Researchers have made great strides in identifying mutations that drive uncontrolled cellular growth and, ultimately, cancer. There remains a well-recognized disconnect, however, between guideline-concordant testing and real-word clinical practice. Medically underserved populations in particular face significant challenges to accessing the latest advances in cancer diagnostics.
For example, a 2019 National Cancer Institute study found that, in 2013 and 2014, of 83,000 women from large cancer registries in California and Georgia, only about 25% of those with breast cancer and 33% of those with ovarian cancer were tested for known harmful genetic variants. While large racial and socioeconomic disparities in testing rates were not observed among patients with breast cancer, among patients with ovarian cancer, testing rates were far lower for Black patients than White patients (22% vs. 34%) and for uninsured patients than insured patients (21% vs. 35%).
In response to these disparities, some oncology practices have developed innovations to remove barriers to widespread biomarker testing. One such solution is for cancer programs to designate a “precision medicine steward”—a navigation lead that serves as the point person for removing barriers to testing so all eligible patients are appropriately tested.
This program will highlight effective Precision Medicine Steward programs, evaluate challenges and explore best practices while defining the unique responsibilities of the steward role. This program will demonstrate the utility and feasibility of the steward role as an important member of the multidisciplinary panel within the oncology team.
For more information on this project, please contact the ACCC Provider Education department.
In this video, ACCC members share highlights from their journey to streamline precision medicine testing processes and improve the patient biomarker navigation experience through the addition of precision medicine stewards.
ACCC’s Precision Medicine Stewardship education program brought together experts from oncology programs across the United States for a series of focus groups on the mechanics, advantages, and feasibility of this important role. Learn how these teams have successfully integrated stewardship roles into practice.
As more cancer patients undergo biomarker testing, financial advocates play a key role in ensuring that patients receive the highest quality of care without the added stress of economic hardship. Read ACCC's “A Financial Advocate's Guide to Biomarker Testing” to learn more.
As part of its precision medicine stewardship education program, ACCC recently spoke with Astera Cancer Care in New Jersey about its innovative approach to meet the demands of increased precision medicine testing by creating a centralized molecular processing department. Access this document to learn more about how this model significantly streamlined processes and reduced the amount of time between testing and patient treatment.
This webinar will highlight how community cancer programs are using a new approach to optimize biomarker testing processes through the addition of a precision medicine steward. Precision medicine experts will outline strategies and key metrics that demonstrate how precision medicine stewardship can improve coordination and streamline workflows to ensure timely, equitable testing for patients who may benefit from targeted therapy.
As cancer programs seek new ways to improve coordination of molecular testing, hear how precision medicine stewards can streamline testing processes to improve efficiency and improve the patient experience.
Learn how precision medicine stewards are helping to bridge the gaps and challenges associated with cancer diagnostics and biomarker testing.
ACCC Makes the Case For Precision Medicine Stewardship Through Release of Successful Case Studies From Cancer Programs Nationwide
Association of Community Cancer Centers, Jun 14, 2023
This project is made possible by support from AstraZeneca and Blueprint Medicines.