The CoC Source - September 30, 2011
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CoC Sessions at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress

Join the CoC at the 97th Clinical Congress in San Francisco, CA, October 23-27, 2011, and participate in the many meetings and events that are planned.  If you have any questions about the meetings and events, please contact the CoC at


Sunday, October 23
CoC Annual Meeting
Wells Shoemaker, MD, medical director of the California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG), is the scheduled keynote speaker for this year’s Annual Meeting of the CoC scheduled for Sunday, October 23 from 3:00-5:00 PM in the Grand Ballroom at the Hilton San Francisco Hotel.  Dr. Shoemaker will speak on the topic of “Accountable Care of the Near Future: Professional Leadership and Cancer” and Stephen B. Edge, MD, FACS, Chair, Commission on Cancer, will also provide an update on current CoC initiatives.  All Congress participants are invited to attend this meeting, as well as other CoC-sponsored events being held during the week of Clinical Congress.

Other meetings are being held on Sunday, October 23, at the Hilton for select groups of CoC volunteers:

Monday, October 24
Cancer Liaison Program Breakfast Meeting
Hilton San Francisco
7:00 - 9:00 AM in the Grand Ballroom

Educational Events
Each year, the CoC proudly sponsors educational sessions and a town hall meeting to provide both topical education and poignant conversation for all Fellows attending Clinical Congress. We encourage you to attend one or more of these programs to better familiarize yourself with the CoC and update your knowledge on current initiatives in cancer care.  

The following programs are held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and all dates, times and room locations are listed below.

Monday, October 24
09:45 - 11:15 AM
Room: 304/306, Esplanade Level - South Building
PS101 - Cancer Survivor Follow-up: Is Your Cli nical Practice Evidence Based?
Moderator: Diana Dickson-Witmer, MD, FACS, Newark, DE
Panel Session

Wednesday, October 26
7:00 – 7:45 AM
Room: 130-131, Exhibit Level – North Building
TH10 – Applying the New Commission on Cancer Metrics in Your Cancer Program
Moderator: Stephen Edge, MD, FACS, Buffalo, NY
Town Hall Meeting

12:45 to 1:45 PM
Room: 135, Exhibit Level – North Building
NL09 – Commission on Cancer Oncology Lecture
Moderator:  Stephen Edge, MD, FACS, Buffalo, NY
This year’s oncology lecture will be presented by Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, Boston, MA. Dr. Bertagnolli is a Professor of Surgery at Harvard University Medical School, and an Associate Surgeon at Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).  She will share her vast expertise in clinical research during her presentation entitled “Translational Cancer Research: Playing to Win in a Team Sport”.

2:30 - 4:00 PM
Room: Ballroom, Third Floor – West Building
PS324 - Management of Complex Cancers: Upper Gastrointestinal Tumors
Moderator: Daniel G. Coit, MD, FACS, New York, NY
Panel Session

Thursday, October 27
9:45 - 11:15 AM
Room: 304-310, Esplanade Level – South Building
PS404 - Surgical Management of Metastatic Disease: Where Are We in 2011?
Moderator: Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS, Chicago, IL
Panel Session

To learn more about CoC Accreditation, please visit the CoC booth at the Moscone Center, along with other ACS Quality Improvement programs in cancer care including the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).


Surgeons in the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology

The American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG), North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG), and Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) recently merged to form a new NCI-funded cooperative group, the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology (Alliance). Surgeons involved in cancer clinical trials who want to play an active role in the Alliance are encouraged to attend a Tuesday morning breakfast during the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in San Francisco.

Alliance Investigators Breakfast
(Continental breakfast will be served)
Tuesday October 25, 7:00-8:00 am
Moscone Center, Room 2010

Leadership will be available at the breakfast to provide the following information on the Alliance:
  • What is the new Alliance?
  • Who is in the Alliance?
  • How to join the Alliance
  • Trials within the Alliance that will interest surgeons
  • The American College of Surgeons Clinical Research Program within the Alliance

The ACS plenary session with presentations on breast cancer controversies, optimizing local therapy in colorectal cancer, and advances in minimally invasive gastrointestinal oncology will immediately follow the breakfast meeting.

Save the date and plan to join us.

Dr. Sachdeva Honored with Margaret Hay Edwards Achievement Medal

During the 2011 International Cancer Education Conference, September 8-10, in Buffalo, NY, Ajit Sachdeva, MD, FACS, FRCSC, the Director of the American College of Surgeons Division of Education, received the highest honor bestowed by the American Association for Cancer Education (AACE), the Margaret Hay Edwards Achievement Medal for “Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Education.” A trailblazer in the field of cancer education, Margaret Hay Edwards, MD, for whom the award was named, established and then directed the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Training and Education Grant Program for more than 18 years. Dr. Edwards also enthusiastically supported the AACE, a multidisciplinary national organization focused on advancing both professional and patient education.

Dr. Sachdeva, a former AACE president, delivered the association’s Samuel C. Harvey, MD, Memorial Lecture in 2006. He also served as a member and chair of the Scientific Review Group Education Subcommittee (Study Section) of the National Cancer Institute, responsible for a large portfolio of education and training grants that evolved from the grant program established by Dr. Edwards.

