Lori Gardner, Senior Director
Membership and Public Relations
301.984.9496 ext. 226
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Mar 24, 2021
Rockville, MD—To support quality improvement (QI) projects in colorectal cancer, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has joined with Pfizer Global Medical Grants to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) with the intent of funding QI initiatives that focus on the integration of biomarker testing into the treatment planning for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). The RFP seeks individual grant requests up to a maximum of $150,000. In total, Pfizer will provide $1.5 million in funding for these quality improvement grants.
“Efficient processes for the timely integration of molecular biomarker and genetic testing is increasingly recognized as a component of metastatic colorectal cancer care,” said Advisory Committee Member Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO, Professor of Medicine; Associate Director for Cooperative Groups Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. “Through this grant program, ACCC member programs and practices are offered a significant opportunity to submit proposals to expand understanding and explore approaches for patient care in colorectal cancer.”
In a survey of practitioners conducted by ACCC to assess the status of biomarker testing in patients with unresectable or mCRC, over 70% of respondents reported that more than half of their patients undergo biomarker testing. Fifty-two percent of respondents (52%), however, indicated that their cancer program has no standard biomarker testing protocol for patients with unresectable or mCRC. Over 40% 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.
Survey respondents reported that challenges to the optimal use of biomarker testing in this population include patient factors such as patients’ general health and physical fitness, patient preference, insurance coverage, clinical trial eligibility, and age. There are also practice-level factors including insufficient tissue for testing, poor tissue quality, long turn-around time, patient refusal, quality of in-house testing, difficulty getting reimbursed, lack of availability of in-house testing, no access to molecular tumor board(s), and inadequate staffing.
Access the survey summary on the ACCC website at http://accc-cancer.org/colorectal-survey-summary.
The opportunity to submit a proposal in response to the RFP is only available to ACCC-member cancer programs and practices. Grant requests should describe concepts and ideas for design and implementation of systems or programs that will close clinical practice gaps related to biomarker testing in patients with mCRC through establishment of education and support mechanisms for community providers.
The RFP process has two stages. Stage one is submission of a three-page letter of intent (LOI). If the LOI is selected, the applicant will be invited to submit a full proposal. Deadline for LOI submission is May 12, 2021.
For more information and to view the RFP, visit https://www.accc-cancer.org/projects/colorectal-cancer/overview.