ALEXANDRIA, VirginiaThe American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has launched the first study aimed at developing a national monitoring system for cancer care in the United States. A panel of ASCO physicians and other health experts will oversee the study, which will be conducted by researchers at Harvard University and the RAND Corporation, the organization said in a news release.
The 18-month pilot study, which began last month, will assess the feasibility of a national cancer care monitoring system and develop a prototype for such a system by examining the quality of care received by a sample group of adult breast and colorectal cancer patients.
This study is a constructive response to the Institute of Medicines April 1999 report Ensuring Quality Cancer Care, which called for improved information about the quality of cancer care nationwide, said Joseph V. Simone, MD, co-author of the IOM report and clinical director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah. I applaud ASCOs initiative in taking a leadership role so quickly, and at such a critical time.
ASCO is joined in this effort by the American College of Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, and the Oncology Nursing Society.
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation will provide $1 million in funding toward the study. Other contributors include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Amgen, Inc., Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Ortho Biotech.