The CoC Source - December 2013/January 2014 Issue
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Happy Holidays!

CoC Recognizes Outgoing Members and Leadership

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) recognizes the following departing members for their distinguished contributions to the work of the Commission:


  • Lisa Bailey, MD, FACS*
  • Harry Douglas Bear, MD, FACS*
  • Otis Webb Brawley, MD, American Cancer Society
  • Deborah Dickerson, RHIT, CTR, National Cancer Registrars Association
  • Jed Gregory Nuchtern, MD, FAAP, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Robert Joseph Piorkowski, MD, FACS*
  • Christopher Mario Pezzi, MD, FACS*
  • Robert Peter Sticca, MD, FACS*
  • Thomas J. Tachovsky, MD, FACS*
  • David J. Winchester, MD, FACS*
* Fellowship

  • Lisa Bailey, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair, Education Committee
  • Kathryn Hamilton, MA, RD, CDN, CSO, Vice-Chair, Member Organization Steering Committee
  • Christopher M. Pezzi, MD, FACS, Chair, Quality Integration Committee
  • Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, Vice-Chair, Quality Integration Committee
  • Robert Sticca, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair, Accreditation Committee

CoC Announces New Members and Leaders

The CoC welcomes the following individuals who were appointed to membership and leadership positions at the 2013 annual meeting held on October 6 during the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress in Washington, DC.

Representing the Fellowship for a three-year term:

  • Karl Bilimoria, MD, MS, FACS, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • William Dooley, MD, FACS, University of Oklahoma Medical Center, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Peter S. Hopewood, MD, FACS, Falmouth Hospital of Cape Cod Healthcare, Falmouth, MA
  • Hisakazu Hoshi, MD, FACS, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA
  • Jennifer E. Rosen, MD, FACS, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
  • Brad E. Waddell, MD, FACS, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor, ME
  • Sandra Wong, MD, MS, FACS, University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Stephen C. Yang, MD, FACS, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD

Representing Member Organizations for a three-year term:

  • American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine: Bridget N. Fahy, MD, FACS, University of New Mexico Cancer Center, Albuquerque, NM
  • American Academy of Pediatrics: Maria Velez, MD, FAAP, Louisiana State University Health Science Center and Children's Hospital, New Orleans, LA
  • American Cancer Society: Richard C. Wender, MD, Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA
  • ACS Young Fellows Association: Joshua M.V. Mammen, MD, PhD, FACS, University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS
  • Community Oncology Alliance: Carol Murtaugh, RN, OCN, Hematology & Oncology Consultants, P.C., Omaha, NE
  • National Cancer Institute SEER: Lynne Penberthy, MD, MPH, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
  • National Cancer Registrars Association: Ann Griffin, PhD, CTR, UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
Representing the Leadership:
  • Ernie Bodai, MD, FACS, Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento, CA; Vice-Chair, Advocacy Committee
  • Ned Carp, MD, FACS, Lankenaw Medical Center, Wynnewood, PA; Vice-Chair, Quality Integration Committee
  • James Hamilton, MD, FACS, Saint Francis Hospital, Topeka, KS; Chair, Advocacy Committee
  • Carma Herring, RN, ONC, John Stoddard Cancer Center, Des Moines, IA; Vice-Chair, Member Organization Steering Committee
  • Patrick Ross, MD, FACS, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; Vice-Chair, Education Committee
  • Larry Shulman, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA; Chair, Quality Integration Committee
  • Danny Takanishi, MD, FACS, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI; Vice-Chair, Accreditation Committee

High Points of the 2014 SAR

Enhancements to the 2014 Survey Application Record (SAR) have been finalized based on feedback from our internal and external users and utilization during 2013.  The SAR will be released to cancer programs preparing for 2014 surveys by the end of November. Programs preparing for their 2014 survey need to click on the ‘2014 SAR’ link as the Annual Update link is now closed. The Annual Update SAR will be released in January 2014 to cancer programs not scheduled for a 2014 survey. All 2012 and 2013 data already entered will be copied over. No data will be lost.

