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Register Today for the CoC October Meetings

Commission on CancerJoin us as we come together and express our gratitude to the Commission on Cancer (CoC) leaders who have guided the programs and to all of you who have worked together to make a difference in cancer care through the efforts of the CoC and your accredited cancer program. This year we would like to put in an extra measure of thanks to all of you for the extraordinary contributions you have made in order to make cancer care safe during the pandemic. Thank you!

This year we regret we cannot gather in person and know that we will miss the human connections that motivate and inspire our work. On the bright side, we hope that without travel and cost barriers, perhaps many more of you will be able to attend the meetings.

We welcome all of you to attend the Cancer Liaison Physicians (CLP) Meeting on Thursday, October 22 from 3:30–5:00 pm CT, and the CoC Plenary Session on Friday, October 30, 2020 from 1:30–4:00 pm CT. Visit the meeting website to learn more about the content for each meeting and to view the agendas.

In order to attend, you need to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the webinar. A reminder will also be sent a week prior to the meeting and an hour prior to the meeting. The meeting will also be recorded and posted on the CoC website.

Please plan to attend to help us celebrate our successes! We look forward to interacting with you!

ACS Cancer Programs Release Annual Report

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Cancer Programs, led by Medical Director Heidi Nelson, MD, FACS, has released the 2019–2020 Annual Report. Highlights from the report include details on the summer launch of the  new Cancer Surgery Standards Program (CSSP), adoption of six cancer surgery standards by the Commission on Cancer (CoC), the fall launch of the National Cancer Database (NCDB) Rapid Cancer Reporting System (RCRS), and the American Joint Committee on Cancer's (AJCC) transition to annual updates of staging standards.  Download the complete Annual Report.

Join the Next Cancer Informatics Journal Club Meeting on October 19

The Cancer Informatics Journal Club will host its second meeting on Monday, October 19, 6:00–7:00 pm CT, when we will discuss the timely and important article by Edward Melnick, MD, MHS, and associates entitled, The association between perceived electronic health record usability and professional burnout among US physicians. Mayo Clin Proc. 2020;95(3):476-487

All are welcome to join the Zoom meeting at this link, even if you could not attend the first meeting.

CoC Announces 2020 Paper Competition Winners

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) has announced the winners of its annual Cancer Research Paper Competition.

Eugene Cone, MD, a second-year fellow in urologic oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, is one of two first-place winners for his paper titled "Effects of delays in cancer treatment on survival outcomes." Xiang Gao, MD, MPH, a general surgery resident at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, also received a first place for her paper titled "Cancer treatments in hospitals by Commission on Cancer accreditation and rurality." Dr. Cone and Dr. Gao each received a $1,000 honorarium plus an invitation to record and post their presentations on the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Cancer Programs website. In addition, they are eligible for publication in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Susanna de Geus, MD, PhD, a post-doctoral research fellow in the department of surgery at Boston Medical Center, Boston University Medical School, was named the runner-up for her paper titled "Volume of complex cancer operations near the pancreas favorably influences pancreaticoduodenectomy outcomes at low-volume pancreas surgery centers." She will receive a $500 cash award and an invitation to record and post her presentation on the ACS Cancer Programs website. Dr. de Geus also is eligible for publication in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

The CoC also named the following honorable mention winners in the competition:

Brian C. Brajcich, MD
"Association between surgical technical skill and long-term survival for colon cancer"

Rebecca Carr, MD
"Anastomotic recurrence after esophagectomy: is the game over?"

