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Tricia O'Mahen Dickey
Associate Director, Marketing

Sep 13, 2016

Association of Community Cancer Centers' Resources Support Cancer Moonshot Recommendations

ROCKVILLE, MD. – On September 7, 2016, the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel released a set of 10 recommendations for accelerating cancer research to further the overall Moonshot goal of making a decade’s worth of cancer research progress in five years.

The panel and recommendations reflect a collaborative effort from the entire cancer community, including oncologists, researchers, advocates, patients, and representatives of both private sector and government agencies. Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) members are contributing their expertise to help achieve the overall goals of the Cancer Moonshot. ACCC President Jennie R. Crews, MD, MMM, FACP, participated in the Cancer Moonshot Summit on Wednesday, June 29, 2016, in Washington, D.C. In her President’s Message in the September-October 2016 Oncology Issues, Dr. Crews outlines the role ACCC member programs can play in this ground-breaking initiative:

“To date, much of the Cancer Moonshot focus has been on research and academic medicine. However, to reach many of its goals, the Cancer Moonshot team needs to engage with community oncology, where the majority of cancer care is delivered. This is where ACCC members come in. We are a collaborative organization with diverse, multidisciplinary representation from the cancer community.”

Examples of innovative ACCC member-driven resources that offer real-world approaches to realizing the Blue Ribbon Panel’s 10 Recommendations include:

  • Recommendation: Establish a cancer immunotherapy clinical trials network devoted exclusively to discovering and evaluating immunotherapy approaches.

    ACCC established the Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology (ICLIO) to empower multidisciplinary cancer care teams to advance implementation of immuno-oncology in the community by providing comprehensive resources and tools. In this video 2016 ICLIO Innovator winner Sanford USD Medical Center, Sanford Cancer Center shares how their program, which serves rural communities, has successfully expanded access to immunotherapy and to immunotherapy clinical trials.
  • Recommendation: Accelerate the development of guidelines for routine monitoring and management of patient-reported symptoms to minimize debilitating side effects of cancer and its treatment.

    ACCC member and 2014 ACCC Innovator Award Winner Anne Arundel Medical Center DeCesaris Cancer Institute shares how they implemented an advanced nurse practitioner-led symptom management clinic that provides rapid access and coordination of care with the oncologists and infusion team.

    In a white paper, Psychosocial Distress Screening: Lessons Learned from Three ACCC Member Programs, ACCC members share insights and replicable tools that cancer programs can use to help patients who are experiencing psychosocial side effects from their cancer diagnosis and treatment.
  • Recommendation: Reduce cancer risk and cancer health disparities through approaches in development, testing and broad adoption of proven prevention strategies.

    In an article published in the September-October 2016 Oncology Issues, ACCC member Duke Cancer Institute details their coordinated, comprehensive initiative to address local health disparities leveraging community health assessments.

    ACCC member Christiana Care's outreach program integrates combination screenings—cancer risk assessment, cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure testing—at a local Farmer’s Market; education materials are offered in several languages.
  • Recommendation: Predict response to standard treatments through retrospective analysis of patient specimens.

    In 2015 ACCC held a biomarker testing “stakeholder” meeting, bringing together an interdisciplinary panel to discuss ongoing advances and improvements in biomarker testing processes, as well as specific innovations underway at ACCC member cancer programs. From this discussion, ACCC developed “Ongoing Advances & Improvements in Molecular Testing” and a webinar series.
  • Recommendation: Develop new enabling cancer technologies to characterize tumors and test therapies.

    As part of the multi-phase ACCC initiative, “Molecular Testing in the Community Oncology Setting,” eight member cancer programs participated in learning labs, assessing molecular testing in lung cancer and identifying key areas for potential process improvement.

ACCC is pleased to offer members replicable tools and robust resources to further the goals outlined by the Blue Ribbon Panel. These include resources available through the Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology (ICLIO), an emphasis on patient-centered care, and information for cancer registrars who will play a vital role in managing the data to support these initiatives.

Connecting the Moonshot to the community, in August 2016, Dr. Crews hosted a Cancer Moonshot Focus Group with participation from more than 20 ACCC member programs. A representative from the Cancer Research and Technology Cancer Moonshot Task Force, Office of the Vice President, who participated in this focus group, will present on the Cancer Moonshot at the upcoming ACCC National Oncology Conference, October 19-21 in St. Louis.

To download the full report from the Blue Ribbon Panel and to watch videos explaining each recommendation, click here.

About the Association of Cancer Care Centers

The Association of Cancer Care Centers (ACCC) is the leading education and advocacy organization for the cancer care community. Founded in 1974, ACCC is a powerful network of 40,000 multidisciplinary practitioners from 2,100 hospitals and practices nationwide. As advances in cancer screening and diagnosis, treatment options, and care delivery models continue to evolve - so has ACCC - adapting its resources to meet the changing needs of the entire oncology care team. For more information, visit Follow us on social media; read our blog, ACCCBuzz; tune in to our CANCER BUZZ podcast; and view our CANCER BUZZ TV channel.