Some high points of the enhancements include:

  • Cancer committee minutes will now be uploaded through a link located on the SAR Menu (not in Standard 1.3)
  • Surveyors will now be able to re-upload the Accession List, with their selections for pathology reports, directly into the Agenda, Presentation, Accession List, and Other link
  • Each standard now has a Collapse button located at the bottom of the screen
  • Standard 1.3—Cancer committee dates can now be deleted, as needed, by the user
  • Standard 1.9—Bio Repository Trials and Patient Registry Trials have been added to the list of acceptable clinical trial groups
  • Standard 2.1—All information is directly entered into this table (pre-survey) for surveyor review of pathology reports
  • Standard 5.2—New standard on RQRS participation, a commendation-only standard (the abstracting timeliness standard has been removed)

The CoC’s goal is for cancer programs to experience the 2014 SAR as a more user-friendly tool that will offer assistance as they prepare for survey or maintain activities during non-survey years.

2014 Surveyor Assignments

In early November, cancer programs with a survey due in 2014 were sent an e-mail notifying them of their assigned surveyor(s). To learn more about the assigned surveyor(s), please review Surveyor Profiles on the ACS website.

The selection of a confirmed survey date is to be coordinated directly between the cancer program and the assigned surveyor(s). Communication will be initiated by the surveyor.

Survey invoices will be e-mailed to the program’s cancer program administrator and cancer registrar at least one month before the survey is due (not necessarily the confirmed survey date). Payment of the fee is due within 30 days of the date the invoice is received.

The SAR is to be completed with 2012 and 2013 cancer program activity and information, with appropriate documentation uploaded. The SAR must be completed at least 14 calendar days prior to the confirmed survey date.

2014 surveys will evaluate data and activities for 2012 and 2013 and be reviewed on standards in Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care, Version 1.2. With the exception of cancer tumor registrar attendance at a national meeting, 2011 data and activity will not be included in the 2014 surveys.

Please e-mail the Accreditation staff at for further assistance with surveyor assignments, survey preparation, and fees. Please address all questions regarding the SAR to

Preparing for January's NCDB Call for Data: Pre-Edit Now

The edits are ready for pre-editing data for submissions to NCDB and RQRS in 2014. For registries whose software is using layout 13 (CS v 02.04), information needed for editing is available. For registries that have already upgraded to layout 14 (CS v 02.05), equivalent information will also be available at that website on December 15.

New Edits for 2014 NCDB Submissions.  All edits in this submission have been available in the standard NAACCR metafile edit set for hospitals since January 2013 and should be in active use recently in registries for time-stamping “Date Case Completed-CoC.”  Most edits in the 2014 metafile have been in use for NCDB submission for several years.  Full descriptions of the edits listed below and all NCDB and RQRS edits are posted on the website.

Eight edits that were added for 2014 submissions detect conditions under which the Collaborative Staging algorithm is incapable of deriving a stage for cases diagnosed in 2010 or later due to coding inconsistencies:
CS Extension, Tumor Size, Lung Schema (CS)
CS LN, Nodes Eval, SSF 3, MelanomaSkin (CS)
CS LN, Nodes Eval, SSF 3, MerkelCellPenis (CS)
CS LN, Nodes Eval, SSF 3, MerkelCellScrotum (CS)
CS LN, Nodes Eval, SSF 3, MerkelCellSkin (CS)
CS LN, Nodes Eval, SSF 3, MerkelCellVulva (CS)
CS Lymph Nodes, LN Nodes Eval, RNP, Testis (CS)
CS Mets at DX, SSF 4, MelanomaChor/Cil/Iris(CS)
Fourteen urinary and vaginal edits that check inter-item coding consistency were written after release of the metafile for the 2013 NCDB Call for Data:
CS SSF 2, Ext, KidneyRenalPelvis (CS)
CS SSF 2, Lymph Nodes, Bladder (CS)
CS SSF 2, Lymph Nodes, Vagina (CS)
CS SSF 2, Mets at DX, Vagina (CS)
CS SSF 2, Surg, KidneyRenalPelvis (CS)
CS SSF 3, Lymph Nodes, Bladder (CS)
CS SSF 3, RX Summ—Scope Reg LN Surg, Vagina (CS)
CS SSF 4, Mets at DX, Vagina (CS)
CS SSF 4, SSF 5, Vagina (CS)
CS SSF 5, SSF 7, RX Summ—Surg Other, Vagina (CS)
CS SSF 6, Mets at DX, Vagina (CS)
CS SSF 6, SSF 7, Vagina (CS)
CS SSF 7, 8, 12, 13, Prostate Schema (CS)
CS SSF 7, SSF 8, Prostate Schema (CS)

