Background: The proliferation of relationships between community health systems and academic medical centers has created a need to identify effective components of these models. This article reports on frontline physician experiences, with one such relationship established through the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) Cancer Alliance. MSK created the Alliance with the goals of rapidly bringing the newest standards of care into community settings and increasing patient access to clinical trials in their local communities. Methods: Alliance leadership administered a 10-question anonymous survey to physicians treating patients with cancer across the 3 Alliance member health systems: Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, and Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida. The purpose of the survey was to identify opportunities to improve physician engagement. Results: There were 103 clinician respondents across Alliance members, of which 87 reported participation in a disease management team and were included in the final analysis. Most respondents reported high value from Alliance activities, such as attending MSK tumor boards (94%) and lecture series (96%), among those who reported them applicable. Across all respondents, most reported satisfaction with engagement opportunities, such as MSK physician participation in their institution’s meetings (76%). When asked where they would like to see increased engagement, the most commonly reported response was for more lecture series (45%). Most respondents (88%) reported that the Alliance led to practice change, either for themselves or for other clinicians at their institution. Many attributed this practice change to MSK disease-specific process measures. Conclusions: The activities most valued by community physicians were heavily physician relationship–based. The encouraging experience of the MSK Cancer Alliance suggests that activities involving physician investment may be effective for promoting practice change in the context of cross-institution relationships. Future research is needed in this area.
Allison Lipitz-Snyderman, Jessica Kennington, Brooke Hogan, Deborah Korenstein, Leonard Kalman, Suresh Nair, Peter Yu, Paul Sabbatini, and David Pfister
Angela K. Green, Deborah Korenstein, Carol Aghajanian, Brooke Barrow, Michael Curry, and Roisin E. O’Cearbhaill
Background: This study sought to describe how high- versus low-frequency surveillance imaging practices among providers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) impact overall survival (OS) and time to recurrence of patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer in first remission. Methods: The study cohort included patients with stage II–IV high-grade epithelial ovarian cancer diagnosed in January 2001 through January 2017 who experienced recurrence after initial platinum-based chemotherapy. To determine usual imaging practices for providers at MSKCC, median frequency of CT or MRI of the abdomen/pelvis was calculated among patients with a long-term remission (defined as at least 1 year) treated by each provider. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine differences in OS and time to recurrence among patients treated by providers with high versus low imaging frequency practices, with additional subgroup analysis among patients with elevated CA-125 levels >35 U/mL at diagnosis. Chi-square tests were used to examine differences in the proportion of patients who enrolled in clinical trials or underwent secondary cytoreductive surgery (SCS) by imaging frequency. Results: A total of 543 patients were treated by providers with high imaging frequency (>1 scan every 12 months) and 141 were treated by providers with low imaging frequency (≤1 scan every 12 months). Time to recurrence was shorter among patients treated by providers with high versus low imaging frequency (18.0 vs 19.2 months; hazard ratio, 1.33; P=.003). Results were similar when restricted to patients with elevated CA-125 levels at diagnosis. There was no significant difference in OS, clinical trial enrollment, or SCS by imaging practice. Conclusions: Within the limitations of this retrospective analysis, patients with advanced ovarian cancer treated by high-frequency-imaging providers had earlier detection of recurrence. Future analyses in a larger population are warranted to elucidate the risks versus benefits of surveillance imaging.