ACCC Precision Medicine: Transforming Complex to Clear



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Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the second most diagnosed and the leading cause of cancer-related death, claiming nearly 1.8 million lives1 worldwide in 2020. By mid-2021, an estimated 235,760 new cases and 131,880 deaths from lung cancer have been reported in the United States.2

There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC). NSCLC, a slowly progressing lung cancer with few-to-no symptoms well into the advanced stage, accounts for 80 to 85% of patient diagnoses.3 SCLC, a rapidly growing and spreading cancer, accounts for 10-15% of all lung cancer diagnoses.3

While fragmentation of the healthcare system can impede consistent access to equitable care, gaps in the quality of cancer care delivery persist among certain patient populations due to prevailing social determinants of health4 and contribute to suboptimal outcomes.5-6

Defining Quality Care

ACCC released the findings of a multi-year, national quality care initiative for patients with stage III and stage IV NSCLC. Six ACCC member programs focused on areas most relevant to their practice setting and found ways to incorporate the latest evidence and clinical practice guidelines.
View Quality Improvement Findings

“We have a paradox that with all the advances in research… there is a major gap in applying them to care. The nature of the multidisciplinary team is important and lung cancer is not just the realm of medical oncology—it's the realm of many different disciplines. Our emphasis in this work is uniting the different pieces of lung cancer care… [to find] the best way to care for patients.

David SpiegelDavid Spigel, MD,
Chief Scientific Officer; Director, Lung Cancer Research Program, Tennessee Oncology; Principal Investigator, Sarah Cannon Research Instituteend-quote

Explore this program:

Infographics & Video Summaries
Access new recommendations for defining high-quality care for this patient population through scientific presentations, infographics, and video summaries—broken down by multidisciplinary care team focus.

NSCLC Resource Library
Explore this robust resource bank of curated nationally-available materials to support your NSCLC patients. Filter by target audience (your clinical care team or your patients), cancer stage, or by keyword.

Improving Care Coordination

In order to identify and reduce barriers to care experienced by lung cancer patients covered by Medicaid, ACCC created a model framework to help cancer programs evaluate their current state of care coordination and identify areas of improvement.
Assess Your Cancer Program

“The care coordination tool that ACCC developed [the Model] really helped us formally evaluate our program. We knew that patients diagnosed with lung cancer were getting lost in our system. We had a lot of late-stage lung cancer patients, and we needed to improve our case planning so we could identify those patients sooner."

sherri costa (1)Sherri Costa, MS, RN, AOCNS,
Manager of Cancer Support Services & Quality Improvement Coordinator, Ascension Wheaton Memorial Medical Centerend-quote

Explore this program:

6 Steps to Improve Care Coordination
See how this free, interactive online tool can help evaluate the current state of care coordination for lung cancer patients at your cancer program or practice, and identify focus areas for improvement and next steps.

Access Full Report
To leverage assessment results for the development of quality improvement projects, the Full Report is an ideal starting place. Its 12 Assessmen Areas map more than 100 quality measures for collecting and reporting data.

QI Initiative Participants

Hear how these six ACCC Cancer Program Members identified specific ways to incorporate the latest evidence and clinical practice guidelines ways to improve care for patients with Stage III and IV NSCLC.

Access Full Details

Wendi Waugh, Southern Ohio Medical Center, shares three key elements for quality improvement success.

Digital Tools

Biomarker Testing Implementation Roadmap for Advanced NSCLC
An innovative tool to implement, expand, and sustain biomarker testing for patients with advanced NSCLC.

Biomarker Testing Resource Library
Curated materials to support the implementation of biomarker testing for patients with advanced NSCLC.

NSCLC Resource Library
Filter by target audience (clinical care team or patients), cancer stage, or keyword. Email resources to patients or colleagues with one click!



Optimizing Advanced NSCLC Biomarker Testing, Treatment, and Management
This enduring material was recorded from an interactive, virtual (live) summit to enhance coordination of patient care and gain deeper scientific knowledge, skills, and competence in biomarker testing practices, treatment selection, and management of adverse events in patients with advanced NSCLC. This activity offers up to 4.5 hours of CME/CMLE credit.