Getting Help
Review additional information about using the GenEDITS Plus software, metafiles and configuration files, and instructions for using GenEDITS Plus to edit your data for submission. Full information about the Call for Data is posted on the Registrars page. For additional assistance, please contact NCDB at

Mistakes to Avoid in the NCDB Call for Data

Some registrars ran into each of the following problems in recent National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) Call for Data submissions, and we invite you to learn from these experiences.

Submitting NCDB data to RQRS or submitting RQRS data to NCDB
The Datalinks Activity Menu has separate links for submission to NCDB and the Rapid Quality Reporting System (RQRS). The look and feel of the two reporting systems is similar.  Please be careful to select the appropriate system.  However, if you do submit to the wrong system, please contact if you inadvertently submit NCDB data to RQRS, or contact immediately if you submit RQRS data to NCDB.  

  • One way to recognize an error of this nature will be the e-mail notification that thanks you soon after you submit either to NCDB or RQRS.
  • It is not possible to transfer data between RQRS and NCDB.  Please resubmit the file to the correct system if this occurs.

Logging in under the wrong role or facility identification number
Registrars who work for more than one program and registrars who are listed in CoC Datalinks under more than one role for a program will see a drop-down option at log in from which to choose the program and role that applies. Only logins as Registrar or Co-Registrar are able to submit data; others do not see the submission link. If the login program does not match the program whose data are submitted, the data will not be processed.  These security provisions help ensure the integrity of the program’s data.

  • Never share log-in IDs with others in your program.
  • Hospitals that are part of a network and campuses that are part of a merger will see the network or merger identified in the drop-down choices rather than the specific location.

Submitting the wrong file
NCDB has received edit reports and even the GenEDITS Plus installation program, patient lists, earlier versions of data before the errors were cleared, data for one diagnosis year in a file labelled with a different year, and files intended for state submission or posting the SAR.  

  • The initial receipt notification identifies the file name.  Be familiar with the suffix used by your software for NCDB data submissions and investigate if the file submitted does not match.  If the file name ends in .lst or .xls it is likely that you sent the patient list.  If it ends in .rpt, you probably sent the edit report.
  • If you submitted something other than a data file, submit the data file. If you discover that action after the due date, please also contact
  • If you submitted the wrong data file, contact for further instructions.

Using the wrong edits to pre-edit
See the instructions for GenEDITS for help selecting the applicable edits. 

Not submitting all data required or by the deadline

Review the full details about the Call for Data.  Even though the registry software may select cases for you, it is important that the registrar is familiar enough with the requirements to recognize whether they are being met.

Last-minute emergency

2014 submissions are due during January 2014 (by January 31, midnight Central time).  NCDB staff recommend not waiting until the last minute.  You will be able to report the results of your submission to your program sooner if you submit earlier in January.

  • Make a practice of letting your supervisor know where you are in the submission process.  It is rare but medical emergencies may occur, sometimes before the registrar has submitted the data.  Supervisors (or others in the registry) should know to contact for advice if they are not able to make the submission in your absence.

