National Cancer Quality-of-Care Study Reports Mixed Findings
Initial management of breast and colorectal cancer care in the United States is generally "consistent with evidence-based practice," but with substantial variations in quality across the nation and low adherence in many quality measures that suggest "opportunities for improvement."
Those are conclusions from the National Initiative for Cancer Care Quality (NICCQ) nationwide study lead by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The study was undertaken in response to a 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine that recommended establishing a quality monitoring system for cancer care. The NICCQ results were published online this month in advance of the February 1 issue of ASCO's Journal of Clinical Oncology.
NICCQ examined patterns of care for 1,287 breast cancer and 478 colorectal cancer patients in 5 U.S. cities (Atlanta, Cleveland, Houston, Kansas City, and Los Angeles). To evaluate patient care, the researchers developed "explicit quality measures" of care for breast (36 separate measures) and colorectal (25 measures) cancers spanning diagnosis, surgery, adjuvant therapy, managing treatment toxicity, and posttreatment surveillance. Patients were then surveyed and provided permission for researchers to review their medical records. Read more
Bulletin Reaches an Important Milestone
It's been a little more than 2 years since the launch of the NCI Cancer Bulletin. This week we reach our 100th issue, an important milestone not just for the Bulletin but, in my view, for the entire institute.
The National Cancer Act includes a mandate for NCI to broadly communicate to the public and the research community about our research efforts and the progress being made against cancer. Our commitment to that directive is evident, whether it's in our award-winning Web site, our annual progress report, the NCI Listens and Learns online forum, or our highly regarded science writers' seminars, to cite just a few of our activities. Read more