J. Bryan Iorgulescu, MD
"Effectiveness of HER2-targeted antibody therapy in HER2-positive breast cancer brain metastases: a national analysis"

David A. Mahvi, MD
"Decreased recurrence in sarcoma patient-derived xenografts using paclitaxel-eluting polymer films"

Anthony J. Scholer, MD

  • "Exploring the genomic landscape of hepatobiliary cancers to establish a novel molecular classification"
  • "Logistic regression modeling as a first step for machine learning to guide the surgical care of early-stage melanoma"
  • "Assessing personalized melanoma risk by using machine learning to predict recurrence"

The annual Research Paper Competition is a collaborative activity of the CoC and the American Cancer Society and is open to all residents and fellows-in-training. Abstract topics must be specific to oncology and related to the CoC's mission to improve the survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care. Judging is based on originality, scientific merit, and clinical relevance to oncology and the mission of the CoC. This year, 97 papers were submitted to the competition. View recordings of the winning paper presentations.

NCDB Provides Rapid Cancer Reporting System Overview

NCDBThe Commission on Cancer's (CoC) National Cancer Database (NCDB) launched the new Rapid Cancer Reporting System (RCRS) on September 28. We recently provided an overview communication to our accredited programs to help them navigate the new system. For your convenience this information, along with an RCRS user's guide and tip sheet and short training videos, have been added to the RCRS Library, which is accessible after initial log-in.

Special Update: Due to legal review of data sharing across Integrated Network Cancer Program (INCP) hospitals, all parent hospitals in RCRS have been temporarily turned off from access until final review can be conducted. You will not be able to access parent hospitals in RCRS for now. All data may continue to be submitted at the Child FIN level.

Information on the RCRS login, dashboard, uploader, submission history and detail and case logs can be found here. Information on reports (alerts, quality measures and comparisons), case notes and treatment summaries can be found here.

NCDB Cancer Bytes Reviews NCDB Gastric Cancer Data

The October 2020 issue of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons features a National Cancer Database (NCDB) Cancer Bytes column by Shandilya Ramdas, DO, PhD, and Kevin Lowe, MD, PhD. "Trends in perioperative treatment of gastric cancer 2004–2017: An NCDB analysis" looks at gastric cancer data within the NCDB. The column focuses on neoadjuvant and adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and the extent of lymph node dissection over a period of time (cases diagnosed in 2004–2017).

A231901CD ShaDES Study Now Seeking Sites

Improving Patient-Centered Communication in Breast Cancer: A RCT of a Shared Decision Engagement System (ShaDES) is an American College of Surgeons Cancer Research Program (ACS CRP)/Cancer Care Delivery Research (CCDR) study designed to improve communication between breast cancer patients and their clinicians in order to inform, educate, and empower patients as they plan treatment for their newly diagnosed breast cancer.

Patients with breast cancer often experience significant emotional distress in the weeks following their diagnosis. While precision oncology has expanded patient access to more multimodal therapies, existing literature indicates the variety of options has also made breast cancer care decision making more complex. ShaDES is a tool developed to address this deficit in the care continuum. Led by principal investigator Sarah Hawley, PhD, MPH, the study team is now seeking 25 NCI Community Oncology Research Program practices for participation. Please contact Anne McCarthy at for more information about the ShaDES study.

AJCC to Release Version 9 Cervix Uteri Cancer Staging System on Amazon Kindle

American Joint Committee on CancerVersion 9 of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Cancer Staging Protocol for the Cervix Uteri site will be available for purchase for $9.99 exclusively on Amazon Kindle starting October 25, 2020.

The new Version 9 content, presented in a streamlined, easy-to-use format, incorporates the 2018 Fédération Internationale de Gynécologie et d'Obstétrique (FIGO) staging classification, as well as the World Health Organization 2020 Classification of Tumors histology codes. Physicians, registrars, researchers, and other content users will be able to purchase the electronic format of the updated Cervix Uteri content, including tables, explanatory notes, and illustrations. Version 9 becomes effective on January 1, 2021 and replaces the 8th Edition Cervix Uteri cancer site content. All other disease sites in the 8th Edition Cancer Staging Manual remain current for 2021.

This marks the start of the all-digital format for Version 9 of the AJCC Cancer Staging System. No printed option is being offered at this time. While only the Cervix Uteri site is currently being issued in Version 9, future Cancer Staging System sites will be announced for release as they become available.

For additional information, contact