Grade Coding Instructions to be Implemented for Cases Diagnosed 1 January 2014+

The coding of grade (GRADE, DIFFERENTIATION OR CELL INDICATOR [NAACCR Item #: 440]) has become complicated over time by the introduction of specialized site-specific grading systems.  In addition, the coding instructions listed in CoC’s FORDS Manual and SEER’s Coding Manual differed.  Therefore, a small group has been meeting to see if a consensus on grade could be reached among CoC, SEER, and NPCR.  The consensus decision was to draft a set of instructions that were simpler, the same among all 3 groups, and in the end, were different from CoC’s or SEER’s previous instructions.  Separate documentation will be produced later to outline these differences.

The ‘Instructions for Coding Grade’ can be found at and are to be implemented for cases diagnosed 1 January 2014 and forward for CoC, SEER, and NPCR.  CoC and SEER will incorporate these instructions into their respective coding manuals for 2014.  CoC, SEER, and NPCR will notify their respective constituents of their general coding instructions for 2014 including grade.

No codes have been added or deleted.  Vendors will not be required to make any changes to software.  However, vendors may be able to implement some of the grading instructions electronically to aid cancer registrars in coding the grade field.

Educational materials/presentations will be developed.  Short articles/announcements are being developed to highlight some of the changes.

The impact of these new instructions on the analyses of grade trends over time may be substantial for some sites especially prostate.  It was difficult to balance changing rules with a desire to keep grade trends intact.  For prostate, however, earlier changes based on ‘current at the time’ AJCC/UICC rules had already wreaked havoc on trying to analyze prostate grade trends.

Many thanks to those who reviewed the instructions.  Your comments and questions were very helpful.

The members of the CoC-SEER-NPCR Technical Working Group who drafted this document were Margaret Adamo (NCI-SEER), Mary Lewis (CDC-NPCR), Jerri Linn Phillips (CoC), Joan Phillips (CDC-NPCR), Lynn Ries (NCI contractor), Jennifer Ruhl (NCI-SEER), and Shannon Vann (NAACCR).

Cancer Liaison Physician Facts

When a Cancer Liaison Physician (CLP) is appointed, an e-mail is sent to them with their user ID and password to CoCDatalinks. If the CLP has problems logging on, they should e-mail to obtain the user ID and password or to have one reissued. Please be sure a working e-mail address that is checked on a regular basis is on file for the Cancer Liaison.

  • You can contact to get the term dates for your current CLP at any time.
  • A CLP’s term is for three years. However, we realize that circumstances arise that 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 term in this case. Please e-mail in the event that this happens in your program. 
  • CLPs serving in their roles for less than six months do not have to complete the CLP activity report in the SAR. The former CLP should complete this report before being replaced.

The CoC Wants Feedback from the Cancer Liaison Physician

CLPs are volunteer physicians responsible for providing the leadership and direction to establish, maintain, and support their facility's cancer program. The CoC supports and applauds the time and efforts of these physicians.

Currently there are more than 1,400 CLPs across the U.S. Unfortunately, it is not possible to visit each and every CLP; but, it is important that we hear from you. The CLP activity report is a way we can receive feedback. It also provides a barometer of our resources and educational tools that we make available to CLPs. We are able to determine if our role definitions are clear and if the training we provide is sufficient to help you carry out your role.
Please make sure the CLP activity report is being completed annually. 

If you are a CLP and you have a comment regarding the CLP activity report or you want to bring attention to comments on your CLP Activity Report, please e-mail your comments to

CLP Term Expiration

CLPs serve a three-year term and are eligible to serve an unlimited number of terms based on performance and evaluation data collected at the time of survey. Terms of more than 2,601 CLPs will expire in January 2014 and each cancer committee must determine whether the current CLP is appropriately serving in this role or if another candidate would better suit the position.  

Notification and instructions have already been sent to the cancer committee chairs of programs with a CLP whose term is expiring; cancer registrars will be notified as well.  The facility must either reappoint the CLP for another three-year term or recommend a replacement to fill the role.

Please use this time to update and confirm your CLP’s contact information in the CoC database.  

