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A team of researchers from UNC Lineberger and the University of California, Los Angeles published a paper in the current issue of Cancer, entitled “Provider-based research networks and diffusion of surgical technologies among patients with early-stage kidney cancer.” This study is the latest in a series from Lineberger researchers examining the impact of the National Cancer Institute’s Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) as a potential facilitator for the dissemination of innovative cancer care practices into the broader community.

Prior work from coauthors of the current study, UNC Lineberger members Anne-Marie Meyer, PhD, and Stephanie Wheeler, found CCOP affiliation to be associated with higher rates of innovative treatment for colon cancer (read more here and here) and breast cancer. In contrast, the current study found that patients treated by providers affiliated with CCOP were no more likely to receive at least one of two surgical innovations for treatment of their kidney cancer, indicating perhaps a more limited scope to provider-based research networks as they pertain to translational efforts in cancer care.

Matt Nielsen, MD, MS, Director of Urologic Oncology and senior author on the study notes, “Our findings have important implications, as we transition from the CCOP to the larger and more integrated NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). NCORP’s broader agenda to include observational data as well as clinical trials may be well-positioned to support large scale, provider-based collaboratives focused on cancer care quality, which may in turn provide the mechanism to bridge the gaps we found in CCOP as a vehicle to translate innovative surgical approaches developed outside of the formal clinical trials infrastructure into community practice.” This study was a collaboration between investigators from the Lineberger Cancer Outcomes Research Program and lead author, Ray (Hung-Jui) Tan, a urologist and Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at UCLA. The study was published with an accompanying editorial from Christopher Weight, entitled “Struggles in exporting complex surgical advances.”