• Currently funded health services research is addressing important issues related to the quality of cancer care, for example, the impact of managed care, patterns of care, outcomes studies, issues in cancer survivorship, cancer control in minority communities, barriers to access to cancer care, cancer surveillance, pain management, and end-of-life care.
  • NCI appears to be the primary sponsor of cancer-related health services research. The health services research budget is not known, but quality-related research appears to represent a very small fraction of the overall NCI research budget ($2.4 billion in FY 1997).
  • AHCPR has a small budget ($171 million in 1999) and a limited but balanced (by cancer site) portfolio of extramurally funded cancer health services research. An estimated 6 percent of the research budget is spent on cancer-related health services research. AHCPR is developing an infrastructure for evidence synthesis and is disseminating information about clinical practice guidelines, both or which have relevance to cancer care.
  • Analysts at NCI and HCFA are conducting important cancer-related health services research with the linked SEER-Medicare claims file. NCI and HCFA are attempting to assist new researchers and to promote familiarity with, and use of, this database.
  • DoD is supporting breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer research through its Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, but very few of the awards are for health services research.
  • Very few private organizations (e.g., foundations) appear to be funding cancer-related health services research. The American Cancer Society has an extramural research budget of $171 million of which 5 percent of support is devoted to health services research. The ACS is internally funding the development of two very large surveys of cancer survivors, which will provide valuable information about the experience of cancer, especially quality-of-life issues.
  • The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization devoted to synthesizing the results of clinical trials, has begun to organize groups based on cancer site.

References

American Cancer Society. 1998a. American Cancer Society Extramural Grants Programs in Effect September 1, 1998. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society.

American Cancer Society. 1998b. Behavioral Research Center: Program Description and Progress Report. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society.


Brown M. 1998. Head, Health Services and Economics Section, Applied Research Branch, Cancer Surveillance Research Program, personal communication to Maria Hewitt, December 16, 1998.

The Cochrane Collaboration. 1999. http://hiru.mcmaster.ca/cochrane/default.htm.


Edwards BK. 1997a. Associate Director, Cancer Surveillance Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute. Presentation to National Cancer Policy Board. Washington, D.C.

Edwards BK. 1997b Briefing Book prepared for National Cancer Policy Board. Updated by personal communication.

Edwards, BK. 1998. Associate Director, Cancer Surveillance Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, personal communication to Maria Hewitt, November 2, 1998.

Eisenberg JM. 1998. AHCPR focuses on information for health care decision makers. Health Services Research 33 (4): 767-785.



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