If you have questions or concerns, please e-mail us at

Registration Open for Accreditation 101: Learning the Basics of CoC Accreditation and Standards

Friday, February 28, 2014
Austin, TX

Are you a new staff member just learning the ropes of CoC-accreditation?
Is your cancer program considering CoC accreditation and
you want to learn about the CoC Standards?
Do you need a basic refresher on the CoC accreditation process and standards?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then Accreditation 101: Learning the Basics of CoC Accreditation and Standards is for you.  

Visit the Accreditation 101 web page for further meeting information, hotel information, and to register. Space is limited.

This is the only program developed and taught by CoC surveyors and staff that reviews the CoC Standards, provides practical information on how to achieve compliance, and discusses the important role you and your cancer team play throughout the continuum of cancer care.  Get the information you need from the people involved in standard development and the survey process. 

Registration Fee: $395
This fee includes a copy of the Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care v1.2, ($50.00 value), resource materials, continental breakfast, lunch, and breaks.

Please share this information with other members of your staff who would benefit from the information that is being presented.

New Webinar: Making the Most of Your CoC Survey

Robert Sticca, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair of the CoC Accreditation Committee, presents the 45-minute prerecorded webinar “Secrets to Success: Making the Most of Your CoC Survey.”  CoC-accredited cancer programs monitor their cancer program activity throughout the three-year accreditation period so that they can be prepared for the surveyor’s onsite visit. This in-depth presentation describes strategies for documenting and discussing their activity, as well as creating an educational and evaluative survey environment.

This webinar is complimentary to CoC-accredited cancer program staff using their Datalinks user ID and is $50 for all other participants.  You can find more information on how to use your Datalinks user ID on the Education Portals FAQs page.

Be sure to bookmark the new American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs Online Education Portal to access all CoC webinars.

2013 CoC Annual Meeting Presentations Now Posted Online

The presentations from the 2013 CoC Annual Meeting that took place on October  5, 2013 in Washington D.C. are now posted online. Click on the underlined titles in the agenda to view the presentations.  


Introducing the AJCC 8th Edition Editorial Board and Expert Panel Leaders

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) is pleased to introduce the thought leaders of the AJCC Cancer Staging System, 8th edition.

Led by Mahul B. Amin, MD, FCAP, the 15 member editorial board features representatives from each cancer specialty and leaders of internal development “cores”—a new concept introduced by Dr. Amin. These cores are tasked with harmonizing specific areas of staging system development, including:
  • Precision Medicine Core focuses on integrating nonanatomic prognostic factors into the staging system.
  • Evidence-Based Medicine and Statistics Core focuses on developing levels of evidence for changes and updates to the staging system.
  • Content Harmonization Core focuses on harmonizing terms and concepts used in the staging system.
  • Data Collection Core focuses on collaboration with the surveillance community to ensure medical record access to and quality of 8th edition data elements.
  • Professional Organization and Corporate Relationship Core manages grants and contributions for development of the AJCC Cancer Staging System.
  • Administrative Core oversees the development process of the staging system.
The 8th edition will be authored by a team of 18 expert panels, each steered by a chair and vice-chair selected by the editorial board. The composition of each expert panel strives to collaboratively harness the collective intelligence of the thought leaders for each disease site. The membership represents diversity of thought and specialty; each panel's chair and vice-chair come from different organizations and represent different specialties.  

The full roster of Editorial Board members and Expert Panel leaders can be found on the AJCC website. Formation of the expert panels is underway and is expected to be completed by year-end. 

The 8th edition will be in effect for all cancer cases recorded on or after January 1, 2017. Visit our website for all 8th edition updates. We look forward to a collaborative development process!

AJCC-NCRA Education Needs Assessment Survey

Beginning with cases diagnosed January 1, 2016, and after, the standard-setters in the U.S.* and Canada will require AJCC TNM and Summary Stage coding to be recorded in the cancer registry abstract. Collaborative Stage will no longer be used. To ensure the cancer surveillance community is prepared for this change, the AJCC has asked NCRA to prepare an Education Needs Assessment. The goal of the assessment is to identify gaps in knowledge and skills in order to determine the training and education needed to prepare for the 2016 shift in staging process.