Dr. Sachdeva received his medical training at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. He completed a surgery residency at the Hospital of Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and has held specialty certification in surgery since 1981. Dr. Sachdeva began to pursue a specialty in medical education and academic administration in 1995 when he participated in the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Leaders in Medical Education in Boston, MA. Today, Dr. Sachdeva is an adjunct professor of surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.

Congratulations to James Hamilton Jr., MD, FACS

The American College of Surgeons recently presented the Ellenberger Award for Excellence in State Advocacy to James Hamilton, Jr., MD, FACS. Past President of the Kansas Chapter and current member of the Commission on Cancer Committee on Cancer Liaison. Dr. Hamilton was recognized for his long-time advocacy for a clean indoor air ordinance for Topeka, and testimony on behalf of a statewide clean indoor air law, which became effective last year. In addition, he has advocated for funding of cancer research and cancer treatment options.

Applications Being Accepted - American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Surgical Oncology Scholar-in-Residence Program

The American College of Surgeons (ACoS) Commission on Cancer (CoC) is offering a two-year fellowship in surgical oncology outcomes and health services research beginning July 1, 2012.  The ACoS CoC has one position available every two years for a surgical resident who has completed two or three years of clinical training in the United States or Canada. The fellow will work within the Cancer Programs Department of the ACoS to conduct clinical research and further the research agenda of the CoC’s National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) whose goal is to improve the quality of care for the cancer patient.  The application deadline is November 1, 2011.  

Details about the program can be found on the CoC Web site at  

Program questions and completed applications with supporting documentation should be directed to Connie Bura, Administrative Director of Cancer Programs at the ACoS, at

CoC to Exhibit at the AHIMA

The CoC will host an exhibit at the American Health Information Management Association Convention and Exhibit, October 2-5, 2011, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT. If you attend this meeting, stop by the CoC booth and review the new CoC materials. To learn more about the CoC, visit

Annual Update Period Last Call

As part of the transition to the 2012 Standards, a new Survey Application Record (SAR) will be introduced next year and the current SAR will eventually be phased out.  In order to retain a historical record of program activity, we will need to have all standards and tables in the current SAR completed by October 31, 2011 (extended date). An initial e-mail notification describing the SAR Annual Update process was sent to all accredited programs on June 27, 2011 and a reminder e-mail notification was sent on August 15, 2011. The notifications can be found on the CoC Web site at:
The Annual Update is active from July 1, 2011, through October 31, 2011 (extended date).  The SAR is accessible from CoC Datalinks at

We are requiring that your cancer program complete and/or update ALL program activity and information in the SAR for 2009, 2010 and 2011 (through June 30, 2011).  This includes all standards, the Cancer Liaison Physician Activity Report, Facility Information Profile System (FIPS), posting and validating sections relevant to program resources and services, as well as uploading required and appropriate survey documentation for each year (follow the required pre-survey documentation list).

Please note that programs scheduled for survey or that have been surveyed this year (2011) will also be required to participate in the Annual Update.

The 2011 SAR will remain open for program use after the archive takes place (October 31) and we encourage you to continually update the SAR after this date as a record keeping tool to document program activity as it occurs.
Questions about the SAR or the Annual Update should be submitted  Questions regarding your CoC Datalinks user ID and password should be submitted to


New Best Practices Repository Cancer Program Standards 2012

To coincide with the recent release of the Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care, the CoC would like to announce the launch of the newly designed Best Practices Repository 2012. This repository contains tools and best practice resources to help cancer programs meet the new standards.

To access the new repository from the CoC home page click on the Accreditation Best Practices Repository icon on the far right side of the home page. Then click on Best Practices Repository 2012. You can also access the repository via the URL:

Although we currently have many best practice examples and links to resources posted for many of the standards, especially for the new patient-centered standards, our goal is to post at least one best practice example for each standard by the end of this year. To meet our goal we need your help.  We ask that facilities share with us any best practice contributions they may have from their cancer program that support select standards. Please submit best practices for consideration to:

Highlighting the 2012 Standards Chapter 1: Program Management

The facility’s cancer committee is the primary leadership body for the cancer program. For that reason, the first chapter of the 2012 standards focuses on the roles, responsibilities, and activities of the cancer committee. These responsibilities span the range from committee membership, attendance, and establishing goals, through monitoring outreach activities, providing clinical trial information, and education. Most standards in chapter one have not been revised from the 2009 standards edition and include additions from other chapters in the 2009 manual. There are also three new standards, which focus on physician credentials, attendance at cancer committee meetings, and outcome reporting. The cancer committee is responsible for these standards, which help the committee coordinate, assess, and lead the cancer program to provide the highest quality cancer care.

Let’s explore each of these standards.

Standard 1.1 Physician Credentials
Through this standard, the CoC firmly states the essential need for trained and credentialed physicians to provide care to patients with cancer. This standard applies to all multidisciplinary physician members of the cancer care team and requires that the physicians who provide both diagnostic and treatment services to patients with cancer are board certified or in the process of board certification. Board certification is expected in the physician’s general specialty, for example, internal medicine or general surgery. In addition,  certification must be maintained while the physician is providing care to patients with cancer.

