Making Immunotherapy Available in the Community

“With immunotherapy fast becoming part of oncology practice, one group is taking measures to ensure that community cancer care is not left behind.

“Later this month the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) will launch the Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology (ICLIO), an initiative directed to preparing community cancer teams and centers to deal with the clinical as well as coverage and reimbursement aspects of the emerging therapy. Initial funding was provided through a contribution from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

“ICLIO is chaired by Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, who spoke with MedPage Today about the program’s origins and goals.

“Schwartzberg, a professor of medicine who heads the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and who serves as medical director of the West Clinic in Memphis, said that ICLIO grew out of ACCC members’ concern about how to integrate immunotherapy into their practices, especially with the ‘remarkable outpouring of clinical data and drug approvals in immunotherapy,’ which Schwartzberg called an ‘almost new discipline of oncology.’ “