Multimodal CME for surgeons and pathologists improves colon cancer staging

J Cancer Educ. 2003 Summer;18(2):81-6. doi: 10.1207/S15430154JCE1802_09.


Background: Optimal treatment of localized colorectal cancer (CRC) depends on accurate retrieval and assessment of lymph nodes (LN) in the resected specimen.

Methods: Formal CE, informal opinion leadership and reinforcing strategies aimed at pathologists and surgeons to improve LN assessment were implemented.

Results: In the pre-intervention period a median of 8 lymph nodes were assessed in making a designation of Stage II CRC (n = 115). Thirty months later (post-intervention period) the median number of LN reported in Stage II CRC increased to 18 (n = 41), p < 0.001.

Conclusion: A durable improvement in staging was realized through a multipronged change initiative aimed at both surgeons and pathologists.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures / education*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / surgery
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Program Development / methods