The standard allows the program significant latitude for addressing this requirement. Some facilities may address board certification in medical staff bylaws or as part of medical staff appointment. Other methods are also acceptable.

At the time of survey the program will provide the surveyor with documentation of compliance, including a bylaws statement addressing board certification or a list of physicians in the diagnostic and treatment specialties (diagnostic radiology, pathology, general surgery, radiation oncology, and medical oncology) which indicates their board certification status.

Standard 1.2: Committee Membership
Multidisciplinary physicians and nonphysicians involved in the care of patients with cancer are appointed to the cancer committee. Some required members are based on the cancer program’s assigned category and/or available on-site services. Six individual committee appointees (physician or nonphysician) should serve as coordinators for important aspects and activities of the cancer program. Each coordinator has defined responsibilities and reports a specific area of cancer program activity to the cancer committee at least annually.

The cancer program submits minutes from cancer committee meetings that will demonstrate coordinator appointments for each year as well as participation by committee members. Additionally, the SAR will be updated annually to reflect the names of all appointed members, both required and nonrequired.

Standard 1.3: Committee Attendance
The cancer committee makes important decisions about the cancer program, planning, monitoring, assessing, and improving the quality of cancer patient care at the facility or network. To participate in these cancer program decisions, the appointed required members, physicians, and nonphysicians must attend at least 50 percent of all cancer committee meetings each year. ‘Required’ members represent both the physician and nonphysician disciplines listed in Standard 1.2. Compliance for this standard does not include substitution of members by an equivalent designee.

Members can participate in committee meetings through conference or teleconference calls and are provided in advance with meeting documentation. Commendation is available for this standard and requires the appointed required members to attend at least 75 percent of the total cancer committee meetings held each year during the three years between surveys. The program should complete the SAR with attendance information and provide cancer committee minutes for meetings held during the survey cycle. The minutes should include member attendance.

Standard 1.4: Committee Meetings
All cancer committees, regardless of category, must meet at least quarterly during each calendar year.  Additional meetings can be scheduled based on the program’s needs. Note that meetings are based on the quarterly calendar year and not by total number of meetings held for the year.

Subcommittee or workgroup meetings do not substitute for committee meetings. Minutes of subcommittee meetings need to be shared with the cancer committee. It is recommended that the committee meetings be scheduled the first month of each quarter, allowing time if the meeting needs to be postponed. 

Submission of cancer committee minutes and completion of the SAR will demonstrate compliance with the standard. The four quarterly meetings will help the cancer committee conduct the responsibilities of operating a quality cancer program.

These four standards set the thresholds for cancer committee structure which is essential for the committee to fulfill their leadership role. The remaining standards in this chapter outline important programmatic responsibilities and will be discussed in the next two issues of the CoC Flash.

Next month – Chapter 1: Program Management, Standards 1.5–1.9

CLP Webinar Series

The Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) webinar series consists of five online presentations, including an orientation. The next few issues of the CoC Flash will feature descriptions of each webinar.

Becoming an American Cancer Society Liaison is the second webinar in the CLP educational series. In this session, the CLP learns more about the 100-year relationship between the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society, and the history of the Cancer Liaison Program. The webinar presents information about the valuable relationship between CoC-accredited programs and their local American Cancer Society, noting the services that the American Cancer Society offers to the cancer program and its patients, as well as what is expected of the CLP as a liaison to the American Cancer Society.

You can access the webinar through the CoC Online Education Portal at Other required CLP webinars on the portal include topics on how to navigate and use the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) tools, how to analyze and report the data from the quality tools, and a general orientation to the CLP role. The webinar series must be completed by January 1, 2012.

Questions on the webinar series can be directed to


The August CoC Flash contained recognition of Cancer Liaison Physician Outstanding Performance Award recipients. The facility named for recipient Michael Rotkis, MD, FACS, is located in Mishawaka IN, not in Elkhart, IN.

New State Chairs

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 CoC would like to introduce the following new state chair(s):

Allen Silbergleit, MD
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Pontiac, MI
Michigan State Chair
Effective October 2011

Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS): Open For Enrollment

The CoC released the Rapid Quality Reporting System, a tool to facilitate the delivery of quality cancer care for all CoC-accredited cancer programs, on September 19. Enrollment is open, and use of RQRS is voluntary.

RQRS is a proactive tool that works to keep patients visible in what can sometimes be a large and complicated cancer care treatment network. RQRS is the first national system for any disease that tracks care over time, thus ensuring that patients can get the required care they need, when they need it. RQRS operates in “real clinical time,” enabling cancer centers and their physicians to get feedback from the NCDB on cases while they are actively under treatment. Previously such reporting and feedback tools have required up to two years before information could be delivered to a cancer patient's interdisciplinary cancer team.

•    “A key issue in cancer care is that people require treatment over a period of time, often administered by a number of different doctors in different specialties, such as surgeons, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists,” said Stephen Edge MD, FACS, Chair of the Commission on Cancer. “Until RQRS, there has been no coordinated way to help track whether people get appropriate care,” he said. Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, where Dr. Edge serves as professor of surgery and oncology, was an RQRS test site, and the Institute continues to use the system as part of its accredited cancer program. Dr. Edge reported that during the testing phase “RQRS showed that we give great care in most cases, but also allowed us to follow up on the few patients who were starting to ‘fall through the cracks.’ Since we implemented the system, we have had not a single patient in RQRS fall through the cracks—we have followed through on every cancer patient.”

