Newswise — PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA [November 11, 2021] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) today announced new funding for projects to improve patient care and outcomes in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Funding will be provided through support from AstraZeneca.

“This project will help us address gaps and barriers arising in the screening and care delivery for early-stage lung cancer in order to improve quality and outcomes” said Crystal S. Denlinger, MD, FACP, Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, NCCN. “We offer our congratulations to these impressive investigators and are eager to see their findings.”

The selected projects are: 

  • Mary E. Cooley PhD, RN, FAAN and Michael J. Healey MD, Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center
    • Optimizing the Process and Uptake of Lung Cancer Screening Among Patients, Providers, and Across the Health Care System
  • Gina Kruse, MD, MPH; Elyse R. Park, PhD, MPH; and Jordan M. Neil, PhD, Mass General Cancer Center
    • Attitudes About COVID and Vaccination on Intentions to Undergo Lung Cancer Screening in Urban and Rural Settings
  • David Odell, MD, MMSc, FACS and Nisha Mohindra, MD, MS, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
    • A User-Centered Approach to Improve Treatment Outcomes in Early Stage Lung Cancer
  • Dan J. Raz, MD; Tanyanika Phillips, MD; and Amartej Merla, MD, City of Hope
    • Implementing an Early Lung Cancer Detection and Navigation Program in the Antelope Valley: Improving Access, Utilization and Outcomes in an Underserved Population
  • Katharine Rendle, PhD, MSW, MPH and Anil Vachani, MD, MS, Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania
    • Increasing Equitable Adherence to Annual Lung Cancer Screening and Diagnostic Follow-up
  • Anurag K. Singh, MD; Sai Yendamuri, MD; and Elizabeth Bouchard, PhD, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • Utilizing Patient Reported Quality of Life to Inform Patient Decision Making In Early Stage Lung Cancer

“We are honored to partner with NCCN ORP to fund projects that will advance high quality care and improved outcomes in individuals with an early stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer­,” said Nabil Chehab, PhD, U.S. Medical Affairs Franchise Head for Lung Cancer at AstraZeneca. “Our goal is always to ensure oncology clinicians are able to deliver the best treatment ­at the right time and we look forward to the results of these efforts.”

Proposals were peer reviewed by a Scientific Review Committee, which consisted of leading expert oncologists from NCCN Member Institutions. The overall aim of this project is to develop innovative healthcare provider performance and quality improvement initiatives to improve patient care and outcomes in early stage NSCLC, including proper screening and staging. Patients found to have stage I NSCLC, and treated appropriately, can have a 5-year survival rate of 76-92%, and about 60% for stage II disease[1]. The research projects will begin in late 2021 and take place over two years. Collectively, the total amount of grants awarded for these studies are approximately $1.3 million.

The NCCN ORP fosters innovation and knowledge discovery that improve the lives of people with cancer and supports preclinical, translational, and clinical research and quality improvement projects in oncology at NCCN Member Institutions. In an effort to improve collaboration in cancer research, the NCCN ORP also maintains a shared resources website and an informed consent database. For more information, visit

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About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a not-for-profit alliance of leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, efficient, and accessible cancer care so patients can live better lives. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) provide transparent, evidence-based, expert consensus recommendations for cancer treatment, prevention, and supportive services; they are the recognized standard for clinical direction and policy in cancer management and the most thorough and frequently-updated clinical practice guidelines available in any area of medicine. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients® provide expert cancer treatment information to inform and empower patients and caregivers, through support from the NCCN Foundation®. NCCN also advances continuing education, global initiatives, policy, and research collaboration and publication in oncology. Visit for more information and follow NCCN on Facebook @NCCNorg, Instagram @NCCNorg, and Twitter @NCCN.

[1] Goldstraw P, et al. Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2016, 39–51