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Association of Community Cancer Centers Collaborates with AstraZeneca, Merck, and Partner Organizations to Launch an Initiative Aimed to Improve Quality of Care for Patients with Ovarian Cancer

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) in collaboration with AstraZeneca, Merck, and partner organizations the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP), the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), and the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO), has launched the Barriers to Quality Care in Ovarian Cancer project. This quality initiative will identify and provide guidance on key issues related to the optimal care for patients diagnosed with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer across different settings of care. Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among U.S. women.1   Unfortunately, because early disease symptoms may be attributed to other health issues, most ovarian cancers are not identified at an early stage when the disease is most treatable and survival rates are highest. In addition, treatment for ovarian cancer can result in a multitude of side effects, which are often poorly managed.

With greater knowledge of the molecular biology of ovarian cancer has come increased understanding of the importance of molecular biomarker testing in ovarian cancer. Recent guideline recommendations call for all women with ovarian cancer to be offered BRCA testing;2 however, it is estimated that only 10 to 32 percent of patients have had such testing performed.3 Identification of BRCA mutations through early testing is critical in ovarian cancer to identify both somatic (acquired mutation) and germline (inherited) BRCA mutations because this information may inform treatment decision-making.        

The Barriers to Quality Care in Ovarian Cancer education project will look at the patient journey from diagnosis to treatment, including coordination and communication within the multidisciplinary cancer care team. The project goal is to to help cancer programs and practices better understand existing barriers in care delivery for patients with ovarian cancer.  Facilitated by ACCC through an application process, three cancer programs will be selected to create and pilot process improvement plans that address specific barriers and/or gaps in care. For more information on this education opportunity, contact Monique Dawkins, EdD, MPA, Assistant Director, Provider Education, ACCC, by email to

This project is made possible by support from AstraZeneca and Merck.



  1. American Cancer Society. Key statistics for ovarian cancer. Available at
  2. Society of Gynecologic Oncology. SGO Clinical Practice Statement: Genetic Testing for Ovarian Cancer. 2014. Available at
  3. Kurian AW, Ward KC, Howlader N, Deapen D, et al. Genetic testing and results in a population-based cohort of breast cancer patients and ovarian cancer patients. J Clin Oncol. 2019;37(15):1305-1315.


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, ACCCBuzz.


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SOURCE Association of Community Cancer Centers