Cancer Buzz Podcasts

  • [VIDEO PODCAST] Ep 10: QI for Advanced NSCLC
    Nov 18, 2021

    Hear from Wendi Waugh, Director of Cancer Services, Southern Ohio Medical Center, as she discusses the implementation of a process improvement plan with a focus on enhancing care for patients with advanced NSCLC. 

  • [MINI-PODCAST] Ep 43: Lung Cancer Screening During COVID-19
    Nov 17, 2020

    We take a look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted lung screenings across the country and how oncology teams are adapting their outreach and education to reach as many people as possible.

  • [MINI-PODCAST] Ep 41: Lung Cancer Awareness Month
    Nov 3, 2020

    We mark the beginning of Lung Cancer Awareness Month by looking at the present landscape for the diagnosis and treatment of one of the most common cancers in the world.

  • [PODCAST] Ep 24: Improving Lung Cancer Care
    Jun 10, 2020

    Learn how two cancer programs used a unique quality improvement model to improve care for lung cancer patients who are uninsured or on Medicaid.

Oncology Issues Articles

  • Improving Care for Patients with Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
    Brendon Stiles, MD, et al.
    This ACCC education program shares key highlights from a national survey of thoracic surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists on the barriers that exist in the ideal management of patients with NSCLC.
  • A Framework for Defining High Quality Care for Patients with NSCLC
    Mark A. Socinski, MD, and Leigh M. Boehmer, PharmD, BCOP
    An expert ACCC Steering Committee shares 32 informed treatment and care delivery recommendations for the ideal care of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
  • Improving Care Coordination for Advanced NSCLC
    Michelle Schiller, DO, AP/CP, MGP, et al.
    There remains an overarching need to identify and provide guidance on key issues related to the optimal care of patients with NSCLC across different community cancer programs/settings in the U.S. To address this need, a multiphase project was implemented by ACCC and its partner organizations, with the main goal being to support the optimization of care for patients diagnosed with stage III and IV NSCLC.
  • An Optimal Care Coordination Model for Medicaid Patients with Lung Cancer: Finalization of the Model and Implications for Clinical Practice in the United States
    Randall A. Oyer, MD, et al.
    In this article, the authors discuss revisions to the Optimal Care Coordination Model following beta testing to develop the final version, rationale for significant revisions, and nationwide dissemination of the Model.
  • Improving the Tumor Board Experience: Collaborative Technology Streamlines Multidisciplinary Conference Coordination
    Chryl Corizzo, RN
    In 2018, as St. Tammany Cancer Center worked to continue its American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) accreditation, the cancer center was hosting five monthly conferences: biweekly breast, lung, gastrointestinal conferences, and a general conference.
  • Cancer Crushing Prevention and Early Detection
    By Chuck DeGooyer
    In looking at cancer incidence data, Tri-Cities Cancer Center found that its region was experiencing a higher rate of late-stage lung and colorectal diagnoses than the national average. The cancer center developed a creative and humorous marketing campaign and workplace wellness program to raise awareness and increase screening compliance.
  • Robotic Bronchoscopy
    Amy Hindman
    Early identification, staging, and diagnosis of lung cancer is critical to improving patient outcomes. However, current diagnostic options are limited in accuracy, safety, and invasiveness—only 15 percent of patients with lung cancer are diagnosed at an early stage. Read how Fox Chase Cancer Center has implemented new flexible robotic endoscopic technology to diagnose hard-to-reach lung nodules with greater precision than ever before.

Recent Abstracts


  1. Cancer. World Health Organization. Updated March 3, 2021. Accessed July 7, 2021.
  2. Cancer Facts & Figures 2021. American Cancer Society. Updated 2021. Accessed July 7, 2021.
  3. What Is Lung Cancer? American Cancer Society. Updated October 2019. Accessed July 7, 2021.
  4. Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis. Institute of Medicine. Published September 10, 2013. Accessed July 7, 2021.
  5. Slatore CG, Au DH, Gould MK. An Official American Thoracic Society Systematic Review: Insurance status and disparities in lung cancer practices and outcomes. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010;182(9):1195-1205.
  6. Pezzi TA, Schwartz DL, Pisters KM, et al. Association of Medicaid insurance with survival among patients with small cell lung cancer. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(4):e203277