American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

The Brief: January 30, 2020

ACS Cancer Programs Updates

Last day to submit a cancer-focused topic for ACS Clinical Congress 2021

The deadline to submit a topic for the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2021 has been extended through tomorrow, January 31. Submit your cancer-focused topic to be presented at Clinical Congress 2021 through the online tool. Clinical Congress 2021 will be held October 24–28, 2021, in Washington, DC. Anyone is welcome to submit a topic proposal; the staff and education committees will work with you to identify an ACS Fellow to moderate the session.

Submit abstracts for the 2020 ACS Quality and Safety Conference

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has issued a call for abstracts to be presented at its 2020 Quality and Safety Conference, July 24–27 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, MN. The deadline for submitting abstracts is this Sunday, February 2, 2020.

Individuals at participating sites are encouraged to submit a 250-word abstract for poster and/or podium presentation. The abstract should relate to surgical quality improvement initiatives, including the development, implementation, or validation of best practices within one or more of the ACS Quality Programs. Submission categories for ACS Cancer Programs include the Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

Note that abstracts that have been submitted or recently presented at other meetings are eligible for presentation at the ACS Quality and Safety Conference. Previous presentation of a paper does not prohibit the presentation or publication of the material at the Quality and Safety Conference. Inquiries may be directed to or 312-202-5319.

Promote World Cancer Day with free marketing resources

February 4, 2020, marks the 20th anniversary of World Cancer Day, an international effort to build awareness and encourage action in the areas of cancer prevention, detection and treatment. World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) with a goal to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer.

The Commission on Cancer (CoC), the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC) and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) encourage your program to observe World Cancer Day and use it as an opportunity to promote your CoC, NAPRC and/or NAPBC accreditation status.

To help you promote this event within your program and the community, the CoC, NAPRC and NAPBC have developed a poster available for download and printing. Programs that hold CoC, NAPRC and NAPBC accreditations can access the poster at the Marketing Resources link on CoC Datalinks. For programs that are solely NAPBC accredited, log into the NAPBC Portal and click on Resources.

Additional resources can be found on the World Cancer Day website. If you have questions, contact Sue Rubin.

Registration now open for 2020 ACS Leadership & Advocacy Summit

Registration is open for the ninth annual American College of Surgeons (ACS) Leadership & Advocacy Summit, March 28–31 at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel. The Summit is a dual meeting offering comprehensive and specialized sessions that provide ACS members, leaders and advocates with information on effective surgeon leadership, as well as interactive advocacy training with coordinated visits to congressional offices. Additional information is available on the ACS website.

Deadline to submit CAnswer Forum LIVE questions is April 21

Registration is now open for the next CAnswer Forum LIVE webinar from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm CST on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. In this webinar we will address the new 2020 Commission on Cancer (CoC) Standards and answer questions from cancer programs throughout the United States. Please submit your questions for this free webinar by 12:00 pm CST on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Cancer Programs is offering one continuing education credit from the National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) for each of the 2020 CAnswer Forum LIVE webinars. If you missed previous CAnswer Forum LIVE sessions, visit our website to read about the NCRA continuing education credits and to view the recordings and download the slides.

Save the Dates&mdashs;CAnswer Forum Live Upcoming Webinars

  • CAnswer Forum LIVE — June 10, 2020
  • CAnswer Forum LIVE — August 5, 2020
  • CAnswer Forum LIVE — October 14, 2020
  • CAnswer Forum LIVE — December 9, 2020

Register today for April accreditation conference

Registration is now open for the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Cancer Accreditation Programs: New Content for a New Decade conference. Learn about the new Commission on Cancer (CoC) Standards for 2020, as well as best practices for the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC). Join us on April 22–24, 2020, at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, IL.

Three consecutive days of live programming will cover the following:

All members of the multidisciplinary care team at health care facilities that treat patients with cancer are invited to attend, including, but not limited to:

  • Cancer committee members
  • Genetics professionals
  • Navigators
  • Nurses
  • Physicians (Cancer Liaison Physicians)
  • Program leadership (cancer program administrators, breast program directors, breast program leaders)
  • Registrars
  • Social workers

Please note, registration is limited to the first 200 participants. To learn more about the programs, please visit the event website.

Enrollment OPEN for colorectal surgery enhanced recovery program

Enhanced recovery is one of the best ways to improve the short-term outcomes for colorectal cancer patients.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Safety Program for Improving Surgical Care and Recovery (ISCR), a national collaborative focused on enhanced recovery implementation, is recruiting hospitals to join the new collaborative. As part of this program, hospitals will have access to evidence-based enhanced recovery pathways, coaching and content calls with experts in the field and continuous clinical and implementation support. The program aims to improve patient outcomes (for example, surgical site infections, venous thromboembolism, length of stay) through a collaborative, team-based approach.

Benefits of ISCR participation:

  • Recommended milestone goals but self-paced program
  • Personalized support
  • Bench-marked data reports
  • Assistance with staying up to date with evolving practices
  • Collaboration with like-minded people passionate about perioperative improvement

Participation is free to all U.S. hospitals.

If you are interested in joining or learning more about the surgery programs, register for an upcoming informational webinar or e-mail to begin the enrollment process.

