The CoC Source - January 31, 2011
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Special Message to CoC-Accredited Cancer Programs


On behalf of the Commission on Cancer membership and staff, I would like to express my appreciation to all CoC-accredited cancer programs for their continued commitment and dedication to providing quality cancer care to their patients.  2011 will be a transitional year for our accredited cancer programs as they evaluate and prepare to implement the new standards for accreditation scheduled for 2012.  You will receive detailed information on how to prepare for the transition along with a formal “first draft” of the standards in the coming weeks. 

The 2010 CoC Year in Review will soon be mailed to Cancer Liaison Physicians in CoC-accredited cancer programs, and to CoC members, state chairs, surveyors, consultants, and CoC member organizations. The publication highlights accomplishments and initiatives from the past year and includes a month-by-month retrospective review of the programs and services provided by the CoC to improve the quality of cancer care at the national, state, and local levels. A downloadable version will be available by mid-February from the CoC Web site at to distribute to colleagues and cancer program staff. 

As we reflect on the past year, we also need to look to the future.  On January 18, 2011, I recorded the State of the CoC: Winter 2011 Webinar specifically targeted to cancer committee members in CoC-accredited cancer programs.  Cancer committees are encouraged to listen to this 30-minute presentation, which includes slides and audio, to learn about the CoC’s plans for the coming year.  The presentation can be accessed from the CoC Web site at Education and Meetings/CoC Programming  As we move forward with the initiatives defined in the presentation, we welcome your comments and suggestions. Please contact us anytime at 312-202-5085 or via e-mail at  Thank you for all you do!

Stephen B. Edge, MD, FACS
Chair, Commission on Cancer
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

It's a New Year and a New FIPS!

The Facility Information Profile System (FIPS) Level I data fields have changed for 2011. These changes will help ensure that all the data items represent useful information to the public and accurately reflect current cancer care options.

Changes for 2011 include the following:

•    “Types of Physicians” changed to “Cancer-Related Specialists” with the option of adding the number of Board-Certified Physicians and the addition of Allied Health Professionals
•    New Diagnostic Services, Surgical Procedures, Radiation Oncology Services and Medical Oncology Services
•    New “All Services Referred” option for the Radiation Oncology Services, Medical Oncology Services, and Cancer Rehabilitation Services
•    Addition of “Psychosocial Services” to “Supportive Services and Groups”
•    Now 10 site-specific Screening and Early Detection Programs
•    Research Activities are now automatically collapsed into five types of trials from the trial groups listed in the Survey Application Record.

All previously selected Level I data (Resources and Services) for your facility have been converted to the 2011 edition of FIPS; however, there are new data items that require review and completion. This means you must log in, review, and update ALL of your facility's Level I data from Cancer-Related Specialists through Research Activities.

There is now a FIPS Glossary posted on the Datalinks Activity menu to help you define the new data items. After making your selections remember to click "Save" at the bottom of each screen. These updated selections will be available to patients through the Commission on Cancer (CoC) Hospital Locator accessible from the CoC Web site at

Access CoC Datalinks from the CoC Web site, review the new FIPS, and make your selections by March 1, 2011.

This update request is only for FIPS Level I data.  You will receive a notification when the 2009 Level II Site and Stage data becomes available for release in the coming months.

If you have questions, e-mail or call 312-202-5085

News from the CAnswer Forum

In it to Win it!

The CoC thanks constituents who have shared their expertise by answering questions in the new CAnswer Forum. To increase participation, we will award raffle prizes in our  “In It To Win It” contest.

The first raffle will be held in February. Each time you answer a question in the CAnswer Forum during the month, your name will be entered into a drawing. For example, if you answer 10 questions, your name will be entered 10 times.  The more questions you answer, the better your chance of winning a prize.

At the beginning of March we will randomly select two winners. The prizes will consist of a free CoC educational Webinar of your choice in 2011 or an AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. The winners will be announced in the March issue of the CoC Flash.

If you are not already a registered user of the CAnswer Forum, please go to: and register today and start answering questions.  Remember…You have to be In It To Win It! Depending on the success of this contest we may consider repeating the event for March.  Watch the CoC Flash
for future announcements and updates.

Enhancements to the Collaborative Stage Forum

We encourage you to visit the CAnswer Forum site this week!

With your feedback, we have enhanced the Collaborative Stage Forum which is now open for anyone to submit, answer, or comment on questions. Previously, users could submit a question to this forum but did not have the opportunity to answer questions. Now is the time to contribute your expertise!  The CS Technical Advisory Panels will continue to provide “official” answers and monitor the forum to assure all questions are answered correctly. The CAnswer Forum is a great opportunity to get In It To Win It!

