NCCN, AstraZeneca Projects Target Advanced Ovarian Cancer Patients

NCCN, AstraZeneca Projects Target Advanced Ovarian Cancer Patients

Four projects chosen by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s (NCCN) Oncology Research Program will explore ways to use technology to improve care for advanced ovarian cancer patients.

Funded by AstraZeneca, the two-year projects will begin the third quarter of this year. They are expected to provide measurable outcome steps, and be reproducible, scalable and swiftly implemented.

Advanced ovarian cancer means the malignancy has spread outside the ovaries.

“Advanced and recurrent ovarian cancer is currently the deadliest gynecologic cancer,” Wui-Jin Koh, MD, chief medical officer, NCCN, said in a press release. “It requires a multidisciplinary approach for management, which can provide challenges for optimal coordination. These projects will explore opportunities to leverage technology in order to improve patient outcomes and quality of life through supportive services, shared decision making, and innovative methods of care delivery,” he said.

The projects also will emphasize strategies intended to help close disparity gaps in ovarian cancer healthcare delivery, he said.

Cary Gross, MD, of Yale School of Medicine’s  Cancer Outcomes, Public Policy, and Effectiveness Research Center, will lead a project titled “CommunityRx-Cancer: An IT-enhanced Patient Navigation Program for Social Determinants of Health in Advanced Ovarian Cancer.”

In another project, Haller J. Smith, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will work on “Feasibility and Impact of a Comprehensive Telehealth Program on Reducing Geographic Barriers to Treatment and Improving Symptom Management in Rural Patients with Advanced Ovarian Cancer.”

Barbara Goff, MD, and Donna L. Berry, PhD, RN, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, have a project called “Patient-Centered Education and Support for Women with Advanced Ovarian Cancer.”

The fourth project, “Revitalize: A Telehealth Intervention for Women with Advanced Ovarian Cancer and PARP Inhibitor-Related Fatigue,” will be led by Alexi A. Wright, MD, and Hanneke Poort, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Approximately 22,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, making it the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women,” said Adrian Kilcoyne, MD, vice president, U.S. Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca. “We are pleased to partner with NCCN in support of this important work in ovarian cancer. AstraZeneca’s commitment to eliminating cancer as a cause of death must extend beyond innovative medicines and include partnerships that seek to improve the quality of cancer care for patients.”

The NCCN is a nonprofit alliance of 28 leading cancer centers focused on patient care, research and education. Its Oncology Research Program seeks to improve the lives of cancer patients, and supports research and quality improvement projects in oncology at NCCN member institutions.