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ABC conceptual model of effective multidisciplinary cancer care


The treatment of cancer requires that health care providers and caregivers from many disciplines work together on the intertwined physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of oncology patients. Providing a conceptual framework explaining how the members of multidisciplinary oncology treatment teams may best interact with each other and the patient helps drive patient-centered care and clarifies the roles of specific team members at various times over the course of treatment. The ABC model of multidisciplinary care in cancer treatment describes the roles of the active caregivers (for example, physicians or nurses), basic supportive caregivers (for example, psychologists or chaplains) and community support (for example, advocacy groups or hospital staff) providing the full continuum of the cancer treatment experience. Teams trained in the ABC model should better understand the function and importance of each member's role, increase patient involvement and satisfaction with treatment, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

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Figure 1: ABC conceptual model of multidisciplinary cancer care

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The ABC conceptual model was developed on the basis of experience with Japanese colleagues through the Japan TeamOncology Program, a partnership between MD Anderson Cancer Center and Japanese institutions (St Luke International Hospital and Keio University) to establish and promote multidisciplinary clinical oncology programs through outstanding clinical research and educational programs. The authors acknowledge all MD Anderson faculty members who have participated in the Japan TeamOncology Program (; Terri Armstrong, Donald Berry, Jeffrey Bryan, Francisco Esteva, Phyllis Evetts, Barry Feig, Gabriel Hortobagyi, Kellie Jones, Jack Lee, Zhongxing Liao, Paul Mansfield, Joyce Neumann, Dina Patel, Hillary Prescott, Aysegul Sahin, Hetal Shah, Nicholas Szewczyk, Richard Theriault, Shen Yu and Ralph Zinner) and have provided input on how the ABC conceptual model should be defined. The authors thank Stephanie Deming (Department of Scientific Publications, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center) for editorial assistance.

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J. Apted, T. D. Ito and N. T. Ueno researched the data for the article. J. Apted, M. Black, T. D. Ito and N. T. Ueno substantially contributed to the discussion of the content. J. Apted, M. Black, R. K. Grigsby and N. T. Ueno contributed to the writing of the first draft of the article and all authors were involved in the review and editing of the manuscript prior to submission.

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Correspondence to Naoto T. Ueno.

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Ueno, N., Ito, T., Grigsby, R. et al. ABC conceptual model of effective multidisciplinary cancer care. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 7, 544–547 (2010).

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