Cancer Programs Staff Departure

Nina Miller, Manager of the Cancer Liaison Program, has resigned from her position, effective January 31, to accept the role of executive director for Breast Cancer Recovery, a not-for-profit organization in Madison, WI.  The Cancer Programs staff and Cancer Liaison Program leadership and volunteers, and American Cancer Society partners, are sad to see her go.  Her contributions these past two years have been tremendous. Ms. Miller has led the Cancer Liaison Program through major changes that have redefined and re-energized the program, and has strengthened the relationship with the American Cancer Society and the effectiveness of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) Steering Committee, which accomplished much under Nina’s leadership.  She has been an effective contributor to the National Partnership for Comprehensive Cancer Control, serving on its workgroups, and has contributed her expertise to the CoC’s standards revision project. The recruitment process for Ms. Miller’s replacement is currently under way, In the interim, questions related to the Cancer Liaison Program should be directed to Carolyn Jones, Cancer Liaison Program Coordinator, at 

Cancer Programs Job Opportunities

Cancer Programs at the American College of Surgeons currently has three job opportunities available that are described below:   

Collaborative Stage Program Manager – This position is responsible for administration of the CS Program including project plan development and implementation, team management, and implementing new initiatives.  

Cancer Liaison Program Manager
– This position is responsible for the development, planning and implementation of initiatives for the volunteer physician network, including education and training, orientation resources, and evaluation tools and works closely with the American Cancer Society.  

Senior Developer for the National Cancer Data Base
- This position includes enhancement of data collection and information dissemination for the NCDB and design, implementation, and maintenance of new and expanding NCDB web-based rapid clinical reporting applications.

For more information or a full job description and minimal requirements, contact  

Dr. Ramesh V. Patwardhan

The Commission on Cancer extends sincere condolences to the family and friends of Ramesh V. Patwardhan, MD, FACS., 62, who passed away on November 12, 2010, at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston  The CoC recognizes his invaluable service to the cancer community.

Dr. Patwardhan's professional experience spans over 30 years. Beginning in 2006, Dr. Patwardhan served as Surveyor of the Commission on Cancer for the American College of Surgeons. He had numerous professional affiliations, and one of his proudest honors was serving as the Georgia State Chair for the Cancer Liaison Program.

He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Sheryl Sievers Patwardhan, and his mother, Mandakini Dixit Patwardhan.

A memorial service was held on Thursday, November 18, 2010, in Savannah, GA. 

The family asks that remembrances be made to the charity of your choice.

Update on the CPS 2011 Project

The initial phase of the Cancer Program Standards (CPS) 2011 project will be completed with the publication and web posting of a working draft of Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care by the first week of February 2011. The standards published in the working draft will guide the onsite testing and evaluation of the newly developed standards at 50 program surveys being performed during the first six months of 2011. 

The working draft will be available for download from the Cancer Programs page free of charge.  Watch for a special issue of the CoC Flash to announce the availability of the working draft.  In addition, the Cancer Liaison Physician at each CoC-accredited program will receive a copy of the working draft on CD-ROM.  The working draft should be shared with all cancer committee members and cancer program leadership at the facility.

Current revisions to the proposed standards are posted on the Cancer Program Standards (CPS) Wiki page at standards.  New posts were added to the Wiki page on January 19, 2011, and the Wiki page will include a link to the working draft when the draft becomes available. Comments to the proposed standards posted on the Wiki and the working draft can be submitted through the link on the Wiki page.

Phase II of the project will incorporate information obtained during the onsite testing phase which will finalize the standards and facilitate the release of the  new manual in mid-2011. All CoC-accredited programs and those programs seeking accreditation will implement the new standards beginning January 1, 2012.

CPS 2011 Wiki Updates

The Accreditation Committee has approved the standards that will be included in the working draft of the manual. The Wiki page has been updated to reflect these standards and is organized to follow the new chapter structure. The CPS Wiki page is available at

Comments to the proposed standards can be submitted through the link on the Wiki page. Comments will be accepted during the final development of the standards and will be reviewed before the final version of the manual is published.

An electronic version of the working draft will be available to download the first week of February 2011 and the final version of the manual will be published in mid-2011. Watch for a special edition of the CoC Flash announcing publication of, and instructions to access, the electronic version of the working draft. A CD-ROM of the working draft will also be mailed to the Cancer Liaison Physicians at all CoC-accredited cancer programs.

Best Practice Repository - Promoting Your CoC Accreditation

The CoC is adding a new section, “Cancer Program Promotion,” to the Best Practice Repository. We ask our constituents to share examples of how their program promotes their CoC accreditation (for example, newspaper ads, annual reports, and facility advertising).

If you have examples to share, e-mail your electronic versions to If your example is selected for posting in the Best Practice Repository on our web page, we will contact you for a written authorization to use the material.

Nominate Your Cancer Liaison Physician Ė Deadline April 1

Administered by the Committee on Cancer Liaison, the Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) Awards Program recognizes outstanding clinical champions who go above and beyond to impact positively on their cancer program and/or the community. The Commission on Cancer (CoC) is accepting nominations for outstanding CLP performance during the calendar year 2010.  Nominations must be received no later than April 1, 2011.
Cancer program staff, State Chairs, Surveyors, and American Cancer Society staff may nominate a CLP for excellence in one or more of the following areas:

•    Developed and/or implemented an idea(s) that improved quality of care at his/her facility.
•    Significantly contributed to the approval status of the cancer program.
•    Worked above and beyond normal CLP expectations to strengthen the cancer program.
•    Demonstrated leadership and support for cancer control activities in the community and with the American College of Surgeons.
•    Served as a role model for other staff and exhibited characteristics that are fitting for a physician champion for the cancer program.

All nominations must be verified and supported by the cancer committee chair of the CoC-accredited facility. The CoC will also request the support of the CLPs’ CoC state chair, and local American Cancer Society staff once all nominations are compiled.

You can complete a nomination form at

If you have questions, contact Carolyn Jones, Cancer Liaison Program Coordinator at

NOTE:  A minimum of one year of the CLP term (three years) must be completed for eligibility.  A CLP is only allowed to receive this award once per three-year term.

New State Chairs Assume Leadership of CLPs

State Chairs provide leadership to the Cancer Liaison Physicians within their state.  They are nominated by the state chapters of the American College of Surgeons and appointed to a three-year term by the Committee on Cancer Liaison. The Commission on Cancer introduces the following new state chairs:

Lieutenant Colonel Richard Smith, MD, FACS
Tripler Army Medical Center
Honolulu, HI

Mary Legenza, MD, FACS
King’s Daughter’s Medical Center
Ashland, KY

William Dooley, MD, FACS
Oklahoma University Medical Center
Oklahoma City, OK

Aaron Bleznak, MD, FACS
Lehigh Valley Hospital
Allentown, PA

Robert Andtbacka, MD
University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics
Salt Lake City, UT

Seven State Chairs were reappointed to a second, three-year term:

Ramon Jimenez, MD, FACS, Connecticut
Juan Carlos Paramo, MD, FACS, Florida
Barry Landry, MD, FACS, Louisiana
Mitchell Chorost, MD, FACS, New York
Theresa Graves, MD, FACS, Rhode Island
Catherine Ann Ronaghan, MD, FACS, Texas
Kirsten Edmiston, MD, FACS, Virginia

State Chair NEWS!

The STATEment was delivered to email boxes of State Chairs on January 25.  The newsletter is also available on the State Chair Information Board at  Articles can be used for your own newsletters and messages to CLPs across your state.  Don’t miss it!

Communication from the Commission on Cancer

The CoC continually disseminates information to cancer programs. Much of this information is pertinent to your accreditation. Therefore, it is important that we have working e-mails of all our Cancer Liaison Physicians (CLPs).  You may already receive too much e-mail; however, the communications from the CoC are important. We now accept assistant's e-mail addresses in our database, as well as a primary e-mail.  We ask your assistance in verifying your CLP and the CLP's assistant’s e-mail addresses.  Contact Carolyn Jones at to confirm these e-mail addresses.  

Cancer Liaison Physician Facts

•    When Cancer Liaison Physicians (CLPs) are appointed, an e-mail is sent to them with their user id and password to CoCDatalinks.  Any CLP who has problems logging in should e-mail to obtain the user ID and password or to have one re-issued.  Ensure that a working e-mail address that is checked on a regular basis is on file for the CLP.

•    Contact Carolyn Jones at to obtain the term dates for your current CLP.

•    If the cancer committee has made a decision to retain the current CLP for another term before that CLP’s term has expired, an electronic reappointment form may submitted to the CoC at indicating that there is a recommendation for CLP reappointment.

•    Although a CLPs term is three years, we realize that circumstances may prevent a CLP from serving a full term. It is permissible for the cancer committee to recommend another physician to take over the CLP role. Notify Carolyn Jones at if you would like to change your CLP.  

•    CLPs serving in their role for less than six (6) months do not have to complete the CLP activity report in the Survey Application Record.  The former CLP should complete this report before being replaced.

