NCI Telehealth Research Centers of Excellence (TRACE)

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NCI Cancer Moonshot logo

The Cancer MoonshotSMExternal Web Site Policy was designed to accelerate efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer and achieve 10 years of progress in 5 years.

BLUE RIBBON PANEL RECOMMENDATION FExternal Web Site Policy: Minimize cancer treatment’s debilitating side effects

BLUE RIBBON PANEL RECOMMENDATION GExternal Web Site Policy: Expand use of proven cancer prevention and early detection strategies

TRACE Overview

In the United States, there has been a substantial increase in telehealth use in recent years. Research has shown that telehealth can improve healthcare access and quality, patient/provider communication, and health outcomes. Importantly, many aspects of cancer care can be delivered through telehealth, such as promotion of positive health behaviors and cancer screening, remote patient monitoring and management of symptoms during cancer treatment, and virtual survivorship follow-up care. However, large-scale research in diverse clinical settings is needed to optimize the use of telehealth and sustain it as a mode of cancer care delivery, as well as to ensure that cutting-edge findings are quickly adopted into effective and equitable practice.

The National Cancer Institute’s Telehealth Research Centers of Excellence (TRACE) Initiative, supported by the Cancer MoonshotSM, funds multiple centers focused on improving people’s lives by:

  • rapidly developing an evidence base of telehealth approaches to cancer care, spanning prevention to survivorship
  • identifying and addressing disparities in access to and use of telehealth services for cancer-related care
  • fostering innovations to improve cancer care delivery using new tools, research methods, and technologies
  • evaluating the changing policy and payment environment and its impact on delivery of telehealth for cancer care

TRACE Centers

Center MPIs PI/MPI Institution(s) Project Number
Making Telehealth Delivery of Cancer Care at Home Effective and Safe (MATCHES) Katherine Panageas (contact), Michael Morris, Peter Stetson, Deborah Schrag Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 1P50CA271357-01External Web Site Policy
Scalable TELeheaLth Cancer CARe (STELLAR) Bonnie Spring (contact), Brian Hitsman, Siobhan Phillips, Sofia Garcia Northwestern University at Chicago 1P50CA271353-01External Web Site Policy
Telehealth Research and Innovation for Veterans with Cancer (THRIVE) Sherman Scott (contact), Danil Makarov, Leah Zullig New York University Grossman School of Medicine 1P50CA271358-01External Web Site Policy
University of Pennsylvania Telehealth Research Center of Excellence (Penn TRACE) Justin Bekelman (contact), Katharine Rendle, Anil Vachani University of Pennsylvania 1P50CA271338-01External Web Site Policy

Overview of Projects

  • Making Telehealth Delivery of Cancer Care at Home Effective and Safe (MATCHES) Research Center: The MATCHES Telehealth Research Center supports investigators and trainees from multiple disciplines to 1) conduct pragmatic and pilot trials across its’ integrated network of outpatient oncology practices; 2) leverage a substantial cache of observational data to build the evidence base necessary to establish best practices for telehealth-supported cancer care; and 3) investigate telehealth safety during cancer treatment and address the risk of exacerbating disparities in access to high quality healthcare. The center’s theme focuses on developing data science methods to integrate telehealth data with other complex data streams to measure outcomes and quality of care.
  • Scalable TELeheaLth Cancer CARe (STELLAR) Research Center: The STELLAR team is integrating cancer risk behavior assessment into the electronic health record and automating referrals in order to make telehealth-enabled treatment of health risk behaviors accessible to cancer providers and patients throughout Northwestern’s clinical practice network. The STELLAR team's experience in developing evidence-based, technology-assisted risk behavior treatments, provides a foundation for their plan to refine and evaluate a tailored, cancer-specific, telehealth treatment program for multiple risk behaviors to be fully integrated into quality care.
  • Telehealth Research and Innovation for Veterans with Cancer (THRIVE) Research Center: The THRIVE team is collaborating with the Veterans Health Administration (VA), the largest integrated health care system in the United States) – to examine how social determinants(e.g., race, ethnicity, poverty and rurality) affect telehealth use in cancer care. THRIVE aims to: 1) understand how social determinants impact the delivery of telehealth for cancer and 2) develop methods to address SDTH and thereby improve access and quality of cancer care for all patients.
  • University of Pennsylvania Telehealth Research Center of Excellence (Penn TRACE): The Penn TRACE team is applying insights from communication science and behavioral economics to design and test synchronous telehealth strategies, supported by asynchronous elements, to improve effectiveness and equity across the cancer care continuum, with an emphasis on understanding mechanisms of action. Penn TRACE uses lung cancer care as an exemplar model for telehealth across the care continuum, from screening to treatment to survivorship. Penn TRACE aims to produce new fundamental knowledge regarding telehealth approaches, with the potential to transform cancer care delivery, equity, and health-related outcomes.


Last Updated: 19 Apr, 2024