National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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NCCN Receives $2M Educational Grant from Pfizer to Support Tailored Quality Improvement Plans at Leading Cancer Centers

NCCN has received a $2 million educational grant from Pfizer to help support the first CME program to measure the impact on patient outcomes and clinician performance through data collected in the NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database for Breast Cancer.

FORT WASHINGTON, PA — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) announces the development of the first continuing medical education (CME) program to leverage data in the NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database (NCCN Database) to objectively measure the impact of comprehensive performance improvement on patient outcomes. The NCCN Opportunities for Improvement initiative is supported by a three- year, $2 million educational grant from Pfizer.

The goal of the NCCN Opportunities for Improvement program is to develop and implement an outcomes-based performance improvement initiative that utilizes real practice data from NCCN Member Institutions. The program will identify tailored educational opportunities, design provider-specific action plans for improvement, and quantify and evaluate the impact of educational interventions on changes in practice and patient outcomes.

This program represents an exemplary opportunity for measurable improvement in competence, performance, and patient outcomes, said William T. McGivney, PhD, CEO of NCCN. Educating providers about how evidence-based recommendations for patient care may improve outcomes for their patient population is key to establishing a continuous quality improvement paradigm.

The NCCN Opportunities for Improvement program will utilize clinical data collected in the NCCN Database for Breast Cancer, as measured by concordance to the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines™) for Breast Cancer. The NCCN Database for Breast Cancer was initiated in 1996 and is designed to evaluate NCCN Member Institution concordance of practice to NCCN Guidelines™ recommendations, thus identifying areas for improvement. 

This grant continues to align Pfizer`s commitment to the oncology community with the needs of that community. We believe that thousands of patients will benefit from these efforts in concert with NCCN Member Institutions, said Freda Lewis-Hall, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer Inc.

Ten NCCN Member Institutions are participating in the NCCN Opportunities for Improvement program and Quality Improvement Coordinators at each center have been identified to act as liaisons between practicing breast cancer providers and data analysts at NCCN.

During the first phase of the program, NCCN will provide participating NCCN Member Institutions with center-specific reports detailing their concordance rates for each of the selected guideline measures to be studied. The report will detail the center`s concordance rate, the aggregate peer concordance rate, and identify whether the center`s concordance is significantly below the rate at their peer centers. Based on these reports, each center is responsible for identifying reasons for non-concordance and then developing and initiating interventions to address those reasons. Quality improvement best practices will be shared across participating centers.  Following the interventions, concordance to the NCCN Guidelines will be reassessed to evaluate the impact of each center`s interventions.

For the first time, we anticipate that we`ll actually be able to objectively measure the impact of quality improvement interventions on patient outcomes and performance by way of the NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database, said Dr. McGivney.

In a latter phase of the program, NCCN plans to host an educational summit to share the results from the quality improvement initiative with the oncology community. The summit proceedings will be published in JNCCN – The Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Participating NCCN Member Institutions include: City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dana Farber/Brigham and Women`s Cancer Center, Duke Cancer Institute, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital & Solove Research Institute, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives. For more information, visit

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
  • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Stanford Cancer Institute
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital