National Cancer Institute
Health Services & Economics Branch
Cancer Control and Population Sciences


Cancer Treatment & Outcomes

The most favorable outcomes for cancer patients can be achieved only when cancer treatments of proven efficacy are effectively delivered in the general community. The Health Services and Economics Branch monitors the dissemination of recommended cancer treatment and conducts studies that describe clinical and quality-of-life outcomes of cancer treatment on large, diverse, and representative patient populations.

  • The overall goal of the Patterns of Care/Quality of Care initiative is to evaluate the dissemination of state-of-the-art therapy into community practice, disseminate findings in scientific journals and professional meetings, and work with professional organizations to develop relevant educational or training opportunities to improve the dissemination of state-of-the-art therapy into community practice. Trends in treatment for colorectal and breast cancer between 1987-2000 are available in NCI's Cancer Trends Progress Report.
  • One particularly notable Patterns of Care study, the Prostate Cancer Outcomes Study, was initiated in 1994 by NCI researchers to look at the impact of treatments for primary prostate cancer on the quality of life of men living with this cancer.
  • We also support research to document patterns of cancer treatment and analyze determinants of these patterns using the SEER- Medicare Linked Database. SEER-Medicare studies include explorations of how individual socio-demographic and clinical characteristics affect treatment patterns as well as how healthcare provider, hospital, and broad healthcare system patterns influence treatment patterns for the most common cancers.
  • In 2001, NCI initiated the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium (CanCORS) project. This 5-year project supports prospective cohort studies on 10,000 patients with newly diagnosed lung or colorectal cancers and is designed to increase the knowledge of the relationship between cancer care practices in the general population and patient outcomes including survival and quality of life.

Our bibliographies of publications in the areas of cancer treatment and outcomes include a list of articles that provide detailed results from these and similar studies.

Last modified:
01 Oct 2008
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