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Oncology Groups Publish Seven Measures of Quality Care for Breast and Colorectal Cancers

Alexandria, VA – The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) have collaborated to develop seven evidence-based quality measures for breast and colorectal cancers. The ASCO/NCCN Quality Measures can be applied to assess the extent to which oncologists are providing quality care to their patients. The measures and their specifications are available online at www.asco.org/qualitymeasures and www.nccn.org.

The ASCO/NCCN Quality Measures are appropriate for diverse measurement uses, including provider self-assessment, quality improvement programs, and external quality monitoring. If appropriately implemented, the quality measures could serve as tools for future pay-for-reporting programs.

“ASCO and NCCN are taking a leadership role in defining quality for oncology,” said Joseph S. Bailes, MD, ASCO’s interim executive vice president and CEO. “The ASCO/NCCN Quality Measures are the next step in providing measures that produce valid assessments of the quality of care cancer physicians provide to their patients.”

“These measures build on the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines, which comprehensively represent the standard of oncology care in the United States. This is only the beginning of an important collaboration, which will provide measures to evaluate the quality of care delivered to the thousands of cancer patients who rely upon us each and every day,” said David C. Hohn, MD, Chairman of the NCCN Board of Directors.

The ASCO/NCCN Quality Measures address processes of care that have been linked to patient outcomes, including survival. ASCO and NCCN experts developed and established measures that apply to large numbers of cancer patients and target areas in which variation in care has been demonstrated.

The ASCO/NCCN breast cancer measures address: hormonal therapy for stage I (>1cm), stage II and stage III estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor-positive breast cancer; radiation therapy for stage I-III breast cancer patients who receive breast conserving surgery; and adjuvant chemotherapy for stage II-III estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor-negative breast cancer.

The colorectal measures address: adjuvant chemotherapy for stage III colon cancer; adjuvant chemotherapy for stage II-III rectal cancer; radiation therapy for stage II-III rectal cancer; and the number of lymph nodes removed and examined for colon and rectal cancer patients who receive curative surgery.

“ASCO is committed to improving the quality of care that people with cancer receive,” said ASCO President Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, MD, FACP. “These measures can provide important insight into the quality of care that oncologists are providing to their patients.” Dr. Hortobagyi is a professor of medicine at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, an NCCN member institution.

The ASCO/NCCN Quality Measures build upon data and measures from ASCO’s National Initiative on Cancer Care Quality (NICCQ) and evidence-based recommendations from NCCN`s Clinical Practice Guidelines and the NCCN Oncology Outcomes Database. The NICCQ study tested adherence to 61 breast and colorectal quality measures in almost 1,800 patients in five metropolitan areas; the Journal of Clinical Oncology, published the results from this study earlier this year. NCCN`s Breast, Colon and Rectal Clinical Practice Guidelines provide up-to-date care management recommendations and are available at www.nccn.org.

ASCO and NCCN will provide implementation assistance to users of the ASCO/NCCN Quality Measures. Additionally, ASCO and NCCN will work to harmonize these measures with those being developed by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer.

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The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians of all oncology subspecialties who care for people with cancer. ASCO’s more than 20,000 members from the United States and abroad set the standard for patient care worldwide and lead the fight for more effective cancer treatments, increased funding for clinical and translational research, and, ultimately, cures for the many different types of cancer that strike an estimated 10 million people worldwide each year. ASCO publishes the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), the preeminent, peer-reviewed, medical journal on clinical cancer research, and produces People Living With Cancer (www.plwc.org), an award-winning website providing oncologist-vetted cancer information to help patients and families make informed health-care decisions.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), a not-for-profit alliance of 20 of the world’s leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN member institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives.

Contact:

Jenny Heumann
703.519.1427

Patricia Goldsmith
215.690.0300

About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 leading cancer centers, is dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of care provided to patients with cancer. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers. The primary goal of all NCCN initiatives is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives. For more information, visit NCCN.org.

The NCCN Member Institutions are:

  • Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center
  • Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
  • City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Duke Cancer Institute
  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
  • Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
  • Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Moffitt Cancer Center
  • The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
  • Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine
  • St. Jude Children's Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Stanford Cancer Institute
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
  • UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital