National Oesophago-gastric Cancer Audit 3rd Annual Report
This is the final Annual Report of the first national audit of oesophago-gastric cancer in England and Wales; with data on over 17,000 patients it is the largest national audit of O-G cancer care and its acknowledged success has only been possible due to the tremendous effort of all those involved.
The Audit findings show that clinicians are providing a high quality of care for patients. In-hospital mortality for patients undergoing curative surgery is lower than the 2002 AUGIS audit and a greater number of curative procedures are being performed with a minimally invasive approach.
The Audit highlights Cancer Network variation and this should be examined in the reported use of EUS and staging laparoscopy, the use of palliative chemo- or radiotherapy and patient access to brachytherapy. Surgeons should monitor their pathology outcomes to ensure lymph node yield is adequate and meets the recommended guidelines.
It is disappointing that 6 cancer centres failed to participate fully and submitted data on less than 50 per cent of their patients. Their central role in the organisation of cancer care means that they should take the lead within their Cancer Networks for monitoring outcomes.
Cancer Networks and NHS trusts should use the findings from the Audit to review their outcomes, compare them against the National outcomes and ensure that they are meeting all the recommendations of the Audit, as outlined in the 3rd Annual Report.
Dr Stuart Riley, December 2010