Center News

Cancer Surveillance System repeats top quality ranking

Registry places first in nation for unprecedented fourth consecutive year

Dec. 7, 2009
 Jennifer Hafterson (left), and Chris Schwarz

Jennifer Hafterson (left), systems analyst, and Chris Schwarz, data coordinator, stand in front of the Cancer Surveillance System's wall of fame (several awards ago). The CSS was recently ranked first in the nation for data quality for the fourth year in a row, the longest success record of any cancer registry.

Center News file photo

The Hutchinson Center's Cancer Surveillance System placed first in the nation for data quality for the fourth year in a row, the longest success record of any cancer registry.

“This ranking is really due to the incredible work and dedication of the CSS staff,” said Dr. Christopher Li, co-principal investigator of the Public Health Sciences Division’s program.

CSS is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program, or SEER. The SEER program collects information on cancer incidence, prevalence and survival from 18 cancer registries representing 26 percent of the U.S. population and compiles reports on this information, as well as cancer mortality, for the entire country. These facts and figures provide critical data for cancer researchers and help inform government health care-funding decisions.

The SEER program is considered the gold standard for cancer registries and it serves as a model for cancer registries throughout the world. Quality control assessments have been an integral part of SEER’s program and success since its inception.

Each year, the SEER member registries are judged on various data-quality markers, including the number of cases collected and the consistency, timeliness and completeness of the data. CSS is the only registry to place in the top three every year since the inception of the Data Quality Profile award.

“Our streak of first-place rankings is unprecedented in the SEER program, and is the direct result of the outstanding work performed by our staff,” said Dr. Steve Schwartz, CSS principal investigator. “The team is widely admired for their ceaseless dedication to completeness and accuracy in cancer reporting, even as the number of cancer cases and the amount of information we need to collect on them increases each year.”

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.