ASCO, through its Center for Research and Analytics (CENTRA®), has issued a request for research ideas from its members for projects that ASCO could conduct to develop generalizable new knowledge for the oncology community. Of particular need are research ideas that align with the priorities documented in Clinical Cancer Advances 2019: ASCO’s Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer and ASCO’s Strategic Plan or policy priorities. All ideas must be submitted by September 30 using a brief survey.
The request relates to the ASCO Board’s approval in March 2019 of the scope and methods for ASCO research outlined below. The Board wanted to provide a mechanism for the ASCO members to submit high-priority research questions for ASCO to consider addressing. In addition, the Board determined that ASCO research should conform to ASCO’s guiding principles for research, which are to:
- Pursue research questions that the Society is uniquely poised to address
- Fill knowledge gaps that are clinically meaningful to patients and providers
- Inform ASCO policy development
- Build on and enhance the Society’s existing infrastructure (e.g., CancerLinQ, TAPUR Study, ASCO data assets)
- Employ research methods and tools that are embraced by ASCO and fit for purpose (i.e., be consistent with ASCO research statements, such as the ASCO/Friends of Cancer Research broadened eligibility criteria)
- Engage patients and their advocates in all aspects of the research process.
The scope of ASCO research includes the following general categories and topic areas.
General Categories and Topic Areas of Research
- Dissemination and Implementation: Research aimed at measuring the translation of knowledge or evidence into clinical practice; for example, the uptake and impact of ASCO clinical practice guidelines related products on clinical practice and the influence of practice-changing presentations and publications on care delivery.
- Comparative Effectiveness: Research that directly compares different therapeutic options to understand the relative benefits, risks, and overall value of each; for example, comparing two or more U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved indications for the same tumor type and line of therapy or studying treatment efficacy and safety in disparate populations not included in clinical trials. The results of these studies could be used by patients and clinicians to choose between therapies, by payers to determine coverage policy, and by policymakers to understand societal implications for health care programs and spending.
- Practice of Medicine: Research that examines variations in medical practice and how practicing clinicians adapt evidence from clinical trials into routine clinical practice; for example, understanding the utility and impact of genomic testing and consequent off-label targeted drug use (like in the TAPUR Study), examining drug dosing and symptom management in real-world populations, or assessing treatment sequencing when multiple possible options exist, such as checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapies.
- Health Services: Research about the oncology clinician workforce, the organization of oncology practices, and delivery of cancer care, including “Cancer Care Delivery Research” defined by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as, “Multidisciplinary science that seeks to improve clinical outcomes and patient well-being by intervening on patient, clinician, and organizational factors that influence care delivery.” Research topics could include patterns of care delivery, especially for disparate populations, deployment of new treatment modalities, and ongoing care of cancer survivors; improving access and quality of cancer care in rural populations; utilization of and adherence to oral anticancer agents; economic modeling of alternative payment models in oncology; and collaboration models to promote communication across the oncology care team.
- Research Methods: Projects that would help understand the impact of research methods and designs that ASCO recommends; for example, the impact of ASCO/Friends of Cancer Research eligibility criteria recommendations on enrollment rates and patient diversity in oncology clinical trials, contributions to standard setting for real-world data analysis and real-world evidence generation and evaluation, and separation of signals from the noise of adverse events reported in clinical trials.
The methods ASCO would employ for its research are detailed in the full RFP.
To submit an idea, complete a submission survey by September 30.
For more information or if you have questions, send an email to ResearchIdeas@ASCO.org.