ASCO Initiatives Among Those Highlighted in President’s Cancer Panel Report

February 28, 2024

The President's Cancer Panel published a report on February 28 on the National Cancer Plan that includes mention of seven American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) programs that are contributing to the plan.

The National Cancer Plan, released in April 2023, aims to reduce cancer mortality by at least 50% over 25 years and enhance the well-being of individuals and families affected by cancer. It focuses on eight domains or targets spanning prevention and early detection through improved treatments, greater access to clinical trials, and better overall care delivery. It also prioritizes eliminating health disparities and diversifying the cancer care workforce.

The panel report is derived from a September 2023 stakeholder meeting, in which the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and other organizations participated. It also incorporates feedback from the cancer community regarding programs, activities, and achievements pertinent to the National Cancer Plan (NCP).

"The growing cancer crisis demands a national effort like the national cancer plan, which is characterized by collaboration and partnership," said ASCO President Lynn Schuchter, MD, FASCO, in a statement. "ASCO was honored to participate in the President’s Cancer Panel’s event and to learn more about how the cancer community is working to support the plan. These collective efforts are required to meet the challenge of the growing cancer burden and ASCO is deeply committed to this work.”

In its report, the panel offered recommendations in five priority areas, including investment in research, insurance coverage, workforce, community engagement, and data sharing/integration. The panelists also noted that each recommendation aligns with the NCP's goal of ensuring that every person in the United States has equitable access to the best possible resources and care for cancer risk reduction, detection, treatment, and survivorship.

One of the initiatives ASCO highlighted during the stakeholder meeting was ASCO Certified— a new program that certifies outpatient oncology group practices and health systems that meet a single set of evidence-based oncology medical home standards to deliver high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered care. In the pilot program 100% of participants reported that they benefitted from having a blueprint for delivering “high quality, value cancer care.”

The report also highlighted the Minimal Common Data Elements (mCODE™) project, noting the progress it has made in addressing the technical and infrastructure challenges of data sharing and integration. The project, launched by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and MITRE in 2018, is a multistakeholder effort to develop and implement standard data elements for all oncology medical records.

Other ASCO programs listed include the Montana rural cancer care demonstration project, a multi-year pilot program to increase access to high-quality cancer care in rural areas; the Research Site Self-Assessment and Just ASK™ training program to help research sites improve equity, diversity, and inclusion in clinical trials; the State of Cancer Care in America series; as well as ways ASCO is supporting workforce diversity and the organization's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan.

“We look forward to continuing ASCO's work to support the National Cancer Plan and will continue to engage with our members and stakeholders to identify opportunities to achieve its goals," Dr. Schuchter said.

Read the full report, President’s Cancer Panel Initial Assessment of the National Cancer Plan: A Report to the President of the United States.

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