Important Reminders for NCDB 2011 Call for Data Submissions

Cases diagnosed in 2003 and 2008 are due in March. The registry software for these cases will select those you have updated since July 1, 2009, just preceding the last time they were requested for a Call for Data.  If your cases are ready, NCDB encourages submissions early in the month.  2003 and 2008 cases are subject to Standard 3.7, which means they must be clean of edit errors at the time of initial submission to qualify for possible commendation and any data quality problems or rejected records must be corrected and resubmitted by May 31, 2011.  Corrections for editing problems or rejected records for 2009 and 1998 cases submitted in January are also due by May 31; they may be submitted in March or May, but submission during February and April will not be possible. The full calendar for submissions is posted at

Registry upgrades to NAACCR layout 12.1 and CS version 02.03.02

The information needed to make North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) upgrades will be available to software providers soon, and hospital registries will receive the new upgrades soon after. For the remainder of the 2011 Call for Data, NCDB will accept submissions in either version 12.0 or version 12.1.  There will be different editing metafiles for the two versions because a number of Collaborative Stage (CS) item codes and definitions will change with CS version 02.03.02.  After you upgrade to version 12.1, you will need to download and reinstall a new version of GenEDITS Plus and the NCDB’s metafile and configuration files.  Besides the need to edit for the newly defined CS items, GenEDITS Plus employs the same program used by the CS derivation algorithm when it checks to see what codes are valid for a particular schema. Note: do not use the new edit versions until your data are upgraded.  Editing information is available at

If an extension is required. The requirements for extensions for the Standard 3.6 submission deadline appeared in the June 2010 CoC Flash.  Check them at if you expect to be unable to meet any of the submission deadlines.

Resubmission arrangements for programs with deficiencies to correct for Standards 3.6 and 3.7.  Submissions for deficiency resolution (for which a program has already been surveyed and the survey report identified deficiencies) cannot be made during the months that the Call for Data cases are due. Programs should set up an appointment with Vicki Chiappetta ( for resubmissions for deficiency resolution; only programs with an appointment can submit during deficiency resolution periods. The final full weeks (Monday through Friday) of February, April, and each “off-cycle” month will be set aside to accept resubmissions for deficiency resolution. 

Direct submission inquiries to

Updated Registry Casefinding Lists Available

The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program (SEER) has posted ICD-9-CM casefinding lists updated for use in 2011.  The Commission on Cancer encourages registries to use these lists compiled by SEER.  The 2011 case-finding lists are posted at

Attend May Survey Savvy Workshop at NCRA

A one-day CoC Survey Savvy Workshop will be held Sunday, May 15, at the National Cancer Registrars Association’s (NCRA) 37th Educational Conference in Orlando/Lake Buena Vista, FL. This pre-conference workshop, New Standards Implementation: Delivering the Message to Your Team, will examine the new standards in depth. The workshop will provide  participants with tools to facilitate implementation and enhanced performance with these standards. The new standards reinforce the CoC’s commitment to high-quality care for all cancer patients by establishing new criteria for patient-centered care and reinforcing the focus on patient outcomes. Workshop Objectives:

  • Interpret the change and requirement for each standard.
  • Describe implementation strategies to address the standards.
  • Illustrate how the standards can be used to improve patient care and outcomes.
  • Communicate new methods to improve team involvement in the success of the cancer program.

Registration for the workshop is through the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA), and the deadline for registering is April 1, 2011. Space is limited so register today. For information and registration, log on to NCRA’s Web site at:

Upcoming CoC Live Webinars

Prostate Cancer Early Detection 2010: Recommendations from the American Cancer Society
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Central Time

Cost: $50.00

Course Overview:
Guidelines on prostate cancer screening from every major medical organization recommend an informed decision-making approach, but evidence suggests that this infrequently takes place, and that clinicians have limited knowledge regarding the information needs of men involved in this decision.  In addition, many men who are unlikely to benefit from prostate cancer screening (based on advanced age or poor health status) continue to be screened for the disease. 

This presentation will provide an introduction to the recently updated American Cancer Society guideline on prostate cancer early detection, and will include a thorough review of the evidence supporting these recommendations.  The presentation will highlight the potential benefits and limitations of early detection and treatment of prostate cancer, the importance of informed decision making, and how to effectively communicate information to their patients.  Management of  test results in men who choose to be screened, and the use of individualized risk assessment for men based on factors beyond PSA level and findings on the digital rectal exam will also be discussed.

Target Audience:

Primary care clinicians, radiation oncologists, urologists, and general surgeons who perform prostate surgery or provide prostate cancer screening.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Understand results and implications of recently published randomized controlled trials of prostate cancer screening.
  • Appreciate the need to discuss the potential benefits and known limitations of prostate cancer early detection and treatment with men who are considering being screened for the disease.
  • Be familiar with key elements of the information men need to make an informed decision about prostate cancer screening.
  • Understand the limitations of absolute PSA values, and the importance of individualized risk assessment for men with PSA levels of 2.5 ng/ml or greater.•    Recognize the characteristics of men for whom prostate cancer is unlikely to be of benefit, and for whom screening is therefore not recommended.

Durado Brooks, MD, MPH
Director, Prostate and Colorectal Cancers
American Cancer Society
Atlanta, GA

CME Credit:

The American College of Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American College of Surgeons designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

MARCH 2011
Clinical Research in the Community Practice Setting

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Central Time

Cost: $50.00

Course Overview:
This presentation will review important aspects of cancer clinical trials including the value of conducting and opportunities to access clinical trials. Recommendations on the successful administration and promotion of clinical trials will also be covered.

Target Audience:
This program is intended for health care providers, research staff and health care administrators.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Identify required infrastructure necessary for a clinical trials program
  • Identify options available to centers to access cancer clinical trials
  • Identify criteria for selecting a clinical trial to open in their community
  • Identify  methods for promotion of clinical trials in the community
  • Identify key elements to ensure the safe and valid administration of trials

Douglas J. Weckstein, MD
New Hampshire Oncology Hematology PA
Hookset/Londonderry, New Hampshire

CME Credit:
The American College of Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American College of Surgeons designates this educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

To register, please visit:
Remember, you can pay for registration by check by calling 1-800-274-9390!
Payments by check must be received prior to the live event date.



On-Demand Webinars Now Available

Visit the On-Demand section of the CoC Online Education Portal for any live programming that you may have missed in 2009 or 2010. On-Demand programs are available to you any time of the day or night, seven days a week. Each program is $50 and offers CE credit (or CME where noted in the program description).

For more information or to register for an On-Demand Webinar, please visit

CS Coding Instructions: A Wealth of Knowledge at Your Fingertips

Coding Instructions for Collaborative Stage Version 2 (CSv2) have been enhanced in the following ways:

•    The coding rules were reorganized with bold text headings for quick identification of the rule for the specific situation being researched.
•    Explanations were added to the site-specific factors to describe the items and usage for that site, along with coding instructions. The goal is to help registrars understand how the site-specific factor is used in staging, prognosis, or in choosing a treatment plan to facilitate better data collection.

The answers to many questions submitted to the CAnswer Forum are right at your fingertips so be sure to check out the Coding Instructions first! The Coding Instructions are available on the CS Web site at  This is the same reference used by the CSv2 Technical Advisory Panel Team when they respond to CS questions in the CAnswer Forum.

The Forum is the right place to post a question that is not covered in the Coding Instructions. Your questions will assist the CSv2 Teams in enhancing the instructions.

NAPBC Releases 2010 Annual Report

The NAPBC recently posted its 2010 Annual Report on its website at The report includes a listing of the 232 NAPBC-accredited breast centers that has since grown to over 260 breast centers with another 110 centers in the application process.

This report presents a snapshot of the characteristics of centers applying for NAPBC accreditation. Not surprisingly, approximately 95 percent of the centers applying for NAPBC accreditation are also CoC accredited. The report also illustrates overall performance information related to specific NAPBC standards, including needle biopsy versus excisional breast biopsy, breast conserving surgery, and sentinel node biopsy vs. axillary lymph node dissection. The report also contains a page that outlines the most common deficiencies identified to date.    

In addition to the individual NAPBC-accredited breast center listings, this report includes results of a survey sent to leaders at each NAPBC accredited center that asked specific questions regarding structure, process, and outcomes as it related to NAPBC survey preparation. An overwhelming majority of these breast program leaders reported that changes had been implemented that they believe strengthened their center/program based on NAPBC survey preparation.     

For more information on the NAPBC or to request an NAPBC Information Kit, call 312-202-5185, or e-mail 

NAPBC Workshop Schedule - Spring 2011

The NAPBC has scheduled three workshops for early 2011. 


Workshop Detail

Sunday, March 13, 2011   

Half-day workshop in conjunction with the National Consortium of Breast Centers Annual Meeting—Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, NV

Thursday, March 24, 2011  

Half-day workshop held in conjunction with the American Society of Breast Disease Annual Meeting—Four Seasons Resort, Dallas, TX

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Full-day workshop held in conjunction with the National Cancer Registrars’ Association Annual Meeting at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort., Orlando, FL

Visit the NAPBC Web site, for registration details or call the NAPBC administrative office at 312-202-5185. 

NAPBC Schedules Webinar on May 24

The NAPBC Standards and Accreditation Committee chair, Scott Kurtzman, MD, FACS, will moderate a Webinar on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 that will focus on understanding the NAPBC components and standards.  The Webinar will be particularly useful for programs preparing for survey or re-survey, and new programs that are working toward completing the NAPBC Pre-application.  Details for this call are still being organized, but the tentative plan is to hold it in the mid-morning.  Stay tuned for additional information and registration details in the near future.