New Cancer Genetics and Risk Assessment Certification program

In recent years, genetics has become an important variable in cancer care while the ability to test individuals has greatly expanded. Beyond surgical skills, knowledge of cancer genetics is necessary to comprehensively treat our patients. Accreditation bodies such as the Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) require competency in cancer genetics. The National Consortium for Breast Centers’ (NCBC) new certification program in Cancer Genetics and Risk Assessment (CGRA®) is now available to document competency in this field. Clinicians beyond genetic counselors, such as physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses or other skilled professionals, must validate their skills, knowledge and abilities in cancer genetics.

This new rigorous CGRA Certification Exam will be offered on April 7, 2020, in Las Vegas, NV, during the 30th Annual Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference. Examinees must be qualified to take the exam. Beyond being a licensed clinician experienced in the field of cancer care, one must have evidence of clinical training and/or educational courses in the field of cancer genetics, including breast cancer risk assessment to qualify for the examination. Although this certification is new, it is expected that those who achieve CGRA Certification will satisfy the CoC and NAPBC requirements as providers of cancer genetics and risk assessment services.

For further information, please contact NCBC’s Executive Director, Kimberly Bolin, at or visit the CGRA website.

2020 Jacobson Promising Investigator Award accepting submissions

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is accepting nominations for the 16th Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson II Promising Investigator Award to be conferred in 2020. This award has been established to recognize outstanding surgeons who are engaged in research that advances the art and science of surgery and who demonstrate early promise of significant contribution to the practice of surgery and the safety of surgical patients. The award is funded through a generous endowed fund established by the donors and administered by the ACS Surgical Research Committee (SRC).

To be considered for the 2020 award, applications must be submitted on or before February 21. 2020. Visit the award website to submit documentation and nomination materials. For additional information, please contact

Cracking the code to clinical trial enrollment: How to start and who can help

Are you a surgeon interested in participating in clinical trials but are unsure how to get started? A new webinar and resource deck developed through the American College of Surgeons Clinical Research Program (ACS CRP) was designed to help guide surgeons through the administrative and regulatory requirements needed to participate in clinical trials. This webinar will detail how to obtain a Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) Identity and Access Management (IAM) ID, how to register with the National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s Registration and Credential Repository (RCR) and how to complete enhanced training requirements such as Good Clinical Practice (GCP). The webinar will also provide information about the NCI Biosketch, Financial Disclosure Form and Agent Shipment Form.

ACS Cancer Programs offer career opportunities for CTRs

The American College of Surgeons Cancer Programs has two exciting career opportunities at its home office in Chicago, IL, for Certified Tumor Registrars (CTR) or CTR-eligible professionals with the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and the National Cancer Database (NCDB).

For details, visit the American College of Surgeons website:

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply online; however, if you have questions, please contact Cindy McWilliams, Talent Manager, at 312-202-5492 or


CDC's Cancer Staging API transitions to AJCC

For the past several years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created and maintained software in the form of a dynamic link library (DLL) to help cancer registries collect data on stage of disease for cancers according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Cancer Staging System. Content from AJCC’s Cancer Staging System was licensed for use in the development of this software named the Cancer Staging API. This tool is made available by the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and licensed, through the AJCC, to cancer registry software companies to incorporate into their commercial products. The ownership and maintenance of this API will transition to the AJCC, a program of the American College of Surgeons, beginning January 2020. This transition will bring future development closer to the source of content as AJCC moves forward with updates to the Cancer Staging System.

The AJCC and CDC will continue to work closely together over the transition period. As a long-time partner of the AJCC, the CDC is committed to a smooth handover process and has already begun providing documentation, training and expertise to ensure a successful transition of the API.

Going forward, the Cancer Staging API developed by the CDC will be referred to as the AJCC Cancer Surveillance API. This change is both to indicate the new ownership and distinguish this tool from the AJCC API developed for clinical care that is licensed and used by electronic health record vendors at point of care. The AJCC Cancer Surveillance API will continue to include content to support collection of Summary Stage 2018 and EOD to provide vendors with a single tool for collection of stage data. Access to the API by and for NPCR registries will not change.

Please contact the AJCC at with questions or support requests for the API.

CoC News

CoC Paper Competition accepting submissions through June 30

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) is currently accepting submissions for the Annual Cancer Research Paper Competition, which recognizes residents and fellows-in-training for their original research. The first-place winner will receive a $1,000 honorarium plus travel expenses to present the research at the CoC’s Annual Meeting on October 4, 2020, during the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in Chicago, IL. The entry will be considered for publication in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. The authors of the second- and third-place winning abstracts will each receive a $500 cash award. Submissions are being accepted through June 30, 2020, at


Submit your proposal for NAPBC Best Practices Conference

We invite you to submit a best practice for consideration as an oral presentation or poster at the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) Best Practices Conference on April 23–24, 2020, in Rosemont, IL. The deadline to submit your abstract proposal is this Friday, January 31, 2020. Proposals should come from NAPBC-accredited centers and fall into one of four categories of best practice topics:

  • Innovation
  • Problem Solving
  • Efficiency
  • Achievement

This is a great opportunity to showcase your important work to improve the care for patients with breast cancer and diseases of the breast.

Submit your proposal online today!


NCDB website redesigned for 2020 Call for Data

The National Cancer Database (NCDB) website has been redesigned for the 2020 Call for Data. All documents are grouped for easy access and updated for the 2020 Call for Data specifications. The 2020 Call for Data window will run from January 1 through May 31, 2020. Communication has been sent to the registry programs. Slides from the annual NCDB vendor webinar, which was held September 30, 2019, have been posted under the vendor title box on the NCDB Call for Data website.