HICOR Research

Innovative Studies, Novel Approaches

HICOR strives to reduce the human and economic burden of cancer by conducting innovative research in areas that include the financial impact of cancer, cancer outcomes, cost-effectiveness of technologies and treatments, cancer care delivery and cancer policy.

Some of our many ongoing projects are described below.

A Pragmatic Trial to Improve Colony Stimulating Factor Use in Cancer (TrACER)

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Colony stimulating factor — a naturally occurring substance in the body that helps bone marrow produce red blood cells — is prescribed to patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment that carries a high risk of a serious, life-threatening complication called febrile neutropenia. Studies show that CSF is both overused and underused, exposing patients to unnecessary risk and cost. HICOR is partnering with Columbia University, University of Washington and SWOG Cancer Research Network on a pioneering study to investigate whether a guideline-informed, standing order to administer preventive CSF improves guideline adherence and reduces the incidence of febrile neutropenia. Forty-five clinics across the country are participating in the TrACER Study, which is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the National Cancer Institute’s Community Oncology Research Program.

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The Cure Sickle Cell Initiative Clinical and Economic Analysis: An Evaluation of the Costs of Sickle Cell Disease and Potential Health Plan Budget Impacts of Gene Therapy as a New Treatment Option

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About 100,000 people in the U.S. are affected by sickle cell disease, a disproportionate percentage of which are black or Hispanic. About one in 13 black or African Americans have sickle cell trait and are at risk for having a child with the disease. The inherited blood disorder leads to many medical complications and shortens the life spans of people affected by about 20-30 years. For people living with the disease, early intervention and access to care are vital for their long-term prognosis, physically and psychologically. HICOR is partnering with NHLBI, Emmes, and University of Washington to develop models that will estimate the clinical and economic benefits of cures for sickle cell disease. The goal is to clarify the potential long-term benefits of promising new curative therapies.

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The Role of Community Pharmacy in Colorectal Cancer Screening

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Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening completion is markedly below targeted screening rates in the United States, particularly for medically underserved communities. Multiple studies have shown that routine fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) reduces CRC incidence and mortality. Most interventions aimed at increasing CRC screening using FIT are delivered through primary care provider clinics, and healthcare systems. As an additional outlet, pharmacies may also be able to significantly increase CRC screening rates due to their high presence in communities. The goal of this study is to assess acceptability and feasibility of implementing a pharmacy-located CRC screening program by interviewing pharmacists, patients and primary care providers in Washington state.