Apply for the 2012 ACS Traveling Fellowship to Germany

The International Relations Committee of the American College of Surgeons has announced the availability of the ACS Traveling Fellowship to Germany for 2012.  Fellows of the College up to age 45, with an academic appointment in the United States or Canada, are invited to apply by April 1, 2011.

The Fellowship will offer financial assistance to one surgeon to attend and present a lecture at the 2012 annual meeting of the German Surgical Society in Berlin, Germany, April 24-27, 2012. The Fellow will also be expected to visit hospitals in at least two other cities in addition to Berlin, to observe, interact with colleagues, and represent the College, as well as attend the annual meeting of the ACS Germany Chapter. Preference will be given to applicants with some German language skills.

To review the complete fellowship requirements and application form, please visit  

If you have questions, contact International Liaison Kate Early at or 312-202-5281.  The deadline for receipt of completed applications for this award is April 1, 2011.

NCIís Annual Biospecimen Research Network Symposium March 2011

Registration is now open for the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Annual Biospecimen Research Network Symposium, "Advancing Cancer Research Through Biospecimen Science," March 28-29, 2011, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Bethesda, MD.

Hosted by NCI's Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research (OBBR), the meeting will bring together leaders in the fields of biospecimen research, genomics, proteomics, oncology, pathology, biobanking, hospital administration and pharmaceutics as well as patient advocates.

Join NCI’s OBBR for this informative two-day event that will feature presentations and interactive discussions about the issue of biospecimen quality and ways to address it.  To get the latest information about registration, speakers, topic, and participation, visit

An online forum has been established for speakers and attendees, at


CSv2 to be Highlighted in NCRA's Conference Program
May 15-18, 2011
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Orlando/Lake Buena Vista, FL

The NCRA's (National Cancer Registrars Association) 2011 annual conference program is packed with informative and timely educational sessions. This year special emphasis has been given to CSv2, including three, site-specific sessions:

•    A Practicum Approach to Collaborative Staging – Breast and GYN
•    A Practicum Approach to Collaborative Staging – Genitourinary
•    A Practicum Approach to Collaborative Staging – Upper and Lower GI

These sessions will be offered several times on Tuesday, May 17, so that all registrants can attend each session in a small-group setting.

NCRA Conference Registration Now Open!

•    Conference Registration:                                                                                                                     
Conference includes plenary sessions, panel discussions, breakout sessions, workshops, and exhibits. Earn up to 20 CE credits!

•    Hotel Information:                                             
The room rate at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is $162/night. Make your reservations today. The hotel cut-off date is April 15.

•    Specially Priced Park Tickets and Tours:                                                                  
Disney offers specially priced park tickets and tours for conference attendees and their guests.

•    Download Brochure:                                                                  

LIVE Webinar on February 17 at 2 pm (ET)
Advanced Abstracting Webinar on Melanoma

NCRA's February 17 webinar on Advanced Quality Abstracting of Melanoma is part of NCRA's advanced abstract Webinar series. The series is aimed at understanding complex abstracting coding issues. Receive one CE credit per Webinar!

•    February 17, 2011—Advanced Quality Abstracting of Melanoma
     Jim Hofferkamp, CTR, and Shannon Vann, CTR, are the co-presenters.  
•    March 31, 2011—Advanced Quality Abstracting of Thyroid
•    April 14, 2011—Advanced Quality Abstracting of Hematopoietics
•    May 26, 2011—Advanced Quality Abstracting of Pancreas

Fees:  NCRA members: $50/each; Non-members: $75/each

To register for Webinars, go to


Monthly Spotlight: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and its 54,000 obstetrician–gynecologists and other partners in women’s health care are dedicated to the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer and other conditions affecting women’s health through continuing medical education, practice, and research.

Event Information:
Registration is open now for these Postgraduate Courses offering up to 16 credits:

“Practical Obstetrics and Gynecology,” February 24–26, 2011, at The Epic Hotel in Miami, features sessions on cancer screening and management of abnormal cervical cytology. Course director: Patrick Duff, MD. More information and registration information is available at:

“Update on Cervical Diseases,” December 1–3, 2011, at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City, addresses causes, screening, prevention, identification, and management of cervical abnormalities. Course director: Mark Spitzer, MD. More information and registration information is available at:

Recent Publications and/or Products:
The College has issued the following guidelines on cervical cancer:
•    Practice Bulletin #117 “Gynecologic Care for Women with Human Immunodeficiency Virus”
•    Practice Bulletin #109 “Cervical Cytology Screening”
•    Practice Bulletin #99 “Management of Abnormal Cervical Cytology and Histology”
•    Practice Bulletin #61 “Human Papillomavirus”
•    Practice Bulletin #35 “Diagnosis and Treatment of Cervical Carcinomas”
•    Committee Opinion #467 “Human Papillomavirus Vaccination”
•    Committee Opinion #463 “Cervical Cancer in Adolescents: Screening, Evaluation, and Management”
•    Committee Opinion #452 “Primary and Preventive Care: Periodic Assessments”
•    Guidelines for Women’s Health Care, Third Edition

