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

The Brief: December 12, 2019

ACS Cancer Program Updates

Pre-Review Questionnaire to replace SAR

As programs begin compliance with the new Commission on Cancer (CoC) 2020 Standards on January 1, the CoC wants to provide information to programs that will go through a site review on the new standards in 2021 and beyond.

To support 2021 site reviews, the CoC will release a newly designed Pre-Review Questionnaire (PRQ) to record 2020 cancer program activity. The PRQ will replace the Survey Application Record (SAR).

  • The PRQ is expected to be released in Fall 2020 to programs scheduled for site reviews in 2021.
  • 2021 site reviews will cover one year (2020) of program activity under the new CoC 2020 Standards.
  • A blank PDF version of the PRQ will be made available to all cancer programs.
  • The Program Activity Record (PAR) will be retired as of December 31, 2019.
  • Retirement of the SAR will take place following each 2020 site review. Historical access to previous SARs will be available in CoC Datalinks in read-only format.
  • Templates to upload into the PRQ are being created to facilitate documenting compliance with 2020 program activity. Templates can be used similarly to the PAR as a way to track activity during the full accreditation cycle.
  • Templates will be made available in the first quarter of 2020 and will be located in CoC Datalinks.

Please continue to check The Brief and the Commission on Cancer website for additional updates.

ACS/ASBrS scholarship application deadline extended to December 16

The application deadline for the 2020 American College of Surgeons (ACS)/American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS) International Scholarship has been extended to December 16. The scholarship is intended to improve the quality of breast cancer surgical services and will be awarded to surgeons who perform breast cancer operations in countries other than the U.S. and Canada.

Applicants from developing nations will receive preference for the scholarships. The $5,000 scholarship will support the scholar's attendance at the ASBrS annual meeting, as well as a visit to the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers headquarters in Chicago, IL, to learn about the standards for a breast cancer program/database and the importance of multidisciplinary breast cancer care. The awardee will receive free registration to the ASBrS annual meeting and to one available postgraduate course at the meeting.

The full scholarship description and a link to the application form can be found on the ACS website.

Submit topics for Clinical Congress 2021

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:

  • 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 December 31, 2019, 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.


ALCHEMIST trial featured in the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons

Long-term survival after treatment for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains a significant challenge despite advances in surgical techniques and radiation technology. Could regimens currently used for patients with advanced disease be used to improve survival in early-stage, resectable NSCLC patients? In this month's issue of the Bulletin , authors from the American College of Surgeons Clinical Research Program highlight the ALCHEMIST CHEMO-IO trial, a novel, high-impact trial for patients with early-stage NSCLC with the potential to change the way patients with resected NSCLC are treated.

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 soon)
    • 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.