Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) today announced it has received a new grant from the National Cancer institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, under the umbrella of the Cancer Moonshot, to create the MATCHES (Making Telehealth Delivery of Cancer Care at Home Effective and Safe) Telehealth Research Center at MSK, a first of its kind. The intra-MSK multidisciplinary center aims to build the evidence base necessary to establish best practices for telehealth-enabled cancer care.
In February, 2022, President Biden announced a reignition of the Cancer Moonshot, highlighting new goals: to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years, improve the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer, and to ultimately end cancer as we know it. By focusing on areas of cancer research that are most likely to benefit patients as a result of new investment, the Cancer Moonshot has brought together a large community of investigators and clinicians who are dedicated to expediting research to improve the lives of people with cancer. Leading efforts on the Telehealth Research Center at MSK, are Michael J. Morris, MD; Katherine Panageas, DrPH; Peter D. Stetson, MD; and Deb Schrag, MD.
“Technology enables us to bring healthcare visits right into the living rooms of our patients, provides new access points for care, and creates a more convenient experience,” said Michael J. Morris, MD, medical oncologist, and Prostate Cancer Section Head at MSK. “Through our research, we hope to prove over the next five years, that providing access to telehealth not only improves the overall patient experience but enables us to reach under-served communities by removing certain barriers to cancer care.”
The centerpiece of the MATCHES Telehealth Research Center is a pragmatic trial, MATCH-UP (MAking Telehealth-delivery of Cancer Care at Home—Upscaled Services Protocol), which will be conducted across MSK’s network of outpatient practices. It will assess MSK@Home, which supports the ability of patients with breast and prostate cancer to receive routine oncology care at home, via telehealth and a suite of enabling strategies. MSK@Home aims to bring many of the routine services that a patient must presently come for an in-person appointment to their home. MATCH-UP’s specific goals are to:
- Determine if MSK@Home is efficient, reducing the need for in-person visits
- Assess whether MSK@Home improves the patient experience
- Determine the impact on MSK@Home to clinicians’ experiences and perceptions of quality
- Characterize the barriers and facilitators to implementation of telehealth in oncology
“With this new grant from the NCI, we aim to develop a new paradigm in oncology – precision delivery – with the ultimate goal of matching individual patients with the most beneficial combination of clinic-based or telehealth-supported home-setting care at the appropriate time,” added Dr. Morris.