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President's Theme 2020-2021

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Randall A. Oyer, MD, was named the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) President for 2020-2021 at the ACCC 46th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit held March 4-6 in Washington, D.C.

ACCC invites each president to select a theme for their year in office that addresses a timely issue in cancer care through the creation of programs and resources. Dr. Oyer announced that the theme of his presidency will be “Community Oncology Can Close the Gap in Cancer Research.”

“Over the past year ACCC has heard from our members that there are gaps in community research,” said Dr. Oyer. Respondents to ACCC’s “2019 Trending Now in Cancer Care Survey” identified their top three challenges to offering patients with cancer clinical trials as staff resources and training (53%), program infrastructure (50%), and lack of patient understanding of the clinical trials process (46%). Citing these survey findings, Dr. Oyer remarked: “We have a serious imbalance in our clinical trials work. Our patients are in the community, yet the trials are at academic medical centers. And I believe that ACCC is uniquely situated to close this gap.”

Among the plans to achieve this goal outlined by Dr. Oyer were the following:

  • Creating a multidisciplinary taskforce to identify staff/program/patient education resources needed to accelerate implementation of clinical trials in ACCC member practices and programs
  • Bringing together experts at the 2020 ACCC Institute for the Future of Oncology forum to share best practices and learn more about challenges and barriers to clinical trials adoption
  • Developing a series of articles, blogs, and podcasts on effective practices in clinical trials accrual and management.

“We would like to improve our care and access for traditionally underserved communities. We would like to increase sensitivity, awareness, and understanding of the needs specific to geriatric oncology. And we would like to bring precision medicine into the community by understanding how to use the new precision diagnostics and radiology techniques to make sure that our patients have access to these services.”

The resources and tools that will be developed in conjunction with Dr. Oyer’s President’s Theme will be posted to this webpage as they are available.

From Oncology Issues

jf21-cover-141x190Community Oncology Can Close the Gap in Cancer Research
By Amanda Patton

Although multidisciplinary cancer care is synonymous with access to cutting-edge treatment options, including clinical trials, improving nationwide patient participation remains a challenge. Learn how this large independent oncology practice in northwest Arkansas grew its research program to offer patients access to phase I, II, and III trials in the communities where they live and work.

 

COVID-19 & Cancer Patient Registry: Your Voice Matters


May 12, 2020
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As experience with COVID-19 is collected, we are learning that people with cancer are more likely to experience worse outcomes. Patients with cancer are also significantly impacted by disruptions in the healthcare system that may lead to delays or changes in treatment plans. It is imperative that we examine and understand much more about the impact of this pandemic on cancer patients and survivors so that we can effectively and rapidly make improvements to care delivery.

On behalf of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), I strongly encourage you to contribute to the new ASCO Survey on COVID-19 in Oncology Registry (ASCO Registry). Your help in developing a large data set is critical for researchers who are studying the important questions to which we need confirmed answers.

This critical cancer patient registry collects information about patterns of symptoms and severity of COVID-19 infection, how COVID-19 influences the delivery of cancer care, and how patient cancer and COVID-19 outcomes are affected.

As part of the 2020-2021 ACCC President’s Theme, Community Oncology Can Close the Gap in Cancer Research, ACCC is exploring the impact of COVID-19 on all facets of cancer care, including the administration of—and patient access to—clinical trials. COVID-19 poses a particularly significant challenge for oncology clinical trials, as investigational approaches are often considered standard of care for many disease types.

Once sufficient patient data have been received and analyzed, ASCO will deliver periodic reports on key insights, including characteristics of patients with cancer most impacted by COVID-19, estimates of disease severity, treatment modifications or delays, implementation of telemedicine in the cancer treatment setting, and clinical outcomes among patients related to both COVID-19 and cancer.

The registry is open to all oncology programs, including physician-owned, academic, and hospital/health system-owned practices, and hospitals in the United States. You can learn more about the ASCO Registry by clicking here.

Please also be aware that CMS has announced that ASCO’s Survey on COVID-19 in Oncology Registry is an acceptable clinical trial registry for the MIPS COVID-19 Clinical Trials Improvement Activity.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration of this critical research initiative. Please join us in helping to improve cancer care.

Sincerely,

 

Clinical Trial Resources

  • Virtual Navigation to Clinical Trials
    Jan 4, 2019

    In the current oncology clinical trials landscape, many barriers remain to clinical trial enrollment that affect both the oncologist and the patient. Among these are trial locations, strict eligibility requirements, insufficient resources to support appropriate clinical trial education and screening, as well as patient and provider attitudes about trials.

  • IO Trials Are Accruing: Where Are the Patients?
    Sep 10, 2018

    Research nurse Joannne Riemer, RN, BSN,  started her position at Johns Hopkins Medical Institution in 2010. Within six months, she was working with checkpoint inhibitors. From her vantage point in clinical trials research, she discusses the many changes in IO clinical trials patient selection over the last eight years. 

COVID-19 Resources

HHS-60x60combatCOVID.hhs.gov provides important information and links to access the most current treatment guidelines and inpatient and outpatient clinical trials.

Live and On-Demand Webinars

Podcast

  • [PODCAST] Episode 10: The Immunotherapy Patient Perspective
    Jan 15, 2020

    We sat down with journalist Mary Elizabeth Williams, one of the first patients treated with combination immunotherapy, to discuss her experience as an IO patient and how to bridge communication gaps among patients, doctors, and researchers.