National Cancer Institute
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Outcomes Research Branch
Cancer Control and Population Sciences
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CanCORS Current Status

With final data collection completed in April 2007, data analysis is well underway. CanCORS completed 10,071 patient baseline surveys (4,921 colorectal and 5,105 lung) and 6,011 follow-up surveys (3,327 colorectal and 2,684 lung). All the sites reached their enrollment goals and achieved high participation rates, a significant accomplishment considering how ill many of the participants were. Patients who were too ill to participate or who would rather have had someone else respond for them may have elected to have a surrogate complete the patient survey for them. All versions of the patient survey were available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

In addition to the baseline and follow-up surveys, medical records were abstracted for 8,044 patients.

An essential part of the overall data collection effort is understanding the beliefs, practice patterns, and practice characteristics of physicians who care for cancer patients. More than 4,456 physicians returned a completed survey. These physicians included surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, non-cancer specialists caring for lung cancer patients, and non-cancer specialists caring for colorectal cancer patients.

In February 2004, CanCORS received funding to survey caregivers of patients enrolled in the survey, with half surveyed at the time of the baseline patient survey, and half surveyed a year later. At the close of enrollment in December 2006, 1,637 caregivers had returned a completed survey, for a response rate of 53.5%. Analyses of these data are underway.

The Request for Applications (RFA) for CanCORS was reissued in October 2008.


The organization and aims of CanCORS are described in the following publications from the Consortium:

  • Ayanian JZ, Chrischilles EA, Wallace RB, Fletcher RH et al. Understanding cancer treatment and outcomes: The Cancer Care and Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium. J Clin Oncol 2004;22(15):2992-6. [View Full Text]
  • Malin JL, Ko C, Ayanian JZ, Harrington D et al. Understanding cancer patients' experience and outcomes: development and pilot study of the Cancer Care and Outcomes Research and Surveillance patient survey. Support Care Cancer 2006;14(8):837-48. [View Abstract]
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology. Strengthening the evidence base for quality care across diverse populations. ASCO News & Forum 2006;January:30-2. [View Full Text (PDF)]
  • Keating NL, Zaslavsky AM, Herrinton LJ, Selby JV, Wolf RE, Ayanian JZ. Quality of Diabetes Care Among Cancer Survivors With Diabetes. Med Care 2007 Sep;45(9):869-75. [View Abstract]

Analyses will depend on data from patient, provider, and caregiver surveys, medical records abstraction, and linkage to public databases. Writing groups, consisting of investigators from multiple participating consortium sites, were formed to address questions such as:

  • What are the reasons for disparities in evidence based care and outcomes?
  • What are the reasons for sub-optimal patient experience with cancer care?
  • What are the characteristics, care tasks, and unmet needs of informal caregivers?
  • How well are patients' symptoms controlled and what are the reasons for poor control?
  • Why are cancer patients are not enrolled in clinical trials?
  • How do physicians discuss end-of-life care with patients?
  • How often do cancer patients use complementary and alternative medicine?
  • Is volume of surgery related to complications and outcome?

Last modified:
04 Nov 2008
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