Collaborative Commitment

Susan G. Komen for the Cure®/Conquer Cancer Foundation Collaborative Commitment

In 2008, the Conquer Cancer Foundation and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) embarked upon a historic collaboration with Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Komen invested $10 million in TACF and ASCO over four years, through the Susan G. Komen for the Cure/Conquer Cancer Foundation Collaborative Commitment, to positively impact the quality of cancer care in the United States, with general applicability in the breast cancer arena. The Collaborative Commitment includes projects and initiatives intended to address disparities in cancer care, increased awareness of clinical trials, ensuring a sustainable oncology workforce, and quality survivorship. The Collaborative Commitment capitalizes on Komen’s advocacy and survivorship expertise, together with the education, public policy, and research expertise of the Foundation and ASCO, to develop these programs.

There are three components to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure/Conquer Cancer Foundation Collaborative Commitment: the Breast Cancer Symposium, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure/ASCO Quality of Care Initiative, and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure/Conquer Cancer Foundation Research Initiative.

BREAST CANCER SYMPOSIUM
ASCO—along with co-sponsors the American Society of Breast Disease, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, the National Consortium of Breast Centers, Inc., and the Society of Surgical Oncology—held the first Breast Cancer Symposium in 2007. During the planning stages, Komen expressed an interest in collaborating on this effort. As part of the Collaborative Commitment, Komen has served as Primary Supporter of the Breast Cancer Symposium each year since 2007. The Breast Cancer Symposium provides abstract presentations and educational sessions on the latest multidisciplinary research, and the 2011 Symposium will be held September 8-10 in San Francisco. Learn more about the Breast Cancer Symposium.

SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE/ASCO QUALITY OF CARE INITIATIVE
The Quality of Care Initiative focuses on the quality of cancer care, including cancer workforce issues, access to care, disparities in care, clinical trials, and survivorship, with general applicability in the breast cancer arena. Four initiatives have been developed under the Quality of Care Initiative: the Diversity in Oncology Initiative, the Study of Collaborative Practice Arrangements, the Breast Cancer Registry Pilot Program, and the Study of Geographic Access to Oncology Care.
The ASCO Diversity in Oncology Initiative, funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is designed to facilitate the recruitment and retention of individuals from populations underrepresented in medicine to cancer careers, with particular attention to the development of clinical practitioners and investigators. The Diversity in Oncology Initiative offers three distinct awards: the Medical Student Rotation, the Resident Travel Award, and the Loan Repayment Program.

The Loan Repayment Program (LRP)provides repayment of qualifying educational debt to oncologists, or to oncology fellows upon completion of training, who commit to practicing oncology in a medically underserved region of the United States. The LRP repays up to $35,000 per year for two years (up to $70,000 total) of qualifying education loans. To qualify to receive LRP assistance, applicants must have completed an approved oncology fellowship training program in the United States; must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents; must have an MD, DO, or equivalent medical doctoral degree from an accredited institution; and must be an Associate or Active ASCO member, or submit an ASCO membership application with the LRP application. The application period for the LRP is currently closed. See a listing of past LRP recipients.

The Medical Student Rotation (MSR) provides 8- to 10-week clinical or clinical research oncology rotations for United States medical students from populations underrepresented in medicine, who are interested in pursuing oncology as a career. Awardees receive a $5,000 stipend for the rotation plus $1,500 for future travel to the ASCO Annual Meeting; an additional $2,000 is provided to support the student’s mentor. To qualify, applicants must be enrolled in an MD or DO, U.S. medical school program and be of an underrepresented population as defined by the program eligibility criteria. Applicants self-identify and recipients are drawn from this pool. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents, and must also demonstrate an interest in pursuing oncology as a career and have a record of good academic standing. The application period for the MSR is currently closed. See a listing of past MSR recipients.

