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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Loma Linda Research Discovers Changes in Surgical Practice Improves Gastric Cancer Survival

New epidemiologic research out of the Loma Linda University School of Public Health found that existing collaborations between surgeons, pathologists, cancer registrars, epidemiologists, and other cancer registry staff in California have been used to improve the quality of gastric cancer surgery and thus improving the survival of patients with gastric cancer.

The research builds off of a May 2013 endorsement made by the American College of Surgeons Commission of Cancer that recommended new quality measures in gastric cancer procedures. Researchers out of Loma Linda University and the Cancer Registry of Greater California sought to determine whether hospitals accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) predicted compliance with the new guideline. Other assessments included evaluation of whether survival three-months following gastrectomy differed among patients receiving cancer-directed surgeries in CoC accredited hospitals versus non-CoC hospitals and whether compliance with the new guideline predicted gastric cancer survival independent of CoC accreditation.

The research found that compliance with the guideline, regardless of whether a hospital was CoC accredited or not, predicted improved survival.

“As a research epidemiologist, I am neither licensed nor qualified to perform surgery on a cancer patient,” said Dr. John Morgan, professor at LLU SPH and an epidemiologist for the Cancer Registry of Greater California. “Yet the research discoveries made by our Loma Linda University team improve the way that surgeries are performed for uncounted patients.”

The full research paper, Survival after Gastric Cancer Surgery: Does Epidemiologic Research Really Matter? was published November 26 in JAMA Surgery Online and can be found at http://archsurg.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1934728