•    “We were eager to participate in testing this effort,” said Nancy Johnson, executive director of the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer and Research Pavilion, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center accredited by the CoC, at St. Joseph’s/Candler, Savannah, GA. “We have already seen the RQRS system at work within our cancer program. We serve a 33-county area,” she explained. “By following up on alerts for patients whose disease status predictably required additional treatment, we have found some patients from outlying areas who needed assistance, and we were able to contact them. Ultimately, we were able to help those patients continue on their treatment pathways.”

To learn more about RQRS and how to enroll your cancer program, visit

You Wanted a Reminder 2011 NCDB Call for Data

September 2011 NCDB submissions will end at midnight (CT) the night of Friday, September 30. All analytic cases diagnosed in 2005 and updated by the registrar on or after July 1, 2006, and all analytic cases diagnosed in 2002 and updated by the registrar on or after July 1, 2008, must be submitted by that time. Edit corrections for cases diagnosed in 2006 are due at the same time. Any rejected cases diagnosed in 2001 must also be corrected and resubmitted, provided they were not rejected because they are not reportable. Voluntary corrections to edit problems for 2001 diagnoses are welcome and encouraged, but they are not required by Standard 3.7.

The NCDB Data Submissions Reports for 2011 in CoC Datalinks will be updated with September submission results as soon as all of the cases are processed.

NCDB will be closed for routine submissions during the month of October and will reopen in November to accept cases diagnosed in 1999 and 2000 including any remaining corrections resulting from September submissions. Programs whose Reference Date is later than 2000 will have no 1999 or 2000 cases to submit.

Three Things You Need to Know Now About NCDB Data Submissions in 2012

Initial 2012 National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) data submissions are due in January. There are three aspects of that submission that programs need to know.

1. Cases to be reported and timing. The NCDB submission cycle is undergoing major changes. The 2011 cycle was transitional as NCDB moved from a five-year submission cycle to annual collection of newly abstracted and updated cases. Submissions were spread throughout 2011 on a bimonthly basis to “catch up” with the new cycle. See for a description of the submission cycle changes.

  • Beginning in 2012, the NCDB submission cycle will move into its “new normal.” All Call for Data submissions are due during January and edit corrections for cases diagnosed in 2003 and subsequently will be due April 1.

  • All analytic cases diagnosed in 2010 and cases diagnosed since 1985 or the registry’s Reference Date—whichever is later—that were updated by the registry since the previous time the case was required for a Call for Data must be submitted during January 2012. The full schedule, including the “changed since” dates, can be viewed and printed at Use your registry software for the applicable case-selection procedure as the selections for 2012 will be fairly complex due to the varied Call for Data dates in the recent past.

  • All cases diagnosed in 2003-2010 will be subject to the data accuracy standard (Standard 5.6 in the new Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care). Cases diagnosed in 2003 or later must pass the NCDB submission edits when the case is first submitted for commendation or by April 1, 2012, and cases with edit errors must be corrected and resubmitted by April 1 regardless of diagnosis date.

  • Registries are encouraged to use the most current North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) edit set for hospitals available in their registry software to begin cleaning the data. These are the same edits that are required to stamp cases diagnosed in 2010 or more recently with the Date Case Completed – CoC date. Edits to be used for 2012 NCDB submissions will be posted December 1. Do not create submission files for January until December.

2.    Data versions. Seventeen percent of Commission on Cancer (CoC)-accredited programs submitted data to NCDB using the NAACCR layout 12.0 (CS version 02.02) during September. These programs will need to upgrade their registry software very soon for the following reasons. (See the July 2012 CoC Flash for information about updating the edits software when the registry upgrades at

  • Cases diagnosed in 2011 must be coded in CS version 02.03 or higher. Therefore, this version must be available to registrars in order to comply with the abstracting standard (Standard 3.2 in 2011). CoC announced in June that cases first seen in January through March of 2011 will not be taken into account for this standard ( However, cases first seen in April are rapidly closing in on the timeline.

  • Submissions made in 2012 must be made using the NAACCR layout 12.1 (CS version 02.03) or the forthcoming layout 12.2 (CS version 02.04). Layout 12.0 (CS version 02.02) will not be accepted in 2012. CS version 02.03 and the conversion from layout 12.0 to 12.1 has been available in the field for many months, and submission deadline extensions for failure to upgrade to layout 12.1 will not be given in 2012.

  • It is necessary to upgrade to layout 12.1 (CS version 02.03) before upgrading again to the forthcoming layout 12.2 (CS version 02.04). All CS version 02.04 material will be available to registry software providers on October 11 for testing their systems, and the final versions will be available to them in December. The Collaborative Stage work groups have been diligent in meeting their time schedule for this release so that the upgrades can be made available to hospital registries early in 2012. Cases diagnosed in 2012 must be abstracted using CS version 02.04 or higher, and earlier diagnoses also may be abstracted using that version.

