UPMC McKeesport/ROCOG Radiation Oncology Minorities Outreach Program
- Develop, over five years, and implement a shared infrastructure that will permit
participating community cancer centers to participate in radiation oncology clinical
research and dramatically increase their rate of trial accrual above historical
- Increase access to radiation oncology services and clinical trials for underserved
minority and/or low-income patients in the target areas, through community and
professional education and outreach activities.
- Assess and ensure the quality of radiation oncology services at participating
facilities through the use of a new integrated radiation oncology outcomes database and
a quality assurance program, benchmarking daily practice patterns to clinical practice
- Compare treatment approaches and outcomes for cervical, colorectal, lung, prostate,
breast, and head and neck cancers across racial and socioeconomic status groups.
- Conduct community intervention pilot programs that advance the understanding of factors
that lead to health disparities.
- Develop and implement clinical treatment studies that attempt to reduce or eliminate
health disparities through novel treatment approaches.
- Develop and refine a model program that can be sustained by the community treatment
facilities long after study completion, and that the National Cancer Institute or other
similarly motivated funders can replicate within other regions.
OUTLINE: This is a multicenter study.
Patients are enrolled in the Patient Navigator program, an initiative to promote equal
access and quality of cancer care. Patients undergo an interview with the Patient Navigator,
who is an oncology health professional, over approximately 1 hour to identify specific
needs, in terms of receiving cancer care. The interview serves as a basis for developing a
plan to assist patients through treatment and follow up. The Patient Navigator meets the
patient, in person or over the phone, at various times during treatment to help the patient
overcome barriers to completion of cancer therapy. The Patient Navigator then provides
yearly follow up to facilitate continued medical follow up. Patients complete surveys before
and after program participation.
Patients are followed periodically to determine their current status in cancer therapy.
TELESYNERGY®, a portable live-time interactive telemedicine system, is utilized in
developing the necessary infrastructure and professional education in the community. It is
used for sharing information and approaches for case presentation, treatment planning
conferences, and other specialized presentations by invited speakers and expert panels.
Activities using the TELESYNERGY® system are videotaped to create a library of
topic-centered presentations that can be shared with the larger community. Components and
summaries are placed on an Internet site to encourage communication with the larger oncology
PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 3,150 patients will be accrued for this study.
Masking: Open Label
Clinical stage at time of presentation (indicator of early access to system)
Dwight E. Heron, MD
University of Pittsburgh
|Mercy Cancer Institute at Mercy Hospital||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219|
|UPMC Cancer Center at UPMC McKeesport||McKeesport, Pennsylvania 15132|
|Somerset Oncology Center||Somerset, Pennsylvania 15501|
|UPMC Cancer Center - New Castle||New Castle, Pennsylvania 16105|