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Research from ASCO'S Quality Care Symposium shows advances and challenges in improving the quality of cancer care

November 27, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - New studies released today reveal important advances in cancer care quality measurement, physician adherence to quality standards, and end-of-life care, while highlighting the overuse of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. The studies were released in a presscast today in advance of ASCO's inaugural 2012 Quality Care Symposium. The Symposium will take place November 30 - December 1, 2012, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

Four major studies were highlighted in today's presscast:
  • Study finds that most preventive double mastectomies occur in women who are at very low risk for contralateral breast cancer: Analysis of two new patient surveys found that two thirds of women with early-stage breast cancer who underwent contralateral prophylactic mastectomy were not at elevated risk for cancer in the contralateral breast; researchers found that women who opted for preventive double mastectomy had a high degree of worry about recurrence.
  • A multidisciplinary team approach to end-of-life care communications leads to reduced use of intensive care among patients with advanced cancer: Researchers found that consultation from a multidisciplinary team increased the election of palliative care and decreased use of more intensive care measures (e.g., long-term ventilation and ICU support) among patients with advanced cancer hospitalized at a comprehensive cancer center over a four year period.
  • ASCO's quality evaluation program documents significant improvement in adherence to quality standards: An analysis of self-reported data from 156 oncology practices participating in ASCO's Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) showed that - over a four year period - adherence to many quality care standards markedly improved, especially those involving new standard practices (e.g., genetic testing for tumor mutations, use of new anti-nausea drugs, etc.).
  • A real-time electronic performance tracking system improves adherence to quality care standards for breast and colon cancers: A large study found that use of a quality reporting system developed by the American College of Surgeons was associated with improved adherence to certain quality standards at 64 cancer centers over a four-year period. The electronic performance tracking system evaluated in this study is the first to provide real-time feedback.
"Ensuring that our patients receive the highest quality care possible is a core responsibility of oncology. The studies presented today show us new strategies for measuring and improving our adherence to quality standards," said Jyoti Patel, MD, ASCO Cancer Communications Committee member. "The findings also provide insight on discussing treatment options for patients with both early-stage and advanced cancers."

This year's Quality Care Symposium will include more than 330 abstracts covering topics, such as reducing overuse of tests and procedures, improving patient-physician communication, effectively measuring quality of care, and applying advanced health information technology to improve the quality and value of care.
-end-
Information for Media: www.asco.org/QCSpresskit

Additional Resources for Patients and Reporters:
  • Cancer.Net, ASCO's award-winning cancer information website provides comprehensive, oncologist-approved information on more than 120 cancer types, together with expert information on cancer treatments, managing side effects and coping with a cancer diagnosis. This year Cancer.Net celebrates 10 years of helping patients. When the site first launched in 2002, there were detailed sections on 22 different types of cancer. Now, Cancer.Net continues to lead the way in content, design, and interactivity, providing patients, their families and friends with timely and authoritative information.
  • ASCO's CancerProgress.Net offers a detailed, interactive timeline of advances against 14 of the most common cancers, including progress in lymphoma, colorectal, brain, prostate and breast cancers. The site also includes simple, interactive charts on cancer survival, mortality, and incidence, along with historical commentary and other reporting resources.
To view the full release click here: http://www.asco.org/ASCOv2/Department%20Content/Communications/Downloads/QCS%20Research%20Release.pdf

ATTRIBUTION TO THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY QUALITY CARE SYMPOSIUM IS REQUESTED IN ALL NEWS COVERAGE.

Funding for this conference was made possible in part by a grant (1 R13 HS021377-01) from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

About ASCO

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world's leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 30,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer. For ASCO information and resources, visit www.asco.org. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at www.Cancer.Net.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

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