The Resident Travel Award (RTA) provides financial support for residents from underrepresented populations to attend ASCO’s Annual Meeting. The intent of this award is to attract residents from underrepresented populations to a possible career in one of the oncology specialties. This travel award allows recipients to travel to the ASCO Annual Scientific Meeting, where they have an opportunity to meet oncologists and to learn about career possibilities in this area. The RTA includes a $1,500 travel advance, complimentary Annual Meeting registration, and access to the Annual Meeting housing block and ASCO’s travel agent. To qualify, applicants must be enrolled in an ACGME-accredited residency program required for future training in a cancer related subspecialty (e.g., Internal Medicine considering Med/Onc, Surgery considering Surg/Onc) and be of an underrepresented population as defined by the program eligibility criteria. Candidates must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or permanent residents, and must demonstrate an interest in pursuing oncology as a career as well as a record of good academic standing. The application period for the RTA is currently closed. See a listing of past RTA recipients.

Learn more about ASCO’s efforts to address disparities in health care.

The ASCO Study of Collaborative Practice Arrangements, funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, builds on the ASCO study published in the March 2007 Journal of Oncology Practice that projects a significant shortage of medical and gynecologic oncologists in the United States by 2020. It aims to address the workforce shortage by exploring the collaborative practice between oncologists and non-physician practitioners (including nurse practitioners and physician assistants), especially related to managing ongoing care to cancer survivors, to identify ways to improve clinical practice. Learn more about ASCO’s oncology workforce efforts.

The ASCO Breast Cancer Registry Pilot Program, funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, aims to provide real-time resources to improve communication and care coordination for patients with breast cancer, and to collect data in a registry that can be used for practice-based quality improvement. Currently, there is no registry that specifically targets outpatient medical oncology care, where approximately 85% of cancer care is delivered. The program recruited 20 practices to participate in a two-year pilot, after which time the outcome and future of the program will be evaluated. Learn more about the Breast Cancer Registry Pilot Program.

The ASCO Study of Geographic Access to Oncology Care, funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, will analyze supply and demand for oncology services by studying the distribution of oncology professionals and oncology care delivery sites, the proximity of cancer patients to these providers and sites of care, and Medicare claims data for chemotherapy services rendered in these geographic regions. The study will conduct a census of oncology professionals to assess practice location and setting, practice size, number and location of satellite clinics, range of services provided in each location, access barriers specific to their location/community, and intentions to remain in practice. Using this information, and matching it to incidence and prevalence, will begin to identify both existing and future gaps in service.Learn more about ASCO’s oncology workforce efforts.

SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE/CONQUER CANCER FOUNDATION RESEARCH INITIATIVE
The Research Initiative was created to provide new, specialized grants while capitalizing on the Foundation’s more-than-25 years of experience with its Grants Program. The Research Initiative has funded three different programs: the Improving Cancer Care Grant, the Young Investigator Award, and the Career Development Award.

Improving Cancer Care Grant
The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Improving Cancer Care Grant (ICCG), funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, provides funding for research studies that implement and evaluate new ways to solve major problems in quality of, access to, and delivery of cancer care, with general applicability in the breast cancer arena. The ICCG is aimed at the oncology or health services community, and proposals must be focused on developing solutions to current problems, not just describing disparities in care that currently exist. Project proposals are not required to focus on breast cancer, but the study findings must have general applicability to breast cancer care. See a listing of past ICCG recipients, and learn more about the Improving Cancer Care Grant.

Young Investigator Award & Career Development Award
As part of the Research Initiative, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has provided funding for five Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Awards, and one Career Development Award, that met the Research Initiative’s goals of supporting extramural research related to the quality of cancer care, disparities in cancer care, access to clinical trials, and survivorship, with general applicability in the breast cancer arena. See a listing of past YIA and CDA recipients, and learn more about the Young Investigator Award and Career Development Award.

For further information about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure/Conquer Cancer Foundation Collaborative Commitment, please contact Nancy R. Daly, MS, MPH, Executive Director of Conquer Cancer Foundation, at komenasco@asco.org