3.    Rules for submission deadline extensions. Rules for the timeliness of NCDB submission were relaxed in 2011 because of the bimonthly submission cycle. Submissions made in 2012 will be subject to the standard deadline extension rules:

  • Call for Data deadline extensions must be granted in advance of the deadline. Extensions to the Standard 5.5 submission deadline will be given only in highly unusual situations, and no extensions will be given to programs that received extensions in either of the previous two years (in 2012 this will apply only to 2011 submissions, because there was no Call for Data submission deadline in 2010). No extensions for the data correction deadline will be granted.

  • Extensions to the data submission deadline to comply with Standard 5.5 will affect the program's compliance with Standard 5.6. Initial submissions made after the Standard 5.5 submission deadline will not be eligible for the 5.6 commendation rating even if the initial submission of the data was error free and made by the extended deadline.

SEER Posts Multiple Primary/Histology Revision to the Multiplicity Counter Code

The Multiple Primary Histology and Coding Rules manual has been updated to include the revised codes for Multiplicity Counter. See  Code 89 has been added to mean “multicentric, multifocal, number unknown,” and 99 is to be used only to indicate “unknown if multiple tumors, not documented.” 

This change goes into effect with cases diagnosed January 1, 2011, and is not applicable to earlier diagnoses.  FORDS: Revised for 2011 instructs registries to “apply the instructions in the current version of Multiple Primary Histology and Coding Rules to code this item”, and does not replicate the coding instructions.  Please check all Multiplicity Counter codes 99 used for 2011 cases to see if they should be coded 89 instead.

New Webinars Now Available On-Demand

The following webinars are now available for viewing On-Demand.
Visit the CoC Online Education Portal and register today to view these webinars.

Move to the Fast Track: Getting Your Cancer Program Ready for the Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS)

Cost: $50

Course Overview:
The Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS) is a new program from the NCDB, designed to promote evidenced-based cancer care at the local level in real clinical time.  Participation in this program is voluntary; enrollment will open in the spring of 2011.  This webinar will explain how CoC-accredited cancer programs can get ready to enroll and begin to actively participate in the RQRS.  The enrollment process will be briefly reviewed.  Information gathered from alpha and beta test participants explaining how RQRS participation was managed in individual cancer programs will be reported.  Examples and best practices on how beta test participants came to concurrently abstract breast, colon and rectum cases will be shared, as well as the instructions for data submission.  Select benefits and challenges of RQRS participation will also be described.

The College of American Pathologists (CAP) Cancer Protocols: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

Cost: $50

Course Overview:
During the past quarter century, significant strides have been made in the delivery of multidisciplinary care to cancer patients.  The medical team includes surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, nurses as well as numerous other ancillary professionals.  As part of this transition, the Cancer Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) recognized the need for more uniform and complete pathology reports to further aid in the delivery of high quality care to cancer patients.  To work toward this goal, the CAP Cancer Committee wrote and published the first set of the "Cancer Protocols" in 1986.  Since that time significant changes and additions to the protocols have been implemented.  This Webinar will present the history and development of the "Cancer Protocols", explain their function, and emphasize the importance of complete pathology reports in the care of cancer patients.  It will also discuss the endorsement of the protocols by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer as well as review the Commission on Cancer's standard for accreditation scheduled for implementation in 2012.   

Visit the CoC Online Education Portal and register today to view these webinars.

Preparing for Your CoC Survey

Cost: FREE

This webinar is designed to assist cancer programs with preparation for their accreditation survey. No matter when your next survey will take place, it is never too early to start the process to prepare. This 45 minute pre-recorded webinar gives you and your cancer program leadership a high-level overview of the process; from electronic notifications to post survey steps, and all steps in between. Go to and click on "Preparing for Your CoC Survey" to access this webinar. 

New On-Demand Webinars to Support the CoC Standards Coming Soon

Cancer Programs Standards 2012:

    1. Cancer Program Standards 2012 Chapter 1: Focus on Roles and Responsibilities of the Cancer Committee
    2. Cancer Clinical Trials
    3. Eligibility Requirements: The Cancer Committee’s Role in Evaluation and Reporting
    4. Quality of Patient Care: New CoC Standards
    5. Studies of Quality and Quality Improvements
    6. Important Accreditation Facts: New Program Categories, Accreditation Awards, and the OAA
    7. 2012 and Beyond: The Survey Process
      Continuum of Care Services:
      1. Focus on Survivorship Care Plans
      2. Introduction to Patient Navigation Part 1
      3. Introduction to Patient Navigation Part 2
      4. Psychosocial Distress Screening, Tools, and Resources
      5. A Palliative Care Primer
      6. Cancer Risk Assessment and Genetics Testing 

      These titles will be added to the On-Demand registration page soon.

      CS FAQ Document with Known Issue for v02.03

      The Collaborative Stage (CS) Team is preparing for the next release of CS in Fall 2011. In the meantime, the CS team has developed a known issue document that can be useful when coding in CSv02.03. This FAQ document can be found at This document contains important information for a few schemas and fields where there is a known issue with CSv02.03 that will be resolved in the upcoming release. This document was created to let you know that we are aware of the issues you may be encountering with these few fields in CSv02.03 and they will be resolved in CSv02.04. Please take a moment to download or print this document as a reference to use when coding these fields.

