University of Wisconsin–Madison

UW-CTRI Lends Expertise to National Cancer Institute’s ‘Moonshot’ Tobacco Initiative


The UW Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center (UW-CCC) and UW-CTRI are coordinating the Cancer Center Cessation Initiative (C3I) project to help cancer centers implement systems to identify patients who smoke and help them quit.

C3I is part of the Cancer Moonshot, new federal funding to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In part, the Moonshot was inspired by the death of Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015 and is the son of former Vice President Joe Biden.

UW-CCC Assistant Director Betsy Rolland is directing the C3I coordinating center while UW-CTRI Outreach Director Rob Adsit serves as an expert on electronic health records, workflow and systems change to implement comprehensive tobacco treatment at 22 cancer centers across America.

“C3I is working with the 22 funded cancer centers across the country to help them develop or enhance a systematic way to identify, treat, and document their adult patients who smoke,” Adsit said.

UW-CTRI Director Dr. Michael Fiore serves as senior scientist on the initiative. UW-CTRI Associate Research Specialist Marika Rosenblum provides project support, and UW-CTRI Research Director Dr. Tim Baker is providing additional scientific input.

The 22 funded cancer centers across the nation will:

  • Refine electronic medical records and clinical workflows to ensure the systematic identification and documentation of smokers and the routine delivery of evidence-based tobacco cessation treatment services.
  • Overcome patient, clinician, clinic, and health-system barriers to provide tobacco-treatment services.
  • Achieve institutional buy-in that treating tobacco use is standard care.
  • Create mechanisms to sustain tobacco-treatment services into the future.

Scientist Heather D’Angelo, hired by the C3I project, is helping define the scope of data collection, and is gathering data from all the awardees for analysis. The initial project runs for two years, and awardees are encouraged to maintain the tobacco-treatment infrastructure for a minimum of three years beyond this initial NCI funding.