Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS)
The Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium (CanCORS) is collecting information to identify patterns of cancer care and outcomes for over 5,000 patients with colorectal cancer and 5,000 patients with lung cancer. This project is primarily focused on disparities in cancer care in different US populations and is funded by the National Cancer Institute. The work is being conducted at the Consortium's six Primary Data Collection and Research (PDCR) sites as well as selected VA hospitals. The Northern California Cancer Center, in collaboration with Harvard University's Department of Healthcare Policy, comprises one of the PDCR sites, with all data being collected in Northern California. In addition to Harvard/NCCC, the PDCRs include the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of California at Los Angeles, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, the University of Iowa, the University of North Carolina, and a network of HMO institutions. All data are being analyzed at the CanCORS Statistical Coordinating Center at Harvard University.
In addition to the NCCC and the Harvard Medical School, our research team includes the California Cancer Registry, the Cancer Surveillance Program of Sacramento, and the Northern California Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. We have collected information for over 20% of the consortium's patients - over 1,000 patients with colorectal cancer and 1,000 patients with lung cancer.
The study includes: a baseline patient interview administered approximately four months after diagnosis; a follow-up survey collected in a second interview 14-18 months after diagnosis; a review of medical records 18-24 months after diagnosis; a care givers survey; a physician questionnaire; and a linkage with Medicare records. The interviews collected data about the care received during different stages of illness (including diagnosis, treatment, surveillance for recurrent disease, and palliation), as well as data on various clinical and patient-reported outcomes and information about patient preferences and behaviors. The medical record review collected much more detail on medical tests and care during these illness stages. The caregivers survey collected information regarding the experiences of providing care for these cancer patients, and the health care provider survey collected information about physician preferences for type of treatment and care and their decision-making process. The linkage with Medicare records is studying the costs of care.
This work was funded in 2001 and additional funding has been awarded to greatly increase the scope of the study. Some additional funds have been awarded to continue this work into 2008, especially to conduct many analyses of the very extensive database that has been compiled. Finally, planning is ongoing to continue to follow this group of patients for long-term issues associated with living with cancer and perhaps to extend the study to patients with other cancers.