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Yale Cancer Center wins grant to improve care for metastatic breast cancer patients

February 22, 2016

A proposal for improving the partnership between metastatic breast cancer patients and their medical care teams has garnered Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven a $358,000 award from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) in collaboration with Pfizer. Only ten awards were given to cancer centers around the country.

“For women with metastatic breast cancer, cure can’t always be the ultimate goal. However, there is a tremendous amount we can do to enhance a patient’s quality of life,” said Principal Investigator Cary Gross, M.D., professor of medicine (general medicine), and director of Yale’s Cancer Outcomes Public Policy and Effectiveness Research (COPPER) Center. “Historically, medical care teams have fallen short in collecting critical quality of life information from patients, such as emotional health, side effects of treatment, and financial issues. Our project aims to close that gap so we can provide better care to the whole patient.”

Gross said the project will bring together a diverse group of medical professionals and patients to develop a standardized method of collecting information that prioritizes patient needs and involvement in treatment decisions.

“NCCN is proud of its ongoing collaboration with Pfizer IGLC to enhance the quality of treatment of people with metastatic breast cancer in both academic and community settings,” said Robert C. Young, MD, interim vice president, NCCN ORP. “Breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer death in women in the United States, and these projects indeed couple education with performance in order to heighten awareness and utilization of evidence-based treatment guidelines for the disease.”

Other investigators on the grant include: Sarah Mougalian, M.D, is the co-principal investigator; Maysa Abu-Khalaf, M.D.; Lajos Pusztai, M.D.; Andrea Silber, M.D.; James Yu, M.D.; and Jenerius Aminawung, M.D.

Submitted by Renee Gaudette on February 22, 2016