The College has issued the following patient pamphlets on cervical cancer (available in English and Spanish):
•    Cancer of the Cervix (AP163)
•    Human Papillomavirus Infection (AP073)
•    Understanding Abnormal Pap Tests (AP161)
•    The Pap Test (AP085)
•    Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (AP167)
•    Reducing Your Risk of Cancer (AP007)

For more information on this organization, please contact:
Web site: | Email:

Monthly Spotlight: American Society of Clinical Oncology

The mission of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is to 1) improve cancer care and prevention; 2) advance the education of physicians and other professionals in the care of patients with cancer and supporting the development of clinical cancer researchers; 3) foster communication among cancer related medical subspecialties and the exchange of a wide range of ideas related to cancer, including its biology, prevention, diagnosis, staging, treatment, and psychosocial impact; 4) advocate public policy that ensures patient access to high quality cancer care and that supports increased clinical cancer research and; 5) assist oncologists in addressing the challenges of the modern day practice of oncology.

Key Initiatives:

•    Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) Certification Program. In January 2010, QOPI expanded to include a certification component for this oncologist-led quality measurement and improvement program. The QOPI Certification Program, or QCP, provides the first practice-based certification program for medical oncology in the ambulatory care setting.

•    Breast Cancer Registry Pilot Project. With support from Susan G. Komen for the Cure, this project aims to advance use of treatment plans and summaries. The goals are to: 1) collect real-time treatment information in a registry that can be used for practice-based quality improvement and national quality monitoring, and 2) provide physician and patient resources to improve communication and care coordination.

•    Cost of Cancer Care. ASCO, in partnership with C-Change, hosted the first in a series of meetings to discuss ways the community can work to better define value in cancer care and treatment. From this first effort, several working groups emerged. Over the next year, the groups will work to etc. etc. As well, ASCO’s own task force on Cost of Care has begun work on etc.

Event Information:
•    Cancer Quality Alliance, December 17, 2010, ASCO Headquarters, Alexandria, VA
•    Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, Jan 20-22, 2011, San Francisco, CA
•    International Clinical Trials Workshop, Jan 27-28, 2011, Cairo, Egypt
•    EPEC-O Palliative Care Workshop, Feb 1, 2011, Ghana
•    Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, Feb 17-19, 2011, Orlando, FL
•    International Clinical Trials Workshop, Mar 24-25, 2011, Uruguay
•    Joint Symposium on Barriers for Clinical Research in Latin America, Mar 26, 2011, Uruguay
•    ASCO Annual Meeting, June 3-7, 2011 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois

More meeting information can be found at the ASCO Calendar of Events,

Recent Publications and/or Products:

•    Gilligan, JD, Seidenfeld J, Basch EM et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline on Uses of Serum Tumor Markers in Adult Males with Germ Cell Tumors, Journal of Clinical Oncology. Vol.28, 3388-3404, 2010

•    Burstein, HJ, Prestrud, AA, Seidenfeld, J, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline: Update on Adjuvant Endocrine Therapy for Women With Hormone Receptor–Positive Breast Cancer, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol. 28  3784-379, 2010

•    Rizzo, JD, Brouwers, M, Hurley, P, et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology/American Society of Hematology Clinical Practice Guideline Update on the Use of Epoetin and Darbepoetin in Adult Patients With Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. published online on October 25, 2010

For more information on this organization, please contact:

ASCO Member Organization Representatives to the CoC:

Jennifer J. Griggs, MD, MPH,

Lawrence N. Shulman MD,

Web site:

Monthly Spotlight: College of American Pathologists

The College of American Pathologists (CAP) is the primary global organization of board-certified pathologists, with a steadfast commitment to fostering the highest standards in laboratory medicine and patient care. CAP sets high quality standards to ensure accurate diagnoses and appropriate treatment protocols for the best possible patient outcomes. CAP is the gold standard in laboratory accreditation and provides more than 550 proficiency testing products for more than 22,000 laboratories globally.   

