ASCO recently published a detailed review of the “Top Five” opportunities to improve the quality and value of cancer care by curbing use of common tests and treatments that are not supported by clinical evidence. Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology,1 the article coincided with the announcement of several Top Five lists as part of the Choosing Wisely® campaign, which is sponsored by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation.
The JCO article summarizes each element of the oncology Top Five list, which includes: unnecessary use of chemotherapy for patients with advanced cancers who are unlikely to benefit; use of advanced, costly imaging technologies for staging of early breast and prostate cancers and for detection of breast cancer recurrence; and overuse of drugs to stimulate white blood cell production in patients receiving chemotherapy.
Lowell E. Schnipper, MD, lead author of the JCO article and chair of ASCO’s Cost of Care Task Force, said “By tackling the overuse of treatments and tests for some of the most common cancers, we hope to achieve substantial improvements in the quality of cancer care in the U.S. The Top Five list is just the first step in an ongoing ASCO effort to help physicians and patients implement these recommendations.”
For more information on the Choosing Wisely campaign and ASCO’s efforts to improve cancer care, visit asco.org/topfive. ■
1. Schnipper LE, Smith TJ, Raghavan D, et al: American Society of Clinical Oncology Identifies Five Key Opportunities to Improve Care and Reduce Costs: The Top Five List for Oncology. J Clin Oncol. April 3, 2012 (early release online).
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