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ACS Launches New Cancer Surgery Standards Program

Cancer Surgery Standards ProgramWe are excited to announce the launch of the Cancer Surgery Standards Program (CSSP), a new program of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) dedicated to improving the quality of care for people with cancer. Composed of experts in surgical oncology, cancer registry management, and digital tools and frameworks, the CSSP will work with other ACS Cancer Programs to develop and implement evidence-based, technical standards for oncologic surgery.

Surgeons in ACS Commission on Cancer (CoC)-accredited facilities will soon be required to adhere to and document compliance with Standards 5.3–5.8 described in the CoC guidelines for accreditation, Optimal Resources for Cancer Care (2020 Standards). These new standards establish best practices for operations conducted for breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, rectal cancer, and melanoma. To support this initiative, the CSSP will develop synoptic operative reporting templates, electronic documentation tools, and educational content. Ultimately, the CSSP seeks to facilitate adoption and utilization of synoptic operative reporting tools for all major cancer operations.

During a July 22 CSSP launch webcast, a panel of ACS Cancer Programs constituents discussed the new program’s goals and objectives and reviewed the synoptic operative report template for colon cancer surgery that the CSSP has produced to help CoC-accredited centers document compliance with the new CoC standards. A recording of the webcast will be available for viewing online; continuing education credit is not available for this webcast.

We invite you to visit the new CSSP website for additional information about the program. We have developed the following resources to educate our constituents, and these items can be found on the CSSP website under Resources.

  • A review article in the Bulletin with information about the origins and goals of the CSSP
  • A press release announcing the launch of the CSSP
  • Clips from video interviews with ACS and CSSP leaders about the CSSP:
    • David Hoyt, MD, FACS, Executive Director, American College of Surgeons
    • Kelly Hunt, MD, FACS, Vice-Chair, CSSP
    • Matthew Katz, MD, FACS, Chair, CSSP
    • Heidi Nelson, MD, FACS, Medical Director, ACS Cancer Programs
  • A recording of the CoC Operative Standards for Cancer Surgery webinar held on July 8 will be available on the ACS Learning Content Management website in the coming weeks
  • Two virtual sessions being presented at the upcoming ACS Quality and Safety Conference VIRTUAL on the Operative Standards and synoptic operative reports (participate for FREE; registration required):
    • Breast Cancer Operative Standards and Synoptic Operative Reports: Bringing the Evidence to Your Workflow (Sunday, July 26, 8:00–8:45 am CT)
    • Colon and Rectal Cancer Synoptic Operative Reports: Bringing the Evidence to Your Workflow (Sunday, July 26, 11:00–11:45 am CT)

News about the program, including updates on resources related to the CoC Operative Standards, will be shared with Cancer Programs constituents via e-mail and in future editions of Cancer Programs News. Questions about the program can be directed to

Last Chance to Register for the ACS Quality and Safety Conference VIRTUAL

2020 ACS Quality and Safety ConferenceYour free registration to the 2020 ACS Quality and Safety Conference VIRTUAL entitles you to take advantage of both the general sessions and those that were developed by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Quality Programs, including seven topics developed by ACS Cancer Programs:

  • The Cancer Patient Journey: Lessons Learned from COVID-19
  • Quality Improvement Basics: Using Data to Drive Quality
  • Building a Quality Improvement Program: The Fundamentals and Practical Solutions from the Field
  • Breast Cancer Operative Standards and Synoptic Operative Reports: Bringing the Evidence to Your Workflow
  • Colon and Rectal Cancer Synoptic Operative Reports: Bringing the Evidence to Your Workflow
  • Aligning ACS Cancer Programs Quality Initiatives with Your Hospital Quality Priorities
  • NEW! Delivering Real-Time Cancer Biology: The Roles of Humans and Machines

Can’t join us for the July 24–27 conference? Access the encore sessions, which will be available for 90 days following the conference.

For more information on the cancer sessions at the 2020 Quality and Safety Conference VIRTUAL, visit our website. E-mail with any questions regarding these sessions.

NAPRC Section of CoC Datalinks to Close August 31, 2020

National Accreditation Program for Rectal CancerThe National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC) section of CoC Datalinks will be retired on August 31, 2020, and programs will no longer have access to it.

The NAPRC online portal has moved to a new platform. A helpful user guide is available to assist with navigating the new portal for accredited and applicant NAPRC programs. Instructions for action items related to migrating into the new portal were e-mailed directly to rectal cancer program contacts and are linked on the homepage of the NAPRC section of Commission on Cancer (CoC) Datalinks.

No documentation uploaded into the NAPRC section of CoC Datalinks will be transferred to the NAPRC Quality Portal. If a program wishes to save any documentation uploaded in the NAPRC section of CoC Datalinks, it must download copies before August 31, 2020.

Exception: If a program has undergone a NAPRC site visit and is resolving deficiencies, it will continue to utilize CoC Datalinks to manage NAPRC accreditation until deficiencies are resolved. Next steps on transitioning into the new NAPRC Quality Portal will be provided when accreditation is awarded.

Questions? Please e-mail

George Washington Cancer Center Offers Resources to Assist with CoC Standard Compliance

The George Washington Cancer Center has developed resources that can be used to assist with meeting several Commission on Cancer (CoC) accreditation standards. Resources include, but are not limited to:

  • CME- and CNE-approved survivorship education that may be used toward continuing education requirements in Standard 4.1: Physician Credentials or Standard 4.2: Oncology Nursing Credentials
  • Tools to help with assessing your survivorship program to identify needs for Standard 4.8: Survivorship Program or for identifying barriers for Standard 8.1: Addressing Barriers to Care

NCDB Cancer Bytes Explores Use of Data Sets in Clinical Practice

National Cancer DatabaseThe July 2020 issue of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons features a National Cancer Database (NCDB) Cancer Bytes column by Maine Commission on Cancer (CoC) State Chair Timothy Fitzgerald, MD, FACS. “Neoadjuvant and perioperative chemotherapy for localized pancreatic cancer: Leveraging small and large databases in the absence of Level 1 evidence” highlights the use of data sets large and small, such as the NCDB, to inform clinical practice. Within this issue Dr. Fitzgerald explores the use of multiple data sets to bridge knowledge gaps in treatment in the absence of Level 1 evidence for localized pancreatic cancer.

Upcoming Changes to STORE 2021 Announced

In an effort to best serve our patients seeking treatment in Commission on Cancer (CoC) hospitals during this COVID-19 pandemic, the National Cancer Database (NCDB) is introducing four new variables in 2021 to measure the impact on patient outcomes. The first three data items denote patient testing and status for the Sarscovid2 virus, and the fourth item denotes any treatment effects from hospital service disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic (for diagnosis effective 1/1/2020 through 12/31/2021). Education will be provided for collecting the new data items soon.

  • 3943: NCDB--SARSCoV2--Test
  • 3944: NCDB--SARSCoV2--Pos
  • 3945: NCDB--SARSCoV2--Pos Date
  • 3946: NCDB--COVID19--Tx Impact

Watch for additional information in upcoming issues of Cancer Programs News.