      Announcement from the Collaborative Stage (CS) Management Team

      The Collaborative Stage Management Team is committed to quality and improving the functionality of CS.  In response to welcomed input and our own internal reviews we understand the impact CSv2 changes have had on the registry community.  There are still a number of known issues within CS that will require another release in the future.  This future release is tentatively labeled as CSv02.05.  The Collaborative Stage Management Team has decided that release CSv02.05 will be effective for the 2014 data year.  It is anticipated that the availability of all items related to CSv02.05 will occur during the summer of 2013.  A more detailed timeline for the release of CSv02.05 will be published as the plans are finalized.

      Pursuing Excellence through Accreditation Workshop November 18, 2011

      Registration is still OPEN for the National Accreditation Program for Breast Center (NAPBC) workshop, Pursuing Excellence through Accreditation, which is scheduled to be held at the American College of Surgeons headquarters in Chicago, IL, on Friday, November 18, 2011. This workshop will impart information about the NAPBC components and standards, survey process, and the new quality measures and related requirements scheduled for implementation in January 2012. Attendance at this workshop will assist centers applying for accreditation, as well as centers due for reaccreditation in 2012 and beyond.

      NAPBC board members, surveyors, and staff will present information about accreditation. A detailed presentation specific to the NAPBC components and standards will inform participants of the requirements in order to meet compliance with each standard. The workshop will also incorporate any changes to the standards so that there is a clear understanding of what is expected and how it will be measured. Another detailed presentation, titled What to Expect on the Day of Survey, will walk participants through a site visit from a surveyor’s perspective. Learn what the surveyor is looking for during different aspects of the survey.

      Pursuing Excellence through Accreditation is designed for individuals involved in the delivery of multidisciplinary breast health care, including physicians, nurses, administrators, and cancer registry professionals.

      Follow the link below to read more about the workshop, download a workshop brochure, and/or register to attend:

      These workshops are always well attended, and seating is limited. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. Register TODAY.

      NAPBC Exhibit Schedule Fall 2011

      The NAPBC will host an exhibit at the following meetings:

      American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress
      October 23-27, 2011
      Moscone Center
      San Francisco, CA

      San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS)
      December 6-10, 2011
      Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
      San Antonio, TX

      If you attend these meetings and have questions, or wish to pick up an NAPBC Information Kit, stop by either exhibit.

      To learn more about the NAPBC, visit, e-mail, or call 312-202-5185.

      Springer Publishing Announces Cancer Disparities Book for October 2011

      Springer Publishing Company is pleased to announce the October 2011 publication of:
      Cancer Disparities: Causes and Evidence-Based Solutions

      American Cancer Society, Dr. Ronit Elk and Dr. Hope Landrine

      Cancer is not randomly distributed in the United States. Its incidence varies by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and other geographic and demographic factors. This volume is the first to examine the biological, racial, and socioeconomic factors that influence cancer incidence and survival and presents 15 previously unpublished, evidence-based interventions that can be used to reduce and eliminate cancer disparities.

      To view this book please click on the link:

      Springer Publishing is offering a 20% discount with free shipping within the U.S. to any member of the American College of Surgeons who purchases the book directly from the web site and uses the promotional code
      AIFS when checking out their order.

      LIVESTRONG Survivorship Leadership Training Institute - October 20-21

      The LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence Network (Network) was established in 2005 to advance survivorship care and improve the health and quality of life of post-treatment cancer survivors. Over the course of the last five years, Network members have expanded knowledge of the field of survivorship, pioneered new interventions for cancer survivors and developed, evaluated and disseminated survivorship best practices to national and international audiences, including best strategies for—and challenges to—instituting a survivorship care program.

      On October 20– 21, the Network will offer the LIVESTRONG Survivorship Leadership Training Institute (Training Institute), a one and a half day course at the Omni Parker House Hotel in historic downtown Boston. At the Training Institute, providers and administrators of cancer centers can learn from Network Directors and other leaders in the field how to develop holistic and sustainable survivorship programs to better serve cancer survivors in their own community or clinical settings. Attendees will learn how to develop a sustainable survivorship program from the ground up, account for the dollars and cents of survivorship program, and address cancer survivors’ needs holistically.

      LIVESTRONG Training Institute Faculty include Network Directors from seven different NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers across the nation, Community Health Leaders, and a Commission on Cancer (CoC) representative who will discuss how to implement the new CoC guidelines on survivorship care in different settings.

      By the end of the Training Institute, course attendees will be able to:

      • Understand the new Commission on Cancer guidelines in survivorship.
      • Describe the key medical and psychosocial issues facing cancer survivors.
      • Describe steps needed to create an outstanding cancer survivorship program in different health care settings.
      • Define the key components of care typically provided in cancer survivorship programs.
      • Describe the roles of nutrition, exercise, and psychosocial counseling in survivorship care.
      • Explain the practical issues to consider in developing a survivorship program such as business planning, metrics and evaluation, or sustaining a program over time.

