that examines the four key elements needed to develop a successful precision medicine program, including biomarker testing, as well as the soon-to-be-released Biomarker Discussion Guide.
Early Stage IB/IIIA Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
ACCC is conducting a nationwide initiative across various care settings to provide guidance to multidisciplinary cancer care teams on key issues related to providing optimal care for patients with early stage IB/IIIA non-small cell lung cancer. In part with this initiative, a national survey, released on July 12, 2022, is currently underway which will assess current practice patterns and challenges regarding care delivery and management of this patient population. Survey data will address the potential value of biomarker testing, identify gaps in coordination of care, and highlight effective practices to caring for patients with early stage IB/IIIA non-small cell lung cancer.
Precision Medicine in Lung Cancer
ACCC—and its partners at LUNGevity and the Center for Business Models in Healthcare—are working with three cancer program sites to develop patient and provider interventions to promote biomarker testing for those with lung cancer in underserved communities. Participating cancer program sites will pilot the 4R (right information/care/patient/time) care delivery model that enables patients and care teams to manage timing and sequence of interdependent, time sensitive care with a 4R Care Sequence plan—a one-page, personalized care project plan and roadmap used by the team to plan and deliver care. ACCC has also developed a list of patient-centered resources for those living with lung cancer and will be releasing a helpful guide with tips and talking points for providers to promote clear and consistent communication to patients about biomarker testing.
Read about key insights from this initiative in ACCC’s peer-reviewed journal Oncology Issues:
Then look for comprehensive research outcomes and helpful resources, including an online course on promoting organization health literacy on lung biomarker testing that is scheduled to be released in early 2023.
View a comprehensive list of all ACCC projects dedicated to lung cancer available on our website.
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