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Home > Mediaroom > Press Releases > 2010 > Association of Community Cancer Centers to Study Challenges in Treating Small-Population Cancers in the Community Setting

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Lori Gardner, Senior Director
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lgardner@accc-cancer.org

ACCC News Release

For Immediate Release: March 31, 2010

Association of Community Cancer Centers to Study Challenges in Treating Small-Population Cancers in the Community Setting

Landmark project will document best practices in care for patients with small-population cancers.

Rockville, Md.—The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has launched a ground-breaking program to provide community-based cancer care providers the tools they need to improve the quality of care for patients with small-population cancers, such as chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).

Caring for patients with less common cancers presents unique challenges for community-based cancer care providers,” said ACCC President Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP. “Physicians treating small-population cancers have limited time and resources to incorporate emerging clinical data into practice. Other health professionals, including nurses, social workers, and pharmacists, see these diseases less frequently and need information to better support the physician and the patient.”

ACCC surveys revealed that many community-based cancer care providers see a relatively high number of patients with breast, lung, colon, or prostate cancer. Practice patterns are relatively well-established for these cancers and resources are available for both providers and patients. Patients with a small-population cancer, however, usually are underserved or elderly and may not have the resources or desire to be treated far away from their homes.

ACCC’s first objective will be to raise awareness among the public and healthcare providers about the challenges presented by small-population cancers, and the need to assess barriers to treatment and best practices within the community setting. Barriers include limited physician and cancer team knowledge of emerging data, difficulties in incorporating new clinical information into practice, and inadequate managerial and administrative processes in treating small-population cancers like CML.

The project is made possible by an educational grant from Novartis Oncology and will take about two years to complete.

We appreciate Novartis Oncology's commitment to community-based cancer care,” said Christian Downs, JD, MHA, Executive Director of ACCC. “At its completion, we see this project giving providers information, tools and resources necessary to improve patient care. CML is an ideal proxy for the study of small-population cancers because of the number of patients diagnosed each year and the fact that there have been exciting clinical data and information about monitoring patients from the 2009 American Society of Hematology meeting.”

ACCC will launch a comprehensive online resource that will include community-provider-specific information about how to design a program to best serve patients with small-population cancers, as well as clinical news and non-clinical resources for specific small-population cancers. Results will be presented at ACCC meetings and in its journal, Oncology Issues.

About the Association of Community Cancer Centers
The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is the leading advocacy and education organization for the multidisciplinary cancer care team. More than 23,000 cancer care professionals from over 2,000 hospitals and practices nationwide are affiliated with ACCC. It is estimated that 65 percent of the nation's cancer patients are treated by a member of ACCC. Providing a national forum for addressing issues that affect community cancer programs, ACCC is recognized as the premier provider of resources for the entire oncology care team. Our members include medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, cancer program administrators and medical directors, senior hospital executives, practice managers, pharmacists, oncology nurses, radiation therapists, social workers, and cancer program data managers. For more information, visit ACCC's website at www.accc-cancer.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and read our blog, ACCCBuzz.

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