      Registration Fee - $325 per individual

      The Training Institute is offered separately or in conjunction with the course entitled “Cancer Survivorship for Clinicians: Helping Survivors Live Well Beyond Cancer.” This second course, October 21-23 at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston, is offered by the Dana-Farber Institute’s Adult Survivorship Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard Medical School. Major topics to be covered include: specific medical issues in cancer survivorship, survivorship research programs, body image, living with cancer, and health disparities.

      Registration Fee BEFORE AUGUST 31
      Physicians: $400
      Allied health professionals: $275

      Registration Fee AFTER AUGUST 31
      Physicians: $450
      Allied health professionals: $325

      To learn more about the Training Institute, please contact Dr. Sarah Arvey at To register for the Training Institute and/or the DFCI course “Cancer Survivorship for Clinicians” follow the link.

      SEER Posts Revised Manuals for 2011 Cases

      The 2011 edition of the SEER manual is now available on the SEER website at

      This is a very limited revision of the 2010 manual. Changes were made only to data items with new codes.  These are:

      • SEER Coding System Original
      • SEER Coding System Current
      • Marital Status
      • Multiplicity Counter
      • Surgery of Primary Site, Breast

      The MP/H manual has also been updated to include the new codes for Multiplicity Counter.  See

      NCRA News

      Upcoming NCRA Webinars
      The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) has designed a series of webinars to meet the educational and professional development needs of cancer registrars. Topics include CSv02.03.02, ICD-10-CM, Electronic CAP Checklists (eCC), and Leadership Primer. The webinars will help cancer registrars keep current on complex issues. Many of the webinars qualify for CE credits.

      CSv02.03.02 Six-Part Webinar Series
      Begins October 12

      Subject-matter experts will present a series of six webinars to delve into CSv02.03.02 and the most challenging primary sites. Topics that will be addressed include lung, colon, prostate, head, neck, and ovary. Each 90-minute webinar offers an overview of the topic area, an in-depth analysis of the specific site, and will conclude with a Question and Answer session. Learn more and register at

      CSv02.03.02 Webinar Schedule
      Lung: October 12, 2011, presented by SuAnn McFadden, CTR
      Colon: November 16, 2011, presented by Shannon Vann, CTR
      Prostate: January 11, 2012, presented by Sharmen Dye, CTR
      Head: February 15, 2012, presented by Shirley Jordan Seay, PhD, OCN, CTR
      Neck: March 14, 2012, presented by Shirley Jordan Seay, PhD, OCN, CTR
      Ovary: April 11, 2012, presented by Sharmen Dye, CTR, and Kathleen Rogers, CTR

      ICD-10-CM Webinar
      November 9 at 2:00 pm (ET)

      NCRA has developed a new 90-minute webinar titled ICD-10-CM: An Update for the Cancer Registrar. Scheduled for Wednesday, November 9 at 2:00 pm (ET), the webinar will update cancer registrars on the International Classification of Disease, 10th revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) Diagnosis Code Set. Subsequent webinars are planned for February and May 2012 and will focus on hematopoietic and diagnostic codes. Learn more at

      Leadership Primer for Cancer Registrars Webinar
      December 7 at 2:00 pm(ET)

      The Leadership Primer for Cancer Registrars webinar, scheduled for Wednesday, December 7 at 2:00 pm (ET), is the first in NCRA’s newly created professional development webinar series. The most gifted athletes don’t always make good coaches and the best teachers don’t always make the best principals. The 60-minute webinar will help participants learn to distinguish between the skill of performance and the skill of leading the performance. Learn how to identify a person's potential leadership qualities, and how successful leaders explore their own style of communicating. Visit NCRA’s website for more details.

      Archived eCC Webinar
      The recent NCRA-CAP webinar, Electronic CAP Checklists (eCC): An Introduction for Cancer Registrars, is now available online. The 90-minute archive webinar is made possible through a coordinated effort between NCRA and the College of American Pathologists (CAP). It provides a general introduction to the CAP eCC, including the eCC in practice and the relationship of the eCC to AJCC, CSv2, and ICD-O-3. The archive is offered free of charge. Learn more at

      NSABP B-43: A novel and provocative trial targeting HER2-positive DCIS

      Historically DCIS has been treated with mastectomy or lumpectomy with or without tamoxifen for ER-positive disease. With a large proportion of DCIS being ER negative and overexpressing HER2Neu, the targeted treatment of HER2-positive DCIS with trastuzamab (T) is novel and promising. Laboratory data demonstrate that T provides a synergy with radiation therapy in animal models and cell lines.

      The primary aim of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project’s (NSABP) B-43 trial is to reduce in-breast tumor recurrence in lumpectomy-treated patients with HER2-positive DCIS whose tumors are HER2 3+ or FISH positive by giving two doses of T during radiation therapy (RT) versus RT alone. Following central review of the DCIS and determination of a positive HER2 status, patients with negative tumor margins, node-negative status, and an EGOG status of 0 or 1 can be entered and randomized into the trial. Secondary endpoints are disease-free survival and overall survival. Currently accrual is active, reaching an average of more than 20 patients per month, with a goal of 2,000 patients. This is the first randomized Phase III trial utilizing molecular therapy to treat high-risk DCIS. We encourage your participation. For more information, contact the NSABP Clinical Coordinating Division at 800-477-7227 or

      Supported by PHS grants NCI-U10-CA-69651, NCI-U10-CA-12027, and NCI P30-CA-14599 from the US NCI and Genentech, Inc.

