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Association of Community Cancer Centers Releases Preliminary Findings From Survey On Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Care

Results Show Multidisciplinary Team Approach Needed for Best Care, Outcomes

Rockville, MD—The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) today released preliminary results and an initial set of quality care recommendations from Fostering Excellence in Care and Outcomes in Patients with Stage III and IV NSCLC, an initiative to improve care delivery and outcomes for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.

The initiative was developed with support from AstraZeneca and in partnership with the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and LUNGevity Foundation. It aims to investigate the benefits of care coordination within a multidisciplinary cancer team, evaluate and measure practitioners’ current understanding of evolving standards for lung cancer diagnosis and treatment, identify and overcome barriers to improving care, and test process improvement models across a variety of care settings. 

ACCC conducted a comprehensive, double-blind survey with respondents from 160 unique cancer programs across the U.S. to inform the work of the initiative. Central to the findings is the determination that the oncology care community must elevate a multidisciplinary team approach if patients are to benefit from ground-breaking advancements in research and treatment. The recommendations are outlined in two newly-released abstracts released at the 2020 ASCO Virtual Scientific Program: Improving Care for Patients with Stage III/IV NSCLC: Learnings for Multidisciplinary Teams from the ACCC National Quality Survey, and Defining High-Quality Care for Patients with NSCLC.

The survey identified the most challenging barriers to lung cancer care, including lack of community awareness of screening programs, patient transportation, limited access to diagnostic procedures, poor handling of biopsy tissue, patient adherence to appointment schedules, and lack of communication among the multidisciplinary team.

“We have a paradox in lung cancer care. There are incredible advances from research coming to us at lightning speed, but there is a major gap in applying those advances to the care setting,” said David Spigel, MD, Chief Scientific Officer and Director of the Lung Cancer Research Program for Tennessee Oncology and Chairman of the initiative’s Steering Committee. “A multidisciplinary approach is not just important, but critical, as lung cancer care is the realm of many different disciplines. Uniting the people that care for lung cancer along with their different areas of expertise is the beauty of this initiative and what we are all ultimately trying to accomplish. The work we are doing right now is the bridge to greater care with greater outcomes.”

Currently, six cancer programs across the U.S. are testing process improvement models designed to overcome barriers to care for patients with stage III/IV NSCLC. Areas of concentration include utilization of a multidisciplinary team in the evaluation of all suspected or diagnosed patients with NSCLC, guideline concordant rates of biomarker testing, and patient education across the care continuum. In the coming months, ACCC will publish learnings from these models and use these to provide resources to the greater oncology community. 

“This effort has given us the opportunity to take findings from our discipline-specific initiatives, including ACCC’s Financial Advocacy Network and our Oncology Pharmacy Education Network, and put it all together for a single disease. To our knowledge, this is the first time all the data has been collated in one place to define optimal lung cancer care,” said Leigh M. Boehmer, PharmD, BCOP, Medical Director, ACCC. “Our goal is to take a much closer look at some of the sub-discipline learnings and provide successful models for multidisciplinary care, elevating the quality of care in U.S. community oncology practices and programs for advanced NSCLC patients.” 

Despite breakthroughs in treatment and diagnosis, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with NSCLC identified as the vast majority of newly-diagnosed cases of lung cancer. 

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.