Immuno-Oncology Poised to Revolutionize Patient Care

Evidence-Based Oncology, February 2015, Volume 21, Issue SP3

As our understanding of tumor biology and the tumor microenvironment evolves, and an increasing number of immunotherapy approaches become available in oncology, immuno-oncology (I-O) therapy is poised to revolutionize patient care. The past year has brought exciting advancements focused on developing therapies that put the body’s immune system to work to fight cancer.

ACCC ESTABLISHES NEW INSTITUTE FOR CLINICAL IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) has established the Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology (ICLIO) to educate providers about I-O and its implementation and delivery in the community setting. ICLIO will be a catalyst in assuring the availability of, and access to, innovative I-O agents and therapies for patients. This project is made possible by a charitable donation from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

ACCC serves as the leading advocacy and educational organization for the multidisciplinary cancer care team. Approximately 20,000 cancer care professionals from 1900 hospitals and practices nationwide are affiliated with ACCC. As a national forum for addressing issues that affect community cancer programs, ACCC is recognized as the premier provider of resources for the entire oncology care team. Members include medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, cancer program administrators and medical directors, senior hospital executives, practice managers, pharmacists, oncology nurses, radiation therapists, social workers, and cancer program data managers. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, ACCC helps members go beyond understanding “what” must be done to uncovering “how” to integrate advancements into practice.

ICLIO OPPORTUNITIES

ACCC has identified an advisory committee made up of thought leaders from the I-O field to steer the direction of ICLIO education initiatives. Additionally, ICLIO is convening a cadre of clinician scholars with knowledge of I-O, who will help serve as a resource for the Institute. These clinician scholars will help develop tools to enhance knowledge and understanding about the indications, applications, and optimal use of I-O therapies within the community and academic settings to benefit patient care, as well as assist in the development of policy initiatives and pertinent educational content as it relates to the evolving I-O landscape.

ICLIO is seeking providers to serve as clinician scholars to provide feedback on information that would be useful to fellow providers, as well as those who want to learn more about I-O. Providers are invited to take a survey about how ACCC can best assist cancer care teams in the implementation of I-O therapy (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ ICLIO_ACCC).

ICLIO subgroups will focus on topical themes relevant to the multidisciplinary cancer care team to provide information on the development of educational tools. Areas of interest include coverage and reimbursement issues, best practices for management and operations, healthcare policy, and clinical awareness. ICLIO educational resources will include monthly e-courses, journal articles, e-newsletters, a website, and a white paper. The first ICLIO National Education Meeting will take place on October 2, 2015, in Philadelphia, and offer attendees the opportunity to earn continuing medical education/continuing nursing education credits. For more information, visit ACCC’s website: http://www.accc-cancer.org/ICLIO.

EBO

For information on serving as an ICLIO clinician scholar, contact Lorna Lucas at llucas@accc-cancer.org.

Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, is the ICLIO chair and chief, Division of Hematology Oncology, and professor of medicine, The University of Tennessee, The West Clinic, PC, Memphis, TN.