Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among U.S women.1 Because early disease may be asymptomatic or symptoms may be attributed to other health issues, most ovarian cancers are not identified at an early stage when the disease is most treatable and survival rates are highest.
The majority (85% to 90%) of malignant ovarian cancers are epithelial ovarian carcinomas. Epithelial ovarian carcinomas are classified into different types. Most common among these is the serous type (52%), which can include high-grade and low-grade tumors. Other types of malignant epithelial ovarian cancers include clear cell (6%), mucinous, endometrioid (10%), and mucinous (6%).1
As knowledge of the molecular biology of ovarian cancer grows, molecular biomarker testing has become increasingly important. Recent guideline recommendations call for all women with ovarian cancer to be offered BRCA testing;2 however, it is estimated that only 10 to 32 percent of patients have had such testing performed.3 Identification of BRCA mutations through early testing is critical in ovarian cancer to identify both somatic (acquired mutation) and germline (inherited) BRCA mutations as this information may inform treatment decision-making.
The Barriers to Quality Care in Ovarian Cancer education project will look at coordination and communication within the multidisciplinary cancer care team to help cancer programs and practices better understand existing barriers in care delivery for patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer across different settings of care. Guided by an expert Steering Committee and facilitated by ACCC, three cancer programs will create and pilot process improvement plans that address specific barriers and/or gaps in care for this patient population.