Background: The research goals of the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance (CanCORS) Consortium are to determine how characteristics and beliefs of patients, providers, and health care organizations influence the treatments and outcomes of individuals with newly diagnosed lung and colorectal cancers. As CanCORS results will inform national policy, it is important to know how they generalize to the United States population with these cancers.
Research Design: This study assessed the representativeness of the CanCORS cohort of 10,547 patients with lung cancer (LC) or colorectal cancer (CRC) enrolled between 2003 and 2005. We compared characteristics (sex, race, age, and disease stage) with the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) population of 234,464 patients with new onset of these cancers during the CanCORS recruitment period.
Results: The CanCORS sample is well matched to the SEER Program for both cancers. In CanCORS, 41% LC/47% CRC were female versus 47% LC/49% CRC in SEER. African American, Hispanic, and Asian cases differed by no more than 5 percentage points between CanCORS and SEER. The SEER population is slightly older, with the percentage of patients older than 75 years 33.1% LC/37.3% CRC in SEER versus 26.9% LC/29.4% in CanCORS, and also has a slightly higher proportion of early stage patients. We also found that the CanCORS cohort was representative within specific SEER regions that map closely to CanCORS sites.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the CanCORS Consortium was successful in enrolling a demographically representative sample within the CanCORS regions.