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
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:
- Why do racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic differences in cancer care
and outcomes occur, particularly in:
- Use of effective adjuvant therapy for colorectal cancer;
- Use of curative surgery for early-stage lung cancer;
- Patients' assessments of the quality of cancer care;
- Post-operative mortality for colorectal cancer and lung cancer; and
- Overall survival for colorectal cancer and lung cancer?
- Why are elderly patients much less likely to receive effective
treatments, particularly curative surgery and adjuvant therapy, for colorectal and lung
- How do patients and physicians decide about therapies for metastatic
- Why do outcomes of lung and colorectal cancer surgery vary by hospital
and surgeon volume?
- What factors explain participation in clinical trials for lung and
- Are patients' symptoms recognized and treated effectively at different
stages of illness, especially for symptoms of pain and depression that are prevalent and
- 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?