Your help is needed to assure that your education/training needs are understood and can be met! Please complete this survey to help and in the process earn 1 complimentary CE credit.  

The survey will take 45-60 minutes and needs to be completed in one sitting. Once you finish and submit the survey, NCRA will follow-up with details on how to obtain your CE completion certificate. 

There are two surveys and you should take the one that best relates to your primary work.

Both surveys will close on December 10.  Thank you for your help!

Questions? E-mail

*For Canadian Registries/Registrars, please note that the Council of Canadian Cancer Registries (CCCR) is in the process of determining how staging will continue in Canada and has not set any dates for the discontinuation of CS or the collection of AJCC TNM and Summary Stage. However, CCCR has indicated they are very interested in seeing the survey results and would particularly like to see the results for the Canadian registries/registrars.


Pursuing Excellence Through Accreditation Workshop

Mark your calendar. The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) has scheduled a full-day workshop, Pursuing Excellence through Accreditation, to be held at the American College of Surgeons’ headquarters in Chicago on Friday, May 23. This workshop will provide detailed information related to the NAPBC components and standards, survey process, the quality measures, and related requirements for 2014 and beyond. Attendance at this workshop will assist centers applying for accreditation as well as centers due for re-accreditation in 2014. 

Detailed information will be presented by NAPBC board members, surveyors, and staff. Most importantly, there will be a detailed presentation specific to the NAPBC components and standards; including what is required in order to meet compliance with each standard. The workshop will also incorporate any recent changes to the standards so that there is a clear understanding of what is expected and how it will be measured. Another detailed presentation, What to Expect on the Day of Survey, will walk you through a site visit from a surveyor’s perspective. Learn about what the surveyor is looking for during different aspects of the survey.    

The Pursuing Excellence Through Accreditation Workshop is designed for individuals involved in the delivery of multidisciplinary breast health care, including physicians, nurses, administrators, cancer registry professionals, and others involved in the day-to-day operations of the breast center.

If you have questions, please contact the NAPBC office at 312-202-5185, or by e-mail at  Online registration will open on March 10 at If you wish to request early registration, please email

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

NAPBC Exhibit Schedule

The NAPBC will have an exhibit at the following meetings:

Multidisciplinary Symposium of Breast Disease
February 13-16, 2014
Ritz Carlton Amelia Island
Amelia Island, FL

Breast Cancer Coordinated Care (BC3)
February 20-22, 2014
Mandarin Oriental
Washington, DC

National Consortium of Breast Centers

March 15-19, 2014
Caesars Palace
Las Vegas, NV

American Society of Breast Surgeons
April 30-May 5, 2014
Las Vegas, NV

National Cancer Registrars Association
May 15-18, 2014
Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center
Nashville, TN

If you will be attending these meetings and have questions, or wish to pick up an NAPBC Information Kit, stop by any of these exhibits.

A Solution for Complying with Standard 3.3: Survivorship Care Planning

Journey Forward offers a free tool for meeting Continuum of Care Standard 3.3.: Survivorship Care Plan. This standard requires that all cancer programs provide a summary of treatment and a follow-up plan to all patients completing cancer treatments.

Journey Forward’s Survivorship Care Plan Builder is a free, downloadable software tool that supports the rapid creation of patient care plans with all the essential components identified by the CoC and Institute of Medicine (IOM). Journey Forward care plans include:

  • A treatment summary, based on the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO®) Chemotherapy Treatment Summary templates
  • An individualized schedule for follow-up care based on ASCO guidelines
  • A psychosocial assessment adapted from UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center materials
  • Guidance on symptom management provided by Oncology Nursing Society (ONS)
  • Information on what to expect, symptoms to watch for, and late-effects of treatment
Journey Forward provides free technical support for the Survivorship Care Plan Builder. In fall 2013, Journey Forward completed a successful pilot and beta testing of a solution for pulling care plan data from your cancer registry software. This solution will be publicly available for C/NET Solution’s registry product in Q4 2013, and expanded to other registry products in 2014.

