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Charles P. Borden, Charles L. Shapiro, Maria Teresa Ramirez, Linda Kotur, and William Farrar

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute participated in NCCN’s Quality Improvement in Breast Cancer initiative. The Opportunities for Improvement (OFI) team elected to improve concordance with the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Breast Cancer recommendation that all patients diagnosed with skeletal metastases receive bisphosphonates. Assembling a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, researchers, and administrative stakeholders, the OFI team followed Six Sigma’s approach to problem-solving known as DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control). Baseline concordance was 79%, which was below the recommended target range. Initial analysis quickly revealed that 5 cases were concordant, resulting in a new baseline of 89%. The key root cause identified for the remaining gap was lack of documentation. The solution included education regarding documentation for existing staff, in addition to hard-wiring the material into new physician orientation, discussion of all patients with bone disease at tumor board meetings, and improved consistency with use of the new electronic medical record system. After implementation, the reported concordance was 92%, and the lack of documentation problem decreased from 11% in the baseline study to 6%. The team concluded that use of the NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database as an opportunity for clinical quality improvement initiatives not only is possible but also should be an essential element of any clinical program looking to continuously improve.

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Richard L. Theriault, J. Sybil Biermann, Elizabeth Brown, Adam Brufsky, Laurence Demers, Ravinder K. Grewal, Theresa Guise, Rebecca Jackson, Kevin McEnery, Donald Podoloff, Peter Ravdin, Charles L. Shapiro, Matthew Smith, and Catherine H. Van Poznak

Higher incidences of osteoporosis and osteopenia are found in cancer patients, particularly in women receiving aromatase inhibitors or with chemotherapy-induced ovarian failure, or in men with prostate cancer and androgen deprivation therapy. Therefore, management of long-term bone health is emerging as an important aspect of comprehensive cancer care. Patients with cancer typically have a number of additional risk factors for osteoporosis that should prompt screening, regardless of patient age or sex. Maintaining bone health requires a broad knowledge base, including understanding underlying bone metabolism and how it is affected by both cancer itself and the drugs used to treat cancer, the effect of chemotherapy-induced menopause on bone health, bone markers and imaging techniques used to assess bone health, therapeutic strategies to maintain bone health, and treatment of bone metastases, including surgery for pathologic fractures. Multiple members of the healthcare team may need to be involved in education and care of the patient. This report summarizes discussion of these and other issues regarding bone health and cancer care from the NCCN Bone Health and Cancer Care Task Force meeting in early 2006. (JNCCN 2006;4(Suppl 2):S1-S24)

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Julie R. Gralow, J. Sybil Biermann, Azeez Farooki, Monica N. Fornier, Robert F. Gagel, Rashmi N. Kumar, Charles L. Shapiro, Andrew Shields, Matthew R. Smith, Sandy Srinivas, and Catherine H. Van Poznak

Bone health and maintenance of bone integrity are important components of comprehensive cancer care in both early and late stages of disease. Risk factors for osteoporosis are increased in patients with cancer, including women with chemotherapy-induced ovarian failure, those treated with aromatase inhibitors for breast cancer, men receiving androgen-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, and patients undergoing glucocorticoid therapy. The skeleton is a common site of metastatic cancer recurrence, and skeletal-related events are the cause of significant morbidity. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) convened a multidisciplinary task force on Bone Health in Cancer Care to discuss the progress made in identifying effective screening and therapeutic options for management of treatment-related bone loss; understanding the factors that result in bone metastases; managing skeletal metastases; and evolving strategies to reduce bone recurrences. This report summarizes presentations made at the meeting.

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Therese B. Bevers, Deborah K. Armstrong, Banu Arun, Robert W. Carlson, Kenneth H. Cowan, Mary B. Daly, Irvin Fleming, Judy E. Garber, Mary Gemignani, William J. Gradishar, Helen Krontiras, Swati Kulkarni, Christine Laronga, Loretta Loftus, Deborah J. MacDonald, Martin C. Mahoney, Sofia D. Merajver, Ingrid Meszoely, Lisa Newman, Elizabeth Pritchard, Victoria Seewaldt, Rena V. Sellin, Charles L. Shapiro, and John H. Ward