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

The Brief: December 5, 2019

ACS Cancer Programs Updates

Act now to submit a topic for Clinical Congress

Now is the time to submit a cancer-focused topic to be presented at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2021, which will be held in Washington, DC, on October 24–28, 2021. Access the online tool to submit your proposal(s). 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.

Please make sure to include your name and contact information in the online tool as well as the following information:

  • Title of topic that focuses on a major organ system (for example, lung, breast, GI)
  • Program description (no longer than 125 words)
  • Suggested moderator

The call for topics closes soon, so submit your proposal today!

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 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.

ACS Cancer Programs present poster at National Navigation Roundtable Annual Meeting

At the National Navigation Roundtable (NNRT) Annual Meeting last month in Washington, DC, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Commission on Cancer (CoC) and National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) presented a poster highlighting accredited programs' experience with patient navigation. The poster featured facility performance and compliance with the CoC and NAPBC patient navigation standards.

The theme of this year's meeting was "Sustaining Navigation in an Era of Value-Driven Care." Meeting attendees participated in breakout discussions regarding the NNRT Evidence Based Promising Practices Metrics Survey (for patient navigators and program administrators), payment models and competency-based training. The meeting included more than 20 posters and several display tables.

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

Register today for December 11 CAnswer Forum LIVE

Registration is open for next week's CAnswer Forum LIVE webinar from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm CST on December 11. Past session recordings and slides are available on the CAnswer Forum LIVE web page.

CoC News

Optimal Resources for Cancer Care (2020 Standards) now available

Following last month's online webinar and Educational Summit in Rosemont, IL, the Commission on Cancer (CoC) continues to provide multiple in-person and virtual opportunities to learn more about the new 2020 accreditation standards , including:

  • In-person workshops on the CoC 2020 Standards and changes to the National Cancer Database (NCDB):
  • CoC 2020: A Glimpse into the Future, Rosemont IL, April 22–23, 2020 (registration opens December 2019)
  • CoC 2020: A Glimpse into the Future, Denver, CO, August 28–29, 2020
  • Workshop recordings available for purchase through the online learning management system (January 2020)
  • A free online series of short webinars, including tips for each standard (early 2020)
  • A series of six CAnswer Forum LIVE 2020 webinars addressing the CoC 2020 Standards as well as other program areas (premiering February 2020)
  • Monthly highlights featured in The Brief
  • Presentations at meetings and conferences of CoC member organizations (watch for additions to this schedule):
  • Association of Cancer Executives (ACE), January 2020
  • National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA), May 2020

To learn more about implementation timelines, education opportunities and other information related to the 2020 standards, please visit the CoC 2020 Standards website .

CoC October meeting presentations now available online

Presentations from the October 27 Commission on Cancer (CoC) Plenary Session and State Chair Town Hall are now available on the CoC website . Topics included the CoC 2020 accreditation standards, upcoming changes to the National Cancer Database (NCDB) and new approaches to closing the quality gap in rural cancer care.

University of Kentucky hosts CoC 2020 Standards Meeting

The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network (MCCAN) is hosting a CoC 2020 Standards meeting in Lexington, KY, at the Hilton Lexington/Downtown on Friday, December 13, 2019.

The meeting will introduce CoC accreditation standards that have undergone significant change focusing on the provision of high-quality cancer care. Health care providers committed to providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary, high-quality, patient-centered care are encouraged to attend! Speakers include Erin DeKoster, Accreditation Standards Development Manager, ACS; Maureen Killackey, MD, FACS, Columbia University; and Timothy Mullett, MD, FACS, Medical Director, MCCAN, and CoC State Chair for Kentucky.

Registration for the one-day meeting is $125 for MCCAN members/$225 for non-MCCAN members. Guest rooms at the Hilton Lexington/Downtown are $129/night plus tax. Registration will be capped at 300 participants. The information covered at this event will also be presented at the November 21 CoC meeting in Chicago, IL. There is no need to register for both meetings. CME/CE Credit will NOT be offered for the Kentucky event.

CoC announces 2019 paper competition winners

The CoC announced the winners of its annual Cancer Research Paper Competition at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress 2019.

Jennifer Leiting, MD, a general surgery resident at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, was named the 2019 winner for her paper titled "Temsirolimus Is Effective Against Patient-Derived Metastatic Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma In Vitro and In Vivo." Dr. Leiting received a $1,000 honorarium plus travel expenses to present her research at the CoC Plenary Session on October 27.

Pamela Lu, MD, a general surgery resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, won second place in the competition for her paper "Systemic Chemotherapy Does Not Prolong Survival in Patients with Metastatic Low-Grade Appendiceal Mucinous Adenocarcinoma." Stephen Abel, DO, MHSA, of Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute in Pittsburgh, PA, was awarded third place for his paper "Utilization of Adjuvant Radiotherapy for Resected Colon Cancer and Its Effect on Outcome."

The annual Cancer 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. More information on the 2020 competition will be available in January.


NCDB website updated 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.