Susan G. Komen for the Cure and American Society of Clinical Oncology partner in national initiative

June 01, 2007

CHICAGO - Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and advocates, will invest $10 million over the next four years in partnership with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world's leading professional organization representing physicians of all oncology specialties, to positively impact the quality of cancer care in the United States.

As part of this initiative, the two organizations will create programs and provide grants that will support tangible improvements in access to and the delivery of cancer care. Special emphasis will be placed on disparities in care and access to clinical trials.

"Even with great advances in science, there is a great divide in the delivery of quality cancer care," said Hala Moddelmog, Komen for the Cure president and CEO. "Far too many people - racial and ethnic minorities, the poor, and those with little or no insurance - run up against barriers to access every day and are less likely to receive quality cancer care and are more likely to die from this disease. We believe this situation is entirely unacceptable, which is why we are working with ASCO and The ASCO Foundation to initiate sweeping changes."

"The importance of quality cancer care cannot be over-emphasized as a key to long-term survival after a diagnosis of cancer," said Gabriel Hortobagyi, MD, president of ASCO. "This joint effort partners advocates and cancer physicians to tackle the complex issues of how to significantly improve quality of care for patients everywhere, regardless of their resources. We are very pleased to be working with Komen for the Cure on this extraordinary partnership."

The initiative will also focus on solutions to the projected shortfalls of the oncology workforce in the next decade by creating and sustaining an adequate workforce in all geographic areas, particularly those with large underserved populations. This will become increasingly important as baby boomers are reaching retirement age and are beginning to flood the healthcare system.

Lastly, the initiative will address the unique needs of cancer survivors, as more and more cancer patients are living long beyond their cancer treatment. Komen's sponsorship ensures that the vital voice of cancer advocates becomes an integral part of the discussion on how best to deliver quality resources to those who need it most - at the time of diagnosis through their survivorship.

"We face a growing culture of complacency. We claim to be waging a 'war' on cancer, yet we are losing our outrage and urgency over a disease that still kills more Americans every year than died in all the wars in the 20th century," said Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "Partnerships like this are the new norm - providing immediate help to the growing cancer needs in this nation and worldwide -- as it is estimated that the number of new cancers diagnosed globally each year will double by 2030 to 27 million cases and 17 million deaths every year."

The funding builds on Komen's initial investment in ASCO's National Initiative on Cancer Care Quality (NICCQ) study, a five-year study that analyzed the care and treatment of people with cancer in the United States. The study results, released in 2005, served as a catalyst establishing benchmarks, quality measures and guidelines for oncology practitioners to better care for their patients.

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About Susan G. Komen for the Cure


Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, we have invested nearly $1 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.komen.org or call 1-800 I'M AWARE.

About ASCO and The ASCO Foundation

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world's leading professional organization representing physicians of all oncology subspecialties who care for people with cancer. ASCO's nearly 25,000 members from the United States and abroad set the standard for patient care and lead the efforts to discover more effective cancer treatments, increase funding for clinical and translational research, and, ultimately, improve cancer care for the estimated 10 million people diagnosed with cancer worldwide each year. ASCO publishes the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), the preeminent, peer-reviewed, medical journal on clinical cancer research, and produces People Living With Cancer (www.plwc.org), a comprehensive consumer website providing oncologist-vetted cancer information to help patients and families make informed health-care decisions.

The ASCO Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports educational programs of the highest quality in cancer care and prevention; facilitates the dissemination of information about cancer and cancer treatment to patients and their families; and, through its grants program, supports, encourages, and recognizes excellence in clinical research in the field of oncology.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

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