NCI-ASCO Teams in Cancer Care Delivery

The National Cancer Institute and the American Society of Clinical Oncology collaboratively hosted the Teams in Cancer Care Delivery workshop in February 2016 and a special series of 19 papers and 4 invited commentaries in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of Oncology PracticeExternal Web Site Policy. This collaboration recognizes the importance and promise of teams in delivering high quality cancer care across the care continuum.

Physicians, their staff, and patients struggle with a shrinking cancer care workforce and the challenge of keeping up with the growing complexity of cancer care delivery, changing guidelines, and the hope of providing evidence-based supportive care in what the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls a "system in crisis."1 Forty-five percent of oncologists and a slightly higher proportion of family physicians reported high levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization (burnout) in recent surveys,2 and the problem is likely to increase. The relative supply of oncologists and primary care physicians is decreasing as the numbers of people at risk, people newly diagnosed with cancer, and long-term cancer survivors are increasing.3 The IOM suggests that teams and teamwork are a needed part of the solution to workforce shortages and the complexity of cancer care delivery.1,4

To learn more about the project, please visit the ASCO websiteExternal Web Site Policy or contact Veronica Chollette or Sallie Weaver.

February 2016 Workshop

The NCI-ASCO Teams in Cancer Care Delivery Workshop was held on February 25, 2016 in conjunction with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Symposium. The goal of the workshop and corresponding journal supplement is to expand the scientific base of health care teams in cancer care. Teams are defined as two or more people who interact dynamically, interdependently, and adaptively to achieve a common valued goal. To reduce cancer morbidity and mortality, primary care, medical oncology groups (e.g., surgical and radiation), their respective staff, and patients need to share information, responsibility, and the tasks of cancer care across the cancer care continuum, from screening through end-of-life care.

Journal of Oncology Practice Special Series

The November 2016 issue of the Journal of Oncology Practice features 19 papers and four commentaries that address ways to enhance team-based oncology care. Manuscripts were written by interdisciplinary groups of authors that included clinicians, researchers, and patient advocates and they discuss both real and hypothetical case studies, models of care, and the value of teams in care. This special series adds to the growing body of literature demonstrating how teamwork improves health care delivery. For access to all papers published as part of the special series, please visit the Journal of Oncology PracticeExternal Web Site Policy website.


  1. Committee on Improving the Quality of Cancer Care: Addressing the Challenges of an Aging Population, Board on Health Care Services, Institute of Medicine; Levit L, Balogh E, Nass S, Ganz PA, editors. Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2013 Dec 27. [View Abstract]External Web Site Policy
  2. Shanafelt TD, Boone S, Tan L, Dyrbye LN, Sotile W, Satele D, West CP, Sloan J, Oreskovich MR. Burnout and satisfaction with work-life balance among US physicians relative to the general US population. Arch Intern Med 2012 Oct 8;172(18):1377-85. [View Abstract]External Web Site Policy
  3. Yang W, Williams JH, Hogan PF, Bruinooge SS, Rodriguez GI, Kosty MP, Bajorin DF, Hanley A, Muchow A, McMillan N, Goldstein M. Projected supply of and demand for oncologists and radiation oncologists through 2025: an aging, better-insured population will result in shortage. J Oncol Pract 2014 Jan;10(1):39-45. doi: 10.1200/JOP.2013.001319. [View Abstract]External Web Site Policy
  4. Wynia MK, Von Kohorn I, Mitchell PH. Challenges at the intersection of team-based and patient-centered health care: insights from an IOM working group. JAMA 2012 Oct 3;308(13):1327-8. [Look up in PubMed]External Web Site Policy
Last Updated: 02 Nov, 2022