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Association of Community Cancer Centers Collaborates with AstraZeneca to Launch National Initiative to Support Quality Care Initiative for Stage III and IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

ROCKVILLE, Md., June 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is pleased to announce it is collaborating with AstraZeneca, a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company to support a national quality care initiative for patients with stage III and stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). 

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in the United States with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounting for the vast majority (80 – 85 percent) of newly diagnosed cases. Growing knowledge of NSCLC subtypes and molecular biomarkers for this disease has led to changes in how NSCLC is diagnosed and staged. As a result, treatment planning and decision-making have become more complex, particularly for patients diagnosed with locally advanced (stage III) and metastatic (stage IV) disease.  Although more treatment options are now available for these patients, fragmentation in the U.S. healthcare system often impedes consistent access to optimal care.

To improve interdisciplinary communication and care coordination for patients with stage III and IV NSCLC, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), along with partner organizations the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), and LUNGevity Foundation, is launching a multi-phase initiative, Fostering Excellence in Care and Outcomes in Patients with Stage III and IV NSCLC.  This initiative will identify barriers to care excellence and provide guidance and support for process improvement projects centered around issues key to advancing optimal care for this patient population. The project will include process improvement models developed and tested across a variety of care settings from large academic institutions to smaller community programs or practices.  The project is made possible by support from AstraZeneca.

The complexity of lung cancer care requires interdisciplinary communication and coordination among multiple medical disciplines, including primary care physicians, pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, medical oncologists, interventional oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurse navigators, genetic counselors, and social workers.  An initial survey conducted for this project yielded robust cross-discipline responses providing data on current practice patterns, gaps and barriers to care coordination and communication, and other systemic processes that can hinder timely adoption of advances in staging, biomarker testing, and treatment planning for NSCLC.

The project's Steering Committee will guide the selection of six cancer programs to serve as process improvement sites. The committee, composed of thought leaders from multiple disciplines committed to improving care in stage III and IV NSCLC, is chaired by David Spigel, MD, Chief Scientific Officer; Director, Lung Cancer Research Program; Principal Investigator, Sarah Cannon Research Institute. Meet the Steering Committee.

Facilitated by ACCC, the six selected sites will create and execute process improvement models aimed at overcoming identified barriers to excellence in care for patients with these NSCLC stages. The models tested will be applicable across care settings. Results will be shared with the wider oncology community. To improve care and outcomes for patients with stage III and IV NSCLC, improved process pathways for integrated interdisciplinary communication and care coordination are essential. Through this project, ACCC and partner organizations, including the American College of Chest Physicians, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and  LUNGevity, are supporting peer-led development of resources and tools to support the goal of excellence in care and outcomes for patients with NSCLC in all settings of care.  Learn more here.           


  1. U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. U.S. Cancer Statistics Data Visualizations Tool, based on November 2017 submission data (1999-2015): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Cancer Institute;, June 2018.



The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is the leading education and advocacy organization for the multidisciplinary cancer care team. ACCC is a powerful network of 25,000 cancer care professionals from over 2,100 hospitals and practices nationwide. ACCC is recognized as the premier provider of resources for the entire oncology care team. For more information, visit ACCC's website at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and read our blog.

Lori Gardner, Senior Director
Communications & Marketing
301.984.9496 ext. 226

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SOURCE Association of Community Cancer Centers