      Thomas B. Julian, MD

      Surgical Oncology Melamona Fellowship - Applications being Accepted

      The Center for Melanoma Treatment and Research of Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation at California Pacific Medical Center has established a surgical oncology melanoma fellowship program. The program has a multidisciplinary focus to the treatment of cutaneous malignancies. The fellowship program begins July 1, 2012, and is open to applicants who have completed at least two years in residency training in general surgery with good standing. However, residents who have completed their training and are eligible for American Board of Surgery certification are preferred. The fellowship program is conducted under the direction and guidance of Stanley P. L. Leong, MD, FACS, chief of cutaneous oncology and associate director of the melanoma program at Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation. The fellow will work closely under the supervision of Dr. Leong with participation in the operating room, along with other physicians in the program, such as head and neck surgeons, dermatologists, dermatopathologists, and medical oncologists. The fellowship will focus heavily on the care of patients with melanoma in early and advanced stage disease, including selective sentinel and radical regional nodal dissection as well as isolated heated limb perfusion and immunotherapy clinical trials. In addition, the fellow will engage in clinical research focused on novel approaches to the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of this disease based on a large melanoma database. The fellowship recipient must have a valid California medical license. Interested applicants should contact

      National Recognition for Breast Centers of Excellence: Service Line Optimization Course - March 2012

      Course on “National Recognitions for Breast Centers of Excellence: Service Line Optimization” to be presented next March
      Quality care has become the new definition of value in healthcare.  Incorporating quality assessment into the operations of a breast center requires special attention, strategic planning, administrative support, and physician buy-in.  Breast Center experts from across the country will come together next March to discuss current initiatives to optimize the Breast Center service line. 

      Many of the important programmatic pillars of comprehensive breast centers will be discussed so that Breast Centers can tailor these programs to their individual needs and measure their effectiveness with specific quality initiatives.  The programs to be discussed include patient navigation, risk assessment and genetic counseling, survivorship, and patient advocacy.

      Special focus will be how to implement quality initiatives in hospital systems which have multiple breast centers in various degrees of collaboration and often in different healthcare markets.

      Three main initiatives exist to assess quality care for Breast Centers.  These are the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers (NQMBC), and the Breast Imaging Centers of Excellence (BICOE).  The conference will address the value and benefits of these three programs as well as the data collection and reporting for each. 

      This conference is especially useful to CEOs, COOs, administrators of oncology and women’s health service lines, breast center managers, physicians and others interested in operationalizing quality into Breast Centers.

      About NQMBC-Surgeon, the newest member of our quality program
      Quality improvement is likely to occur when Breast Centers compare themselves with others.  The NQMBC was created to facilitate quality measurement documentation and delivers comparisons to all participants without charge.  After formulating and choosing quality metrics, the NQMBC has become a viable opportunity to improve breast center care.  Data entry and comparison results are web-based and available promptly.

      Since 2005, NQMBC has collected quality data from participating Breast Centers to create a database useful for defining quality benchmarks.   Each measure reveals a “threshold level” of care that most centers should surpass.  This entry level of care is just the beginning.  Improving quality requires “achievable goals” beyond the threshold level to demonstrate excellence in care.  Data from the NQMBC provides quality guideposts for centers to incorporate in their overall quality program.

      Recently, NQMBC-Surgeon was created to provide surgeons with a discipline-specific quality program which satisfies part IV of the American Board of Surgery Maintenance of Certification requirements.  The surgeon quality measures include a subset of measures contained in the NQMBC that are focused on surgical breast care.

      For more information on the benefits of membership with the National Consortium of Breast Centers, Inc., NQMBC™ or NQMBC-Surgeon, call the NCBC office at 574-267-8058 or visit the website at, or

      Certification Approved by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program
      For hospitals with Magnet status, and for those in the process of earning Magnet status, the NCBC is proud to announce that all Breast Patient Navigator (CBPN) and the Clinical Breast Examiner certifications (CBEC)  are now approved to be used by practitioners employed by Magnet Recognized Facilities.

      The following is a list of “core” features that the Magnet Recognition Program® uses to assess whether a specific credential is a certification that applicants may include on the Demographic Information Form (DIF) and to represent goals for improvement in professional certification.

      The credential is a professional certification if:

      • The examination is nationally available
      • The examination is based on periodic job analysis (role delineation studies and content panel experts)
      • A recertification interval is defined
      • The examination tests a professional body of knowledge and
      • No specific classes are required to be eligible for the examination

      The specific certifications are listed below.

      • Clinical Breast Examiner Certification: CBEC
      • Patient Navigation: CBPN-C (Cancer), CBPN-I (Imaging), CBPN-IC (Cancer and Imaging)

      These certificates are offered nationally at the national conference as well as regionally throughout the United States.  There is a peer review team that updates the certification materials annually to coincide with new technology, research and collected data from those already certified.  Those certified are required to renew annually, and meet renewal criteria.  The CBEC requires re-certification every five years.