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Years of Data Collection:

Sample Size

Approximately 10,000 patients diagnosed with lung or colorectal cancer

Geographic Location of Sample Subjects

Northern California, Los Angeles County, North Carolina, Iowa, or Alabama, or who received their care in one of 5 large health maintenance organizations (HMOs) or 15 Veterans Administration Health Care System sites.

Rationale for study

The data are useful for looking at patterns of care and quality of care for patients with lung or colorectal cancer as well as the outcomes associated with specific interventions. These data may provide an empiric basis for guidelines in areas for which no randomized trial data are available.

Overview of data

The Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS) Consortium has been conducting a large multi-regional study examining processes and outcomes of care for patients with lung or colorectal cancer. Data collected by CanCORS investigators include:

• Patient socioeconomic and demographic information

• Patient health insurance information

• Tumor characteristics

• Comorbid illnesses

• Disease-specific prognostic measures

• Treatments

• Clinical outcomes up to 12 months after diagnosis

• Physician characteristics and beliefs and attitudes

Data were collected from multiple sources, including patient interviews at 4-6 months after diagnosis (or interviews with surrogates of ill or deceased patients), patient interviews at 1 year after diagnosis (or interviews with surrogates of deceased patients), medical record abstractions, surveys of patients’ physicians, and surveys of informal caregivers.

Process for obtaining data

SGIM investigators with ideas about studies using CanCORS data could contact one of the CanCORS consortium members who is also an SGIM member (including Nancy Keating, John Ayanian, Katherine Kahn, Bob Fletcher). If the study idea has not been proposed thus far, they could then submit a manuscript proposal for review by the publications committee. For investigators outside of CanCORS sites, strict data use agreements and training would be required before consideration of data release. Information about CanCORS is available at  or in the paper: Ayanian JZ et al. Understanding cancer treatment and outcomes: the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium. J Clin Oncol 2004;22(15):2992-6.

Goals in sharing this data

CanCORS is in the process of linking its data with Medicare data.