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

The Brief: December 19, 2019

ACS Cancer Programs Updates

Registration open 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:

  • CoC Educational Summit—April 22
  • National Cancer Database (NCDB) Half-Day Workshop—April 23 (morning)
  • NAPBC Best Practices—April 23 (afternoon) and all day April 24

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.

Resources offered for implementation of CoC operative standards for accreditation

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) is developing resources to assist programs with implementation of the six operative standards that were included in the 2020 CoC Standards (Standards 5.3 through 5.8). These materials are posted on a new website specifically focused on operative standards implementation. Current resources include a video detailing the background on the operative standards, materials from the operative standards discussion at the 2019 CoC Plenary Session, and PDFs of the relevant chapters from the Operative Standards for Cancer Surgery publications. A list of frequently asked questions related to the operative standards, compiled from feedback received during the CoC Plenary, CAnswer Forum and recent CoC Educational Summit, will be posted on the operative standards website in the next one to two months.

In addition, the CoC is developing and will be providing synoptic reporting templates and smart-phrases for use, including EMR integration. Additional tools and resources will be developed over the coming months and posted to the website as they are made available. CoC-accredited programs are encouraged to wait for the synoptic operative report templates and EMR solutions in development and not create their own. More information will be released in the coming months in The Brief and on the CoC and operative standards websites.

Submit your questions for the February 12 CAnswer Forum Live

Registration is now open for the next CAnswer Forum Live webinar from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm CST on February 12. Please submit your questions by 3:00 pm CST on Tuesday, January 28, 2020.

Cancer Programs featured in the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Cancer Programs were featured in several articles in the November and December issues of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons.

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 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

CoC News

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.

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.


Quality of Care Measures update

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) Quality of Care Measures Expected Performance Rates for 2020 Survey are based on the 2016 Standards 4.4 and 4.5 and are posted to the CoC Quality of Care web page.