Journey Forward is a cross-industry collaboration between National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, UCLA Cancer Survivorship Center, Oncology Nursing Society, WellPoint, Inc., and Genentech.

You can download the Survivorship Care Plan Builder 5.0 or visit the website at to learn more or check out the other tools and resources.

Highlights from the 2013 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting

The 2013 Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI)/Cancer Center Administrators Forum (CCAF) annual meeting featured a presentation about health care reform and the future of cancer care in America by Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, vice-provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and a former health policy adviser to the Obama and Clinton administrations.

During the meeting, AACI presented the 2013 AACI Distinguished Scientist Award to Brian J. Druker, MD, director of the Oregon Health and Science University Knight Cancer Institute. U.S. Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and Peter T. King (R-NY) received the 2013 AACI Distinguished Public Service Awards.

The three-day meeting, September 29–October 1, in Washington, DC, convened AACI cancer center directors and executive-level administrators with leaders of national cancer research and advocacy groups, industry, and government health agencies to develop solutions to common challenges and to share best practices. For more information about the meeting, please visit the AACI website.


NCRA Celebrates 40th Anniversary: Share Your Story
In 2014, the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) will mark its 40th anniversary. Throughout the year, NCRA will honor cancer registrars and the association’s many accomplishments. To assist with the celebrations, NCRA is asking its members and others in the cancer surveillance community to share their stories. An online form has been created to make responding easy. NCRA may use your responses in 40th anniversary promotions or include it in upcoming Connection articles. Visit the NCRA website to learn more.

Mark Your Calendars for NCRW April 7–11
The theme for 2014 National Cancer Registrars Week (NCRW) is “Cancer Registrars: Steadfast in an Evolving Environment.” Registrars throughout the world will join their colleagues, fellow medical professionals, and community leaders to observe the 18th annual NCRW April 7–11. The purpose of NCRW is to emphasize the important role cancer registrars play in capturing the data that inform cancer research, prevention, and treatment programs.

Save the Date: NCRA 2014 in Nashville May 15–18
NCRA's 2014 annual educational conference is May 15-18 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN. The theme is “Working in Harmony to Deliver Excellence.” Registration information will be posted on the NCRA website and the brochure, which will be mailed in early January.

NCRA Releases 2014 Edition of Study Guide for the Certified Tumor Registrar Exam
The new edition of the NCRA Study Guide for the CTR Exam has been revised to reflect the updates to the 2014 exam. The guide begins with a review of the two core knowledge areas required of all cancer registrars: principles of oncology and the body’s systems. The remaining chapters are organized by the exam’s six Domains of Practice and contain basic information on these areas, including a general overview of the domain, a list of the related chapters from the textbook, Cancer Registry Management: Principles & Practices for Hospitals and Central Registries (3rd edition), and additional NCRA study resources. The new study guide now includes a companion CD and five case studies have been added with answers and rationales provided. Visit to learn more.

Registration Now Open for Conference Focused on Implementing Psychosocial Quality Care Standards

Registration for the 11th Annual Conference of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society is now open. Designed to help cancer care professionals implement the new Commission on Cancer’s psychosocial quality care standards, the conference will be held February 13-15, 2014, in Tampa, Florida. The meeting will open with a plenary session focused on the Commission on Cancer’s psychosocial distress screening quality care standard. Other plenary sessions will include lectures on implementing psychosocial standards across the lifespan. One two-day track will be devoted entirely to psychosocial oncology quality care standards, with sessions on screening measures and tools, elements of distress screening programs, and implementation of distress screening programs. Other concurrent sessions will focus on the psychosocial oncologic care of pediatrics, adults, and special populations. In addition to these sessions, several pre-conference workshops will help you enhance your survivorship program. Check out the full conference program at  

Come to Tampa in February and gain the skills you need to meet the Commission on Cancer’s new psychosocial quality care standards by attending the 11th Annual Conference of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society. Register before December 16, 2013 to receive early bird rates.     

