International Cancer Corps Site Coming to Central and Eastern Europe: Medical Institutions Invited to Apply to Host Program

Apr 03, 2024

Enhanced palliative care and multidisciplinary cancer management training will be available at a site in Central and Eastern Europe as the International Cancer Corps (ICC) expands to this region for the first time.

To be considered as a site for this training, the host medical institution must be located in a low- or middle-income country (LMIC) and commit to collaborating with ASCO to deliver oncology training to its clinical staff and participating in ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) LMIC pilot program.

The request for proposals (RFP) is now open; all proposals are due July 22. Notifications will be sent in September/October, with program activity beginning in the fourth quarter of 2024.

The ICC’s mission is to help host institutions in LMICs, which experience the greatest burden of cancer, to help improve the quality of care they provide to patients with cancer through knowledge sharing and skill building. The education and training for clinical staff is provided by ASCO member volunteers in collaboration with the participating medical institution.

“ASCO ICC programs are highly innovative and adaptive, encompassing e-courses on palliative medicine, virtual multidisciplinary board discussions of neuro-oncology with the ASCO team of experts/volunteers, and in-person train-the-trainer sessions,” said Voon Pei Jye, MD, MRCP, MMED, the department head and a medical oncologist at Sarawak General Hospital’s Department of Radiotherapy, Oncology and Palliative Care, which became an ICC host site more than 3 years ago. “This state-of-the-art collaboration enabled successful sharing and consequential knowledge and skillsets translation to our local teams, and it has definitely enhanced quality of cancer care in our state. Essentially, our team has gained tremendous benefits and inspiration.”

Working with ASCO, the host institution will oversee organizing one course per year over the next 3 years. The courses can be held either in person or virtually and include adapted programs for a Multidisciplinary Cancer Management Course (MCMC) or an International Palliative Care Course. Both courses have been taught many times before at other ICC sites, and ASCO will provide course materials and faculty, as well as four visits (either in person or virtually) from faculty per year to provide host institution staff with additional training.

“The ICC’s goal is to establish formal relationships with select institutions around the world to meet the learning needs established by ICC institution partners through short-term volunteer visits and other ASCO educational programs,” explained ASCO director of international education Vanessa Eaton. “We work with each of our ICC partners to match our programs to their educational needs. Once the objectives are clear, we pair volunteers to provide the required expertise and coordinate activities such as courses, virtual trainings, and in-person visits.”

The 3-day MCMC promotes interdisciplinary cancer management among specialists, surgeons, pathologists, and members of the oncology caregiving team. The 3-day International Palliative Care Course covers topics including communication skills, pain assessment, symptom management, and the integration of palliative care into cancer care.

The host institution may also participate in ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) LMIC pilot after receiving training. QOPI is a quality program designed for outpatient oncology practices to measure and promote high-quality cancer care and foster a culture of self-examination and improvement. Participating practices can report on evidence-based quality measures and receive individual performance scores by practice, site, and provider, as well as benchmarked scores aggregated from all participating practices. The QOPI LMIC pilot offers participating practices a limited measure set (five measures), allowing quality reporting to begin on a small scale.

For more information or questions about eligibility, email

Learn more, view the list of eligible countries, and access the application in the RFP document.

In Case You Missed It: ASCO's Simplified Membership Model Offers More Benefits to More Members

ASCO’s new, enhanced membership structure—which gives more benefits to more members—is now live. ASCO is continuing to offer free membership to physicians in low-income and lower-middle-income countries as defined by the World Bank, and this free membership now extends to all members of the oncology care team, including patient advocates, in these countries. Free membership also is available for eligible students, trainees, and emeritus members. Learn more.

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