Cancer and Emergency Medicine

Overview and Statement of Interest

Hospital-based emergency departments (ED) evaluate and manage patients with a wide variety of oncologic emergencies, including febrile neutropenia, respiratory distress, spinal cord compression, and acute pain. Because increasing numbers of patients are treated with outpatient treatment regimens, EDs often are the first place patients turn to when they have a complication or unexpected worsening of their condition. EDs must quickly evaluate clinical, laboratory, and radiographic tests, and they often are required to manage complex critical conditions. This complexity sometimes is increased when cancer patients present to the ED with few or no clinical records. Despite this, the ED must quickly stratify patient needs, determine appropriate treatment, and identify the most appropriate care setting (e.g., hospital admission versus outpatient). Both knowledge gaps in cancer care guidelines and operational challenges exist, and these and other factors may lead to delays in life-saving care, treatments that are less cost-effective, and avoidable hospital admissions.

The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS), of which the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) is a part, is interested in addressing knowledge gaps by supporting investigator-initiated applications for observational and multilevel intervention studies focused on health-related outcomes in cancer patients utilizing emergency care services.

DCCPS is specifically interested in:

  1. Cancer-related utilization of emergency care and the patient, caregiver, clinician, and delivery system factors that drive emergency service use
  2. Risk stratification, risk prediction models, and evidence-based strategies to improve health-related outcomes in the cancer population utilizing emergency services
  3. Efforts to reduce emergency care use

Studies should be collaborations between oncology and emergency medicine experts.

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Relevant Funding Opportunities

Applications related to cancer and emergency medicine should be submitted according to instructions provided in a relevant NIH funding opportunity announcement. Below are announcements that may be of interest:

  • NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01) - expires January 8, 2021, unless reissued
  • Exploratory Grants in Cancer Epidemiology and Genomics Research – expires May 8, 2019, unless reissued
  • Mechanisms, Models, Measurement, & Management in Pain Research – expires May 8, 2019
  • Improving Outcomes in Cancer Treatment-Related Cardiotoxicity – expires January 8, 2019

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Related Workshops

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Resources for Oncology and Emergency Medicine Researchers

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For general questions about cancer and emergency medicine, contact:

  • Nonniekaye F. Shelburne, C.R.N.P., M.S., A.O.C.N. Program Director, Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Branch

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