Feature

Association of Community Cancer Centers relaunches Immuno-Oncology Institute amid rapid advances

Photo of Lee Schwartzberg
Lee S. Schwartzberg

Association of Community Cancer Centers relaunched its Immuno-Oncology Institute to further support all aspects of immunotherapy integration.

“As immuno-oncology has advanced at a rapid pace, there was a need to evolve our institute,” Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, medical oncologist/hematologist at The University of Tennessee West Cancer Center and chair of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) Immuno-Oncology Institute Executive Committee, said in a press release. “From quick takeaways to a thought-provoking Immuno-Oncology Insights series, eLearning courses, webinars, videos and our comprehensive, end-of-year publication, the ACCC Immuno-Oncology Institute is developing an extensive collection of operational, clinical and administrative tools that are designed to meet professional interests and demanding schedules.”

HemOnc Today spoke with Schwartzberg about the relaunch of the institute and the continued impact he hopes it will have on the oncology community.

Question: What prompted the relaunch of the institute ?

Answer: In response to the beginning of a new phase of cancer care in 2015 — the addition of immunotherapy as another pillar of cancer treatment — the ACCC decided to launch the Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology. We felt that there was a need to provide resources regarding the burgeoning use of immunotherapy agents. In order to better align the institute with other ACCC programs, we recently relaunched and rebranded it as the ACCC Immuno-Oncology Institute.

Q: What is new with the institute ?

A: There are several things that are new within the past year. One of the things that we did when we rebranded was develop working groups focused on the themes that we were already working on — care coordination, adverse events research, education and institution policies at the practice level. The working groups bring together various experts to encourage different modalities to expand the scope of the institute and further the field. We also relaunched the website, which includes a cleaner interface and a lot of new content, including videos of webinars and more. We also have initiatives at the practice level, where experts meet with the community cancer centers and hear their concerns with immunotherapy. The goal here is to improve practice operations and immuno-oncology care.

Q: What do you hope the institute will provide for the oncology community?

A: Much like the rest of ACCC, we see the institute as an authoritative source of information for the clinician, the practice and the institution. Our goal is to provide a 360-degree view of every aspect of what it takes to deliver immunotherapy and to manage it in the community setting. This includes clinical factors, patient-focused considerations, survivorship, care coordination, and policy as it relates to state and national initiatives. We are very interested in ensuring patient access to immunotherapy. This is important as a core principle of ACCC because, by definition, it is a community-based organization linking patients wherever they live to optimal care. The overarching idea of the institute is to deliver the information and knowledge in whatever fashion the user wants in order to deliver the best care.

Q: Are there plans for any additional changes?

A: We are excited about a number of different collaborations we launched recently that we expect to bear fruit going forward. For instance, we are working with the Cancer Support Community on an educational research project for delivering patients the information they need for care if they are dealing with an immune-related adverse event. We are also working on policy issues with the Society of Immunotherapy in Cancer, with a meeting in Washington, D.C., in February that is jointly sponsored by us. We have a number of new relationships as well as plans to further develop our own individual content and programs.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to mention?

A: This initiative is a few years old and has grown substantially. We will continue to look at it from a multidisciplinary perspective and grow the ACCC Immuno-Oncology Institute in this regard. – by Jennifer Southall

For more information:

Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, can be reached at Association of Community Cancer Centers, 1801 Research Blvd., Suite 400, Rockville, MD 20850; email: lschwartzberg@westclinic.com.

Disclosure : Schwartzberg reports no relevant financial disclosures.

Photo of Lee Schwartzberg
Lee S. Schwartzberg

Association of Community Cancer Centers relaunched its Immuno-Oncology Institute to further support all aspects of immunotherapy integration.

“As immuno-oncology has advanced at a rapid pace, there was a need to evolve our institute,” Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, medical oncologist/hematologist at The University of Tennessee West Cancer Center and chair of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) Immuno-Oncology Institute Executive Committee, said in a press release. “From quick takeaways to a thought-provoking Immuno-Oncology Insights series, eLearning courses, webinars, videos and our comprehensive, end-of-year publication, the ACCC Immuno-Oncology Institute is developing an extensive collection of operational, clinical and administrative tools that are designed to meet professional interests and demanding schedules.”

HemOnc Today spoke with Schwartzberg about the relaunch of the institute and the continued impact he hopes it will have on the oncology community.

Question: What prompted the relaunch of the institute ?

Answer: In response to the beginning of a new phase of cancer care in 2015 — the addition of immunotherapy as another pillar of cancer treatment — the ACCC decided to launch the Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology. We felt that there was a need to provide resources regarding the burgeoning use of immunotherapy agents. In order to better align the institute with other ACCC programs, we recently relaunched and rebranded it as the ACCC Immuno-Oncology Institute.

Q: What is new with the institute ?

A: There are several things that are new within the past year. One of the things that we did when we rebranded was develop working groups focused on the themes that we were already working on — care coordination, adverse events research, education and institution policies at the practice level. The working groups bring together various experts to encourage different modalities to expand the scope of the institute and further the field. We also relaunched the website, which includes a cleaner interface and a lot of new content, including videos of webinars and more. We also have initiatives at the practice level, where experts meet with the community cancer centers and hear their concerns with immunotherapy. The goal here is to improve practice operations and immuno-oncology care.

Q: What do you hope the institute will provide for the oncology community?

A: Much like the rest of ACCC, we see the institute as an authoritative source of information for the clinician, the practice and the institution. Our goal is to provide a 360-degree view of every aspect of what it takes to deliver immunotherapy and to manage it in the community setting. This includes clinical factors, patient-focused considerations, survivorship, care coordination, and policy as it relates to state and national initiatives. We are very interested in ensuring patient access to immunotherapy. This is important as a core principle of ACCC because, by definition, it is a community-based organization linking patients wherever they live to optimal care. The overarching idea of the institute is to deliver the information and knowledge in whatever fashion the user wants in order to deliver the best care.

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Q: Are there plans for any additional changes?

A: We are excited about a number of different collaborations we launched recently that we expect to bear fruit going forward. For instance, we are working with the Cancer Support Community on an educational research project for delivering patients the information they need for care if they are dealing with an immune-related adverse event. We are also working on policy issues with the Society of Immunotherapy in Cancer, with a meeting in Washington, D.C., in February that is jointly sponsored by us. We have a number of new relationships as well as plans to further develop our own individual content and programs.

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to mention?

A: This initiative is a few years old and has grown substantially. We will continue to look at it from a multidisciplinary perspective and grow the ACCC Immuno-Oncology Institute in this regard. – by Jennifer Southall

For more information:

Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, can be reached at Association of Community Cancer Centers, 1801 Research Blvd., Suite 400, Rockville, MD 20850; email: lschwartzberg@westclinic.com.

Disclosure : Schwartzberg reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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