Improving Cancer Care in the United States: How NCCN Helps Advance the National Cancer Plan
Robert W. Carlson, M.D.
NCCN Chief Executive Officer
The National Cancer Plan emphasizes meaningful collaboration and knowledge sharing as cornerstones in the fight to end cancer as we know it. At the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), we take this sentiment to heart. Our mission exemplifies these ideals—every day, we work to improve and facilitate quality, effective, equitable, and accessible cancer care so all patients can live better lives. As a not-for-profit alliance of leading cancer centers, we partner with NCCN member institutions and other organizations to uphold and promote excellence in cancer care through our evidence-based guidelines, cancer research, continuing education, and advocacy.
NCCN has a long history of supporting the Cancer Moonshot, and our work aligns with the goals of the National Cancer Plan in multiple ways.
Over the past 25+ years, NCCN has developed an integrated suite of tools to improve the quality of cancer care. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology supports the goals of the National Cancer Plan by creating and maintaining evidence-based expert recommendations for cancer screening, prevention, treatment, and supportive care. Importantly, independent studies have found that guideline-concordant care improves cancer control, survival, and quality of life; reduces costs for health care systems, payers, and patients; and reduces racial disparities in cancer outcomes. National Cancer Plan Goals: Prevent Cancer (Goal 1), Detect Cancers Early (Goal 2), Eliminate Inequities (Goal 4), Deliver Optimal Care (Goal 5), and Optimize the Workforce (Goal 8)
The NCCN Guidelines for Patients have helped accelerate progress on multiple National Cancer Plan goals— these resources present expert recommendations in plain language, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, to empower patients and caregivers to discuss care options and shared decisions with their providers. National Cancer Plan Goals: Detect Cancers Early (Goal 2), Eliminate Inequities (Goal 4), Deliver Optimal Care (Goal 5), and Engage Every Person (Goal 6)
Our work to develop the Health Equity Report Card and the NCCN Oncology Research Program also aligns with several goals of the National Cancer Plan. The Health Equity Report Card includes 17 actionable recommendations to help practices and health care systems address discrimination and bias in care delivery to overcome systemic barriers to optimal care. It is currently being piloted in academic and community oncology settings. Additionally, our Oncology Research Program fosters innovation and discovery by funding quality improvement and cancer research projects to optimize cancer treatments and care delivery. National Cancer Plan Goals: Develop Effective Treatments (Goal 3), Eliminate Inequities (Goal 4), Deliver Optimal Care (Goal 5), and Optimize the Workforce (Goal 8)
The NCCN is strongly committed to the goals of the National Cancer Plan. Together, we can improve the lives of everyone touched by cancer.