In this issue:
Tools Will Aid Treatment Decision Making for Breast Cancer
"The Challenge of Individualizing Treatment for Patients with Breast Cancer", an ARP-funded P01 project, has completed its first year of funding. Supported by strong administrative, methods, and dissemination cores, the project's overall aim is to facilitate decision making among physicians and patients diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. It is led by Steven Katz, MD, Principal Investigator, the Cancer Surveillance & Outcomes Research Team (CanSORT) at the University of Michigan, and Dr. Neeraj Arora, Program Director in NCI's Outcomes Research Branch.
The research team plans to conduct population-based surveys of patients and their physicians in two Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registries, assembling a cohort of more than 4,000 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. The research team will also conduct a randomized controlled trial testing the utility of a patient decision tool in facilitating decision making regarding locoregional and systemic treatments. Finally, findings from the physician surveys will ultimately be applied in the clinical setting through development of an innovative dissemination and education portal for physicians treating breast cancer patients in the two participating SEER regions.
In the first year, the patient surveys have been developed and pilot tested, and the sampling and data collection protocols have been finalized. The physician surveys are under development. An initial version of the patient decision tool has also been developed and presented to several surgical practices in Detroit and Atlanta. To disseminate and evaluate the patient tool, the research team has forged a collaboration with the Michigan Cancer Research Consortium, which is part of the NCI Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) network. In the second year of funding, the project will devote substantial time to data collection activities.