Newswise — FORT WASHINGTON, PA [November 20, 2017] — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) and Pfizer Global Medical Grants today announced they have awarded funding to nine projects that use clinical care pathways to implement quality improvement (QI) initiatives along the continuum of care for underserved patients with breast cancer.

Some of the selected projects examine care choices, including how to optimize chemotherapy delivery, manage symptoms, adhere to guidelines, improve clinical pathways, and utilize shared decision-making. Other projects concentrate on specific patient groups, such as African Americans, younger women, and patients living in rural areas.

“Our Request for Proposals (RFP) specifically sought out centers that focus on treating underserved patients with cancer,” explained Susan Most, RN, MBA, director of clinical operations, NCCN ORP. “By highlighting technological advances and multidisciplinary collaboration, we hope to encourage the widespread adoption of best practices for reducing costs and improving quality in breast cancer patient care.”

More than 90 letters of intent were submitted to the RFP and subsequently 23 full proposals were requested for review.

“The volume of proposals submitted speaks to the significant unmet need in this area,” said Julia Perkins Smith, MD, vice president, Oncology Medical North America, Pfizer. “We were very impressed with the quality of the proposals we received from academic and community medical systems across the country and are very excited to announce the grant recipients.”

A review committee – led by NCCN and including a medical representative from Pfizer – approved the following proposals:

  • East Carolina University; Improving the Quality of Breast Cancer Care in an Underserved Rural Setting
  • Emory University School of Medicine; Care Pathway Development, Implementation and Assessment to Improve Outcomes in African American (AA) Breast Cancer Patients
  • Intermountain Healthcare; Improving Clinical Pathways and Care Delivery in Breast Cancer
  • University of Nebraska Board of Regents dba University of Nebraska Medical Center; Clinical Pathway for the Timely & Appropriate Treatment and Support of Young Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

“We are pleased to work with Pfizer to help bring about better experiences and results for patients with breast cancer,” said Most.

The projects are set to begin in January 2018 and run for two years. Each program is required to provide evidence of scalability and sustainability. Data based on the project outcomes will be evaluated and disseminated in early 2020.

This is the third collaboration between NCCN ORP and Pfizer. The NCCN ORP has a history of strong and enduring collaborations with investigators and industry. For more information about NCCN ORP, visit

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About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers.

The NCCN Member Institutions are: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, NE; Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH; City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA; Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, and Rochester, MN; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH; Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY; Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL; UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN; and Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, CT.

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