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News from CA: Cancer Quality Alliance, blueprint for a better cancer care system

Cancer Quality Alliance: Blueprint for a Better Cancer Care System

In this report, the Cancer Quality Alliance (CQA), a national alliance advocating for improvements in the quality of cancer care in America, presents a set of 5 case studies that depict a vision of quality cancer care and a "Blueprint" for actions to realize this vision. The CQA Blueprint case studies feature a worst- and best-case scenario for patients with various cancers and at key phases in the cancer care trajectory. By juxtaposing a worst- and best-case scenario, the cancer care case studies elucidate the origins of complex health care problems and clarify the actions needed to overcome them. The CQA will make the case studies available for use as teaching tools to give health care providers and patients themselves descriptions of how the health care system should work to achieve the ultimate benefit for an individual living with, through, and beyond a diagnosis of cancer.

(CA Cancer J Clin 2008;58:266?.)

Decision Making in Oncology: A Review of Patient Decision Aids to Support Patient Participation

Although cancer management is becoming more structured with disease specific guidelines and clinical pathways, many decisions remain complex. This review highlights key historical changes leading to patient involvement in decision making, summarizes evidence on effective interventions to support shared decision making, explores strategies to implement these interventions in oncology practices, and identifies future directions. Based on a systematic review of 23 randomized trials of cancer patient decision aids, patients exposed to decision aids are more likely to participate in decision making and achieve higher-quality decisions.

(CA Cancer J Clin 2008;58:293?.)

Aiming at a Curative Strategy for Follicular Lymphoma

Historically, follicular lymphoma was seen as an incurable disease. But aggressive treatment approaches with the application of novel therapeutic tools, including monoclonal antibodies, radioimmunotherapy, vaccines, and new and more active chemotherapeutic agents, are producing complete responses in the majority of treated patients. The author of this review says that what is clear is that no patients will ever be cured by adopting a palliative treatment approach; the assumption that patients with follicular lymphoma are incurable, says the author, is certain to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. This review summarizes the large and growing body of knowledge that suggests an expectant approach to disease management is not appropriate for all patients.

(CA Cancer J Clin 2008;58:305?.)


Contact: David Sampson
American Cancer Society

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