Save-the-Date: Cancer Survivorship Research Conference

Please hold the dates June 18-20, 2014, for the Seventh Biennial Cancer Survivorship Research Conference: Advancing Survivorship through Multilevel Collaborations.

The meeting will be held at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia and is co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, LIVESTRONG Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More information can be found on our website.

There will also be training at the conference on implementing survivorship care from the LS Center of Excellence Network, including Care Plans.

Monthly Spotlight: Community Oncology Alliance

The CoC regularly collaborates with more than 50 member organizations in its mission to provide cancer care. This month we introduce the Community Oncology Alliance (COA).

The COA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated solely to community oncology. COA was founded by community oncologists to advocate for patients and providers in the community oncology setting, where the majority of Americans with cancer are treated. In its 10 years of existence, COA has mobilized community oncology practices to become more politically active and increased awareness on Capitol Hill about the community cancer care delivery system. Additionally, COA has combined community oncology practices from across the country in order for practitioners to share information and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the cancer care provided to patients.

Currently, COA is working on providing proactive solutions designed to protect the viability of the nation’s cancer care delivery system and patients’ access to quality, affordable cancer care. One of these solutions is the Oncology Medical Home, a model that delivers, helps ensure, and measures quality and value in cancer care. In short, it is a patient-focused system of delivering quality cancer care that is coordinated, and efficient. As such, it is designed to meet the needs of patients, payors, and providers. Some of the key aspects of the Oncology Medical Home model are:

  • Cancer care that is coordinated with the central focus on the patients and their entire medical condition.
  • Cancer care that is optimized based on evidence-based medicine to produce quality outcomes.
  • Cancer care that is accessible and efficient, with treatment provided in the highest-quality, lowest-cost setting for the patient.
  • Cancer care that is delivered in a patient-centric, caring environment that optimizes patient satisfaction.
  • Cancer care that is continuously improved by measuring and benchmarking results against other facilities providing care so that best practices “raise the bar” in delivering care.
COA is working with the CoC and other leaders in the cancer care community to design and implement this model. Please visit the Oncology Medical Home website for the most current information on this important initiative.

COA also offers two different communication networks and an inventory of resources to assist other groups of stakeholders:
  • The first network is the COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN). This network is focused on advocacy for the “care” of cancer, which receives very little attention relative to the “cure” for cancer.
  • The second network is the COA Practice Administrators’ Network (CAN), which is a closed network of oncology practice administrators focused on information sharing and solutions relating to business operations that support clinical practice. Please visit the website to join this network.

Event Information:
Community Oncology 2.0: Blazing a New Way Forward
April 4–5, 2014
Disney World, Orlando, FL

The theme of the 2014 Community Oncology Conference is “Community Oncology 2.0: Blazing a New Way Forward.” Presentations and panel discussions will focus on moving community oncology forward in a challenging environment, but one that presents many opportunities. The conference retains its unique, three-part format of clinical, business, and advocacy tracks.  

Listen to expert discussions on a number of topics, including new payment models, clinical and policy challenges with molecular testing, legislation hurdles impacting cancer care, health care exchanges, and Oncology Medical Home accreditation. This year's keynote speaker is Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.

More than 500 people attended the 2013 conference to rave reviews. As valuable as the presentations and panel discussions are, the conference provides opportunities to network with oncologists, clinical staff, and administrators. Register for the 2014 conference today.

For more information on this organization, please contact:

Community Oncology Alliance, Jennifer Foth, Operations Coordinator

Ph: 757-277-9002 |

COA – Community Oncology Alliance

Oncology Medical Home
CPAN – COA Patient Advocacy Network
CAN – COA Administrator’s Network