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UMass Memorial Joins National Pilot Study Aimed to Improve Care for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients

WORCESTER – UMass Memorial Medical Center is among a group of six hospitals to recently join a national pilot study under way to promote evidence-based evaluation and treatment standards for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients with this type of lung cancer are also candidates for an operation called “lung resection.”

The Commission on Cancer National Pilot Study for the ProvenCare® Lung Cancer Collaborative is based on the success of the Geisinger Health System’s ProvenCare model. This treatment model has been applied to other disease sites where it has significantly increased medical teams’ adherence to evidence-based care standards, improved patients’ clinical outcomes, and engaged patients as participants in their own care. The groundbreaking study currently has analyzed data of 500 patients and marks the first time that Geisinger’s ProvenCare model has been applied to a patient population undergoing a lung resection procedure for NSCLC. The goal is to capture data of 500 more patients over the next 12 months, thus expanding the study group size to 1,000 patients.

The pilot study—first launched in July 2010 with six Commission on Cancer accredited institutions—promotes a specific care pathway of 38 standard elements that are followed by interdisciplinary treatment teams for patients’ preoperative to postoperative care periods. With the six new participating institutions beginning data collection activities on August 6, the number of hospitals now participating in the collaborative grows to 12. As of April 2012, 90 percent of the 38 elements of care were followed by the initial six pilot sites for each patient entered into the study.

The treatment team at UMass Memorial will commit to providing all 38 of the established care pathway steps to ensure that non-small cell lung cancer patients receive the highest standard of care at their institution. Importantly, patients in the study lend their participation to the process by making a commitment to communicate with the members of their surgical team (that is, when they don’t understand something or when asked about current medications); getting their family or loved ones involved in their treatment plan; and completing important care steps outlined to them by their health care providers. Patient engagement is an important element of Geisinger’s ProvenCare as research studies have shown that patients have better results when they participate in their own medical care.

“The lung cancer team at UMass Memorial Medical Center is very excited to be a part of this national quality initiative that leads the way towards making lung cancer treatment safer, more efficient, and more effective,” said Syed M. Quadri, MD, a thoracic surgeon at UMass Memorial Medical Center and assistant professor of thoracic surgery at University of Massachusetts Medical School.

“This is important because lung cancer is the number one cancer killer for men and women in the United States and worldwide,” said Dr. Quadri. “Surgery is really the only treatment that has a good chance of curing patients with lung cancer. If we can do safer surgery, we have a better chance to help even more people and cure them of this devastating disease.”

The CoC has accredited more than 1,500 cancer treatment centers throughout the United States, which in turn treat 71 percent of all cancer patients diagnosed each year. “We are pleased to expand Geisinger’s ProvenCare model in this study to six more institutions. This effort positions health care providers to use ‘best practices’ in treating patients. And working with health care providers to deliver quality care has long been the cornerstone of the Commission on Cancer,” said David P. Winchester, MD, FACS, Medical Director, American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs

In addition to UMass Memorial, these institutions have also joined the pilot study.

  • Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA
  • Providence Portland Medical Center, Portland, OR
  • Providence Regional Medical Center, Everett, WA
  • Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, MD
  • Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, NY

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About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient. The College currently has 78,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. In the field of cancer care, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) is a pioneer in measuring performance. All hospitals and freestanding cancer treatment facilities accredited by the CoC report clinical data to the National Cancer Data Base and receive evidence-based benchmark comparison reports based on accepted standards of care for breast and colorectal cancers. These measures are endorsed by the National Quality Forum.

About UMass Memorial Medical Center

UMass Memorial Medical Center is the advanced tertiary care referral center for Central New England. The Medical Center offers a full complement of sophisticated technology and support services necessary to provide the region with specialists renowned for their work in areas such as cardiology, cancer, diabetes and orthopedics. To learn more about UMass Memorial, please visit, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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