EMBRACE Program: A Comprehensive Approach to Improve the Care of Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Overall goal: In contrast to early breast cancer, the quality of care for patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) has been relatively understudied.  Little attention has been focused on leveraging the strengths of academic and community-based settings to provide optimal care for patients.  Our overall goal is to advance the care of patients with MBC by designing and implementing a comprehensive program that combines clinical care, clinical research, physician engagement, and patient education.

Target Populations: 1) Academic breast medical oncology providers based at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), 2) Referring physicians, and 3) Patients with MBC seen at least once at DFCI. 

Methods: We will build upon an existing, IRB-approved, prospective, longitudinal study that collects clinical data and bio-specimens in patients with MBC, and includes consent for tracking and re-contact.  Each patient will be assigned an “EMBRACE navigator” who will facilitate care coordination through the continuum of care (including the interface between academic and referring oncologists), clinical trial matching, and psychosocial needs assessment. We will provide focused education and resources to both academic and community providers regarding standard of care approaches and clinical trial opportunities. We will provide an expanded program of communication, education, and supportive care resources for patients. 

Assessment: We will utilize a variety of metrics to assess the proposed program, including the proportion of patients who return for ongoing consultation, referral/enrollment for molecular testing and clinical trials, and awareness of and use of supportive care resources.  Using survey-based methods, we will assess patient and provider knowledge and satisfaction.

Full ProposalInterim ReportsFinal Report
Approval Date:
December 2015
Amount Awarded:
Start Date:
End Date:
In Progress
Metastatic Breast Cancer