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Stony Brook Joins National Study to Improve Care for Lung Cancer Patients

Lcec team crop 1

Stony Brook Joins National Study to Improve Care for Lung Cancer Patients

Cancer Center is one of 12 institutions nationwide to incorporate new “best practice” model

Lcec team crop 1
Members of the Stony Brook’s Lung Cancer Evaluation Center, from left: Sajive Aleyas, MD, Co-Director; Lisa Repper, RN; Sunday Campolo-Athans, NP; Maureen Farrell; April Plank, DNP, and Thomas V. Bilfinger, MD, ScD, Co-Director.

STONY BROOK, N.Y., August 15, 2012Stony Brook University Cancer Center is among six healthcare institutions to recently join a national study to promote an evidence-based evaluation and treatment standards model for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSMLC). A total of 12 healthcare institutions are participating in the American College of Surgeon’s Commission on Cancer(CoC) National Pilot Study for the ProvenCare Lung Cancer Collaborative, based on Geisinger Health System’s ProvenCare® model. The study is designed to create a “best practice” model to improve quality of life and outcomes for patients with NSCLC, the most common form of lung cancer and leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.

The Geisinger Health System ProvenCare practice model has been used for various disease treatment models, such as for coronary artery bypass surgery. This has led to improved adherence to evidence-based treatment standards, patients becoming more engaged in their care, reduced hospital stays, and significantly improved patient outcomes. The ProvenCare Lung Cancer Collaborative, first launched in 2010, evaluates NSCLC patients who have had surgery (lung resection). The goal is to evaluate 500 additional patients treated at Stony Brook and elsewhere over the next year, which would culminate in data on approximately 1,000 patients.

“We are honored to be recognized by the Commission on Cancer to be among a select new group of lung cancer programs nationwide to participate in the ProvenCare model,” says Thomas V. Bilfinger, MD, ScD, Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and Co-Director of Stony Brook’s Lung Cancer Evaluation Center (LCEC).“The program provides a format that ensures the delivery of patient evaluation and treatment at a premier level nationally to advance care for patients.”

“This effort positions healthcare providers to use ‘best practices’ in treating patients, and we are pleased to expand Geisinger’s ProvencCare model in this study to six more institutions,” said David P. Winchester, MD, FACS, Medical Director, American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs.

Dr. Bilfinger says that as of August 2012 the LCEC began incorporating the ProvenCare model when treating NSCLC patients. Data collection on patients starts before surgery and continues during lung cancer resection and for all post-surgery treatment and follow-up care.

The pilot study promotes a specific care pathway that is followed by each institution’s multidisciplinary lung cancer treatment team. The program identifies 38 standard elements of care as essential steps to best practice for NSCLC patients. These steps are varied and include all aspects of treatment. Some of the steps detail procedures for sampling tissue specimens for diagnostic testing, medical management of disease, pain management, instituting breathing exercises for patients, enforcing interdisciplinary evaluation of patients, and smoking cessation.

Stony Brook’s LCEC began in 2001 under the direction of Dr. Bilfinger. The LCEC has followed an interdisciplinary model of treatment and includes a dedicated lung cancer thoracic surgeon, an interventional pulmonologist who specializes in lung cancer, as well as medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, an interventional radiologist, nurse practitioners, a nurse navigator and other support staff.


About Stony Brook University Cancer Center:

Stony Brook University Cancer Center is Suffolk County’s cancer care leader and a leader in education and research. With more than 20,000 inpatient and outpatient visits annually, the Cancer Center includes 12 multidisciplinary teams: Breast Cancer; Colorectal Cancer; Gynecologic Oncology; Head, Neck and Thyroid Oncology; Lung Cancer; Melanoma; Neurologic Oncology; Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Sarcoma; Stem Cell Transplantation and Hematologic Malignancy; Upper Gastrointestinal Oncology; and Urologic Oncology. The cancer program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as a Teaching Hospital Cancer Program and received the Commission’s Outstanding Achievement Award. The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center is the first center in New York State to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. To learn more, visit


© Stony Brook University 2012

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