Case Studies: ACOR (Association of Cancer Online Resources)


Electronic mailing lists present the opportunity for cancer patients, family members and the medical community to share experiences and keep abreast of new discoveries, while receiving or giving guidance through the very human struggle cancer represents. The Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR) operates the largest collection of cancer-related mailing lists on the Internet. ACOR has successfully launched 135 mailing lists that deliver more than 1.5 million messages weekly to more than 50,000 subscribers across the globe.

"LISTSERV's solid reputation for handling mission critical mailing lists brought us to L-Soft. The proven performance and stability of L-Soft's technology and outsourcing services have no equivalent."

These lists range from online support groups like PED-ONC, the Pediatric Cancers Online Support Group to highly specialized professional forums like the MEDWEBMASTERS-L list, fostering discussions and dissemination of information related to quality medical websites. The lists – which foster dialogue between cancer patients, family members, researchers and physicians – provide a no-cost forum for members to exchange experiences, keep informed about new research and clinical trials, and learn about current treatment practices and alternative treatments, while sharing support and community. ACOR's lists have become a priceless resource for cancer patients and caregivers all over the world, particularly in areas with limited access to resources.

"It is well known that electronic mailing lists are the most economical and effective means of global communication and information exchange between large numbers of people," said Gilles Frydman, President of ACOR. "Many people are benefiting from these lists, especially subscribers with a focus on rare forms of cancer, as well as those living in communities where resources are scarce. Often, the lists are the best place to obtain accurate and current information about the disease. One example is the more than 600 leiomyosarcoma list members who, for the first time, are able to communicate with a large group of informed patients and caregivers that share a unique understanding of this rare disease. Just recently, within a couple of hours, there were two messages about an investigational drug that will start in clinical trials in the future. That information is not available to patients during visits with the vast majority of oncologists, with the probable exception of the very few sarcoma oncologists who specialize in that rare disorder. When you multiply this effect by a large number of lists for rare disorders, it is easy to understand how the lists have a dramatic impact on a large population of cancer patients."

"In many cases, these lists are the only available support system and source of information. For this reason, timely and dependable delivery of messages is crucial," Frydman said. ACOR's mailing lists are operated using the LISTSERV® mailing list management software. "LISTSERV's solid reputation for handling mission critical mailing lists brought us to L-Soft. The proven performance and stability of L-Soft's technology and outsourcing services have no equivalent," Frydman added.

L-Soft administers all the technical aspects of ACOR's lists, making it easy for ACOR to create and manage electronic newsletters, announcement lists, conference planning and working group discussions. This arrangement lets ACOR concentrate its efforts on the content while leaving technical issues to L-Soft's experienced staff. This combination offers a seamless outsourcing solution that guarantees ease of use, reliability and performance.

The Association of Cancer Online Resources, a 501(c)(3) corporation founded in 1996, is an umbrella organization created and run by volunteers. ACOR is an Internet-based public charity dedicated to improve the quality of care provided to cancer patients and the quality of life of patients, survivors and their caregivers. ACOR leverages its wide technological and biomedical resource expertise to be a reliable source of knowledge, support and community in a relentless worldwide campaign to empower those suffering from the disease.

Case study revised in May 2005 with the help of Gilles Frydman, President of ACOR.

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