SEATTLE – July 25, 2012 – Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has launched a new research institute – the first of its kind among comprehensive cancer centers nationwide – dedicated to health economics and cancer outcomes research. The mission of the Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research and Evaluation, or ICORE, is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of cancer prevention, early detection and treatment to reduce the economic and human burdens of cancer.
“With the tremendous strains on patients and the health care system due to the rising costs of medical care, there is a growing awareness of the importance of health economics and outcome evaluation in our society,” said Lawrence Corey, M.D., president and director of the Hutchinson Center. “While our primary mission is to prevent and cure cancers, it is also necessary to ensure that the therapies we offer patients are well-selected both clinically and economically. The Hutchinson Center, as one of the nation’s leading cancer research centers, should be at the forefront of this important work.”
Scott Ramsey, M.D., Ph.D., a national leader in health care economics, has been appointed as the first director of ICORE, which is scheduled to begin operations early next year.
“Cancer care in the United States is in crisis. Costs are rising at an unsustainable rate, putting tremendous strains on patients and the health care system,” said Ramsey, a member of the Hutchinson Center Public Health Sciences Division. “The current environment in oncology health care delivery and policy make this an ideal time to focus on health economics, comparative and cost-effectiveness research, and health care policy,” he said, citing the 2011 President’s Cancer Panel report, which highlighted tremendous variations in cancer care nationwide. “A patient’s race, income, insurance, where they live, and even what cancer doctor they first see can change their likelihood of receiving the best treatments and affect overall survival,” Ramsey said. “There is a tremendous need to collect, analyze and provide evidence that supports the provision of efficient, effective and cost-effective cancer care.”
Ramsey and colleagues envision the new institute to be both translational and transformational, efficiently bringing scientific advances to the health care sector, finding and implementing new models that maintain the quality of care while reducing the financial burden of cancer for patients, health systems and society.
The institute will focus on a number of core research areas, including:
- outcomes research in cancer;
- cost-effectiveness of prevention, early detection and treatment clinical trials for cancer;
- comparative effectiveness, and pragmatic clinical trial design and implementation; and
- health policy in cancer and other chronic diseases.
The Hutchinson Center is providing initial funding for the institute, which is expected to be self-sustaining over time, supported by a combination of federal and nonfederal research grants, industry contracts and donations, and private and foundation gifts.
The institute will be comprised of core clinical research and public health faculty from the Hutchinson Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance as well as affiliate investigators from the University of Washington.
“The institute will serve as a new model for partnerships with all stakeholders in the cancer research and care delivery enterprise,” Ramsey said. “Success in this effort will result in broader use of evidence-based care, more efficient and effective models of health care delivery, and reducing the overall burden of cancer in our region.”
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At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit fhcrc.org.