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

ACS Cancer Programs COVID-19 Resources Update

COVID-19 Guidelines for Triage of Elective Cancer Surgery Patients Now Available on ACS Website

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, hospital leadership and individual providers are facing difficult decisions about how to conserve critical resources, such as hospital and ICU beds, respirators, transfusion capacity as well as protective gear (e.g. PPE) that is vital for protecting patients and staff from unnecessary exposure and intra-hospital transmission. As part of response to limited resources and transmission risks, hospitals have been advised to discontinue elective surgery. Given that the consequences of delaying surgery is not uniform across patients and diseases, leadership of the Cancer Programs has been working diligently to develop guidance documents that help advise on the triage of non-emergent cancer surgery. This triage information is now available on the American College of Surgeons website. This information is intended to help institutions and providers who are facing a rising burden of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and a higher prevalence of community infection. We regret we could not cover all cancer scenarios, perhaps the framework will be useful for extending to cancers other than breast, thoracic and colorectal. Lastly, we extend our gratitude for all providers for your daily work. May you be protected from harm.

Webinars - COVID-19 Guidelines for Triage and Management of Cancer Patients Available This Week

To support these guidance documents, ACS Cancer Programs will be hosting a series of webinars over the next few days with the clinical experts and authors to review the documents and answer questions. The first webinar is scheduled for tomorrow and will focus on the Multidisciplinary Management of Colorectal Cancer During COVID-19. Registration details appear below and registration is required. A second communication will be sent tomorrow with details on how to register for the breast and thoracic webinars. These webinars will be recorded and posted to the ACS Cancer Programs web page within 24 hours following the event.

Multidisciplinary Management of Colorectal Cancer During COVID-19

Thursday, March 26, 2020
9:00 am (Eastern)
Registration required

This multidisciplinary team webinar will discuss the ACS/COC/NAPRC guidelines for the evaluation and management of patients with colorectal cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will assess individual scenarios and describe potential options for care of these patients during this crisis.

Moderator: Steven Wexner, MD, PhD(Hon), FACS, FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Ed), FRCSI(Hon), Hon FRCS(Glasg), Director, Digestive Disease Center, Chair, Department of Colorectal Surgery Cleveland Clinic Florida, Chair, National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer


Marc J. Gollub, MD, FACR, FSAR, Director of CT and GI Radiology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Tracy Hull, MD, FACS, Colorectal Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, President, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Chair, NAPRC Accreditation Committee
Mihir Naik , DO, Radiation Oncology, Cleveland Clinic Florida - Weston
Arun Nagarajan, MD, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Cleveland Clinic Florida - Weston
Eva Suarez, MD, Radiation Oncology, Cleveland Clinic Florida, Braathen Center, Weston
Heidi Nelson, MD, FACS, Medical Director, ACS Cancer Programs

Additional COVID-19 Resources

In addition to the guidance document on COVID-19 Guidelines for Triage of Breast Cancer Patients, the NAPBC, CoC, ASBrS, and NCCN urgently collaborated to produce an additional document of Recommendations for Prioritization, Treatment and Triage of Breast Cancer Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Executive Summary. These are general guidelines and thoughts on the management of patients with breast diseases in this difficult period of time. It was felt that in these unprecedented times, a unified truly multidisciplinary document would be most useful to the cancer care team and hope that these recommendations help with some of the difficult decisions that you all are facing. This document will be followed by a manuscript, containing additional information, that is currently under review and will hopefully be published within a few days. We will send further information about the link to the publication and we will be hosting a webinar on this topic on Friday. We hope this information is helpful. To be sure, nothing is a substitute for the doctor/patient relationship and your assessment of patient risk factors and the local context at your own institutions.