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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 1, 2016
ACCC Honored to Contribute to National Academies Immunotherapy Policy Workshop Proceedings
Statement from ACCC President Jennie R. Crews, MD, MMM, FACP
Recent advances in immunotherapy have launched an exciting new era for cancer treatment. However, to expand patient access to these groundbreaking therapies the oncology community must overcome evolving implementation and policy challenges. In support of efforts to identify and address these emerging issues, Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) joined with other invited participants in a workshop on Policy Issues in the Clinical Development and Use of Immunotherapy for Cancer Treatment convened by the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.* Participants examined state-of-the-science clinical challenges and policy issues around these promising new therapies.
Representatives from the Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology (ICLIO), an institute of ACCC, were honored to join with representatives from the research, clinician, patient, government agency, pharmaceutical industry, and healthcare payer communities—all united in an effort to bring forward understanding of challenges to realizing the potential of these new therapies.
As reported in the workshop proceedings, Lee Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, Chair of the ICLIO Advisory Committee, brings to light critical educational challenges clinicians are facing in adopting these new therapies, including lack of information about specific therapies, few experts to consult with, and a lack of immunotherapy education and training for their staff and peers. ICLIO’s vital role in helping to close these educational gaps for all members of the multidisciplinary care teams providing immunotherapy in the community was also noted.
As we work to bring immunotherapy to patients close in their home communities, ACCC and the Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology look forward to continued collaboration with all stakeholders in advancing quality, patient-centered cancer care.
*In March 2016, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) was renamed the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the Academies) Health and Medicine Division (HMD).