Event Information:
The Futurescape of Pathology – April 15-17, 2011 – Rosemont, IL
CAP Annual Meeting – September 11-14, 2011 – Dallas, TX 

Recent Publications and/or Products:
•    ASCO-CAP Guideline Recommendations for Immunohistochemical Testing on Estrogen (ER)and Progesterone Receptors (PgR) in Breast Cancer were released on April 19, 2010
•    The CAP and ASCO released a Clinical Notice on January 12, 2011 related to reconciliation of specimen handling required for HER2 and ER, PgR.
•    The CAP Pathology and Laboratory Quality Center (The Center) is collaborating with the following organizations to create future guidelines and white papers to be released in 2011 and 2012:

o    International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and Association for Molecular Pathologists (AMP) on guidelines for non-small cell lung cancer biomarkers
o    American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) on the  standardization of lower anogenital squamous terminology
o    Association for Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology (ADASP) on effective communication of urgent and significant unexpected diagnoses in anatomic pathology

•    Cancer Protocol revisions were made to over 50 protocols.  Some revisions were based on the errata release to the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) 7th Edition TNM staging manual.  The Invasive Breast Cancer Protocol was revised to accommodate updates from the ASCO-CAP ER/PgR guidelines.  
• - CAP developed to provide patients and their loved ones with accurate and credible information on more than 40 of the most common cancers and cancer-related conditions.  The site offers resources, tools, and features to help patients and their families better understand their diagnosis and evaluate treatment options.  The site provides questions that patients can ask their doctors and images of normal and diseased cells and tissues to help patients better understand what cancer looks like and gain a sense of control during what can be a frightening time.
• - Visitors to can register to receive a free email reminder prompting them to call their physician to schedule potentially life-saving health screening tests or make a blood donation.  Pathologists developed the information on, which is available in English and Spanish.

For more information on this organization, please contact:
Phone: 1-800-323-4040
Web site:

Monthly Spotlight: The Association of Community Cancer Centers

With more than 35 years of service to the oncology community, the Association of Community Cancer Centers' (ACCC's) core purpose is to be the leading education and advocacy organization for the cancer team. ACCC provides a national forum for addressing issues that affect community cancer programs, such as regulatory and legislative issues, measurements of the quality of care, and clinical research. The Association’s unique interdisciplinary membership of hospital cancer programs and oncology private practices includes all members of the cancer care team: medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, cancer program administrators and medical directors, oncology nurses, pharmacists, radiation therapists, patient navigators, oncology social workers, and cancer program data managers. With more than 17,000 members, it is estimated that 60 percent of cancer patients nationwide are treated by members of ACCC. The Association is active in supporting and establishing state level oncology organizations. Currently, 25 state oncology societies are ACCC Chapter Members, and 14 oncology societies use ACCC management services.

ACCC promotes timely access to quality medical and psychosocial care from pre-diagnosis through all phases of the cancer experience. The Association encourages comprehensive multidisciplinary community cancer program development and provides education about approaches for the effective management, delivery, and financing of comprehensive cancer care. The Association has proactively worked with state and federal governments on behalf of cancer patients and their families on issues of access to appropriate treatment and to clinical trials.

Event Information:
Education and knowledge exchange top ACCC’s priority list. ACCC provides two national conferences, a summit for hospital leadership, and six regional meetings annually. Upcoming national meetings for 2011 include:
ACCC’s 37th Annual National Meeting, March 24-26, 2011, Washington, D.C.
This meeting will provide the latest information on health reform and regulatory changes and their impact on cancer care. Registration is now open. Full agenda and registration information available at

ACCC’s National Oncology Conference, October 19-22, 2011, Seattle, Washington
This conference will showcase replicable, innovative programs, as well as highlighting exemplary practices among ACCC members programs.

Recent Publications and/or Products:
In 2009-2010, ACCC developed a number of educational products and surveys designed to assist our membership in enhancing or expanding their cancer care services.  These included: ACCC’s Cancer Care Trends in Community Cancer Centers survey; Use of Clinical Practice Guidelines project; Transitions Between Care Settings project; Dispensing Pharmacy: An Option for Physician Practices project; Prostate Cancer Care “Best Practices” Project; Cancer Care Patient Navigation project, and more. For more information about these projects, visit

ACCC offers a wide range of publications to serve its membership, including:

  • Oncology Issues, ACCC’s award-winning bi-monthly journal keeps the entire cancer care team informed on policy, management, financial issues of concern to cancer care providers. Featured topics include cancer program practice improvement, oncology reimbursement and economics, and regulatory and legislative issues affecting the oncology community.  View the current issue online at
  • ACCC’s Part – B Drug Information Guide, this publication identifies oncology-related indications contained within the four drug compendia currently recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). It provides contact information about manufacturers, which allows readers to obtain more information about a listing and appropriate use in specific patients. ACCC’s Part – B Drug Information Guide is updated monthly. View the current issue at
  • Patient Assistance and Reimbursement Programs: A Guide for Community Cancer Centers, is a new resource developed to help community cancer programs in identifying patient assistance and reimbursement programs to assist their patients in need. For more information, go to
  • ACCC’s Cancer Program Guidelines, designed to assist cancer programs that want to develop and/or maintain a comprehensive interdisciplinary program that meets the needs of cancer patients and their families.

For more information on this organization, please visit