About Penn ISC3

ISC3 Overview

The Implementation Science Centers in Cancer Control (ISC3) Program, funded by the National Cancer Institute, supports the development, testing, and refinement of innovative approaches to implement evidence-based cancer control interventions.

All Centers feature “implementation laboratories” involving clinical and community sites. These sites will engage in implementation research across the cancer control continuum to:

  • advance methods in studying implementation
  • develop and validate reliable measures of key implementation science constructs.

These Centers provide leadership for an Implementation Science consortium across this and other Cancer MoonshotSM initiatives.

Penn ISC3

The Penn Implementation Science Center in Cancer Control (ISC3) is a $4.9 million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute (P50CA244690) that is part of the national network of ISC3s. Our goal is to apply insights from behavioral economics to rapidly accelerate the pace at which evidence-based practices for cancer care are deployed and the extent to which they are delivered equitably, thereby increasing their reach and impact on the health and health equity of individuals with cancer.

Penn ISC3 implements projects across an Implementation Laboratory that spans Penn Medicine’s geographic footprint. This includes 6 hospitals, 12 outpatient oncology clinics, and 18 radiation centers with over 400 physicians and advanced practice providers serving patients from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Penn Medicine currently sees over 300,000 outpatient visits and more than 10,000 discharges, and more than 9,000 patients participate in nearly 600 clinical trials each year. As of 2021, Penn Medicine serves over 19,000 new cancer patients a year.

Penn ISC3 is composed of Signature Projects focused on increasing the uptake of evidence-based practices, as well as Methods Projects focused on refining implementation strategy design; conducting mixed methods analysis of potential implementation mechanisms; and centering our projects on equitable implementation.

Penn ISC3 uniquely harnesses cutting-edge research at the intersection of implementation science, behavioral economics, and cancer care innovation to address the strategic priorities emphasized in the National Cancer Institute’s Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel. Penn ISC3 will produce new knowledge with the potential to reduce the research-to-practice gap in cancer care and improve outcomes equitably for millions of Americans with cancer.

Penn ISC3 relies on two key fields – behavioral economics and implementation science – to promote equitable, evidence-based cancer care.

Click to learn more about behavioral economics and nudges.

Behavioral economics studies how humans make decisions. The goal of a nudge is to utilize theories from behavioral economics to improve outcomes without restricting choice. Successful nudges change the way choices are presented or the way information is framed. They should be transparent and aligned with the welfare of the person being nudged and offer an easy way for people to opt out if they want to.

You can learn more about behavioral economics and nudges on the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit website.

Click to learn more about implementation science.

Implementation science explores how to close gaps in translating research into practice. Implementation scientists aim to understand barriers (what makes it harder to implement) and facilitators (what makes it easier to implement), and design and test different strategies to scale evidence-based practices, to ensure that the promise of scientific discovery is realized.

You can learn more about implementation science on the PISCE@LDI website.