National Cancer Institute
dccps logo
Outcomes Research Branch
Cancer Control and Population Sciences


CanCORS Overview & Aims

The Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS) Consortium is a collaboration of eight teams of investigators from around the US that are examining the care delivered to population-based cohorts of newly diagnosed patients with lung and colorectal cancer in multiple regions of the country and assessing outcomes associated with that care.

Much of the prior research related to the quality of cancer care has studied care in selected or small populations of patients, has been conducted retrospectively, or has relied on data sources with limited clinical detail such as Medicare claims data. Moreover, randomized trials of specific treatments are conducted among highly selected patients and providers. In contrast, CanCORS is a rigorous observational study that aims to identify clinically important differences in cancer treatment and outcomes, and evaluate the reasons for these differences across a broad range of health-care providers and organizations.

Although many studies have documented disparities in care, few have explored the reasons for these disparities. Few data are available about process-outcome links for cancer treatments among patients who would not meet criteria for enrollment in many clinical trials, including elderly patients and those with substantial co-morbidity. For these reasons, it is important to generate scientifically rigorous insights that can improve the care and experiences of patients with lung and colorectal cancer, the two leading causes of cancer mortality in the US.

The Consortium has two principal research aims:

  • Determine how the characteristics and beliefs of cancer patients and providers and the characteristics of health-care organizations influence treatments and outcomes, spanning the continuum of cancer care from diagnosis to recovery or death.
  • Evaluate the effects of specific therapies on patients' survival, quality of life, and satisfaction with care.

To achieve these aims, CanCORS investigators are examining the following questions:

  1. Why do racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic differences in cancer care and outcomes occur, particularly in:
    1. Use of effective adjuvant therapy for colorectal cancer;
    2. Use of curative surgery for early-stage lung cancer;
    3. Patients' assessments of the quality of cancer care;
    4. Post-operative mortality for colorectal cancer and lung cancer; and
    5. Overall survival for colorectal cancer and lung cancer?
  2. Why are elderly patients much less likely to receive effective treatments, particularly curative surgery and adjuvant therapy, for colorectal and lung cancer?
  3. How do patients and physicians decide about therapies for metastatic cancer?
  4. Why do outcomes of lung and colorectal cancer surgery vary by hospital and surgeon volume?
  5. What factors explain participation in clinical trials for lung and colorectal cancer?
  6. Are patients' symptoms recognized and treated effectively at different stages of illness, especially for symptoms of pain and depression that are prevalent and treatable?
  7. What is the effectiveness of key therapies, including adjuvant chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer and first-line chemotherapy for metastatic lung or colorectal cancer, among patients in the community who have generally not been included in clinical trials, including the elderly or those with substantial co-morbidity?

Last modified:
01 Oct 2008
Search | Contact Us | Accessibility | Privacy Policy  
DCCPS National Cancer Institute Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health The US government's official web portal