, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 683-690,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 09 Jan 2008

The National Cancer Data Base: A Powerful Initiative to Improve Cancer Care in the United States

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The National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) is a nationwide oncology outcomes database that currently collects information on approximately 70% of all new invasive cancer diagnoses in the United States each year and serves as a powerful clinical surveillance and quality improvement mechanism for cancer programs participating in the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) Commission on Cancer (CoC) approvals program.13 Currently, the NCDB receives over one million cancer case reports annually from more than 1,430 hospitals. The NCDB now contains data on more than 21 million cancer patients diagnosed between 1985 and 2005, and is recognized as the largest clinical registry in the world. NCDB data are used to explore trends in cancer care, to examine regional and national benchmarks, and to serve as the basis for quality improvement activities (http://www.facs.org/cancer/ncdb)

The purposes of this review are: (1) to describe the NCDB and the data collected; (2) to discuss how the NCDB can be used to