In This Section


Doug Hutton
Director, Marketing


Association of Community Cancer Centers and Pfizer Award $600,000 in Funding for Quality Improvement in Integration of Biomarker Testing into Personalized Treatment Selection for Colorectal Cancer

Rockville, MD – The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) announced today that it has partnered with Pfizer Global Medical Grants to award more than $600,000 in funding to five projects that are aimed at improving the quality of care for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The projects will focus on conducting quality improvement (QI) initiatives that support increasing the rates of biomarker testing in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

Utilizing biomarker testing can add a valuable perspective when determining optimal treatment strategies and engaging patients with metastatic colorectal cancer in shared decision-making. In a survey of oncology practitioners conducted by ACCC to assess the status of biomarker testing in patients with unresectable or metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), over 70 percent of respondents reported that more than half of their patients undergo biomarker testing. However, over forty percent of respondents reported that patients with mCRC who have had biomarker testing are treated with systemic medical therapy “frequently” or “almost always” before all biomarker test results are available. Fifty-two percent of respondents indicated that their cancer program has no standard biomarker testing protocol for patients with unresectable or mCRC.

“ACCC is pleased to collaborate with Pfizer Global Medical Grants in supporting these critical quality improvement projects, each aimed at increasing patient access to biomarker testing for metastatic colorectal cancer,” said Krista Nelson, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, FAOSW, ACCC President and Program Manager of Quality and Research, Cancer Support Services and Compassion, Providence Cancer Institute. “Expanding the reach of these advances is an important step in the delivery of quality care close to home.”

The grant awards are providing an opportunity for community oncology programs and practices to implement initiatives that address barriers to biomarker testing in mCRC and the reasons for lack of adherence to current guideline-based testing recommendations. Grantees will utilize innovative approaches to extend best practices to a much larger patient population, including underserved minority patient groups. As part of the QI project, sites will review their progress and, in particular, evaluate how changes in biomarker testing practices impact treatment decision-making.

The following five ACCC-member institutions were selected for grant funding:

  • Blessing Cancer Center, Illinois
  • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern Medicine, Illinois
  • Piedmont Healthcare Network Cancer Program, Georgia
  • Sanford USD Medical Center, Sanford Cancer Center, South Dakota
  • University of Maryland, Kaufman Cancer Center at Upper Chesapeake Health, Maryland

The projects will launch in January 2022 and will continue for two years. In early 2023, ACCC will begin sharing the results from these QI projects.

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.