Cleveland Clinic’s rectal cancer programme, launched last year, has secured a three-year accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC).

Administered by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), this programme is based in Ohio city and in Weston, Florida.

It is claimed to be the first such scheme in Ohio and Florida to secure the NAPRC accreditation. So far, only four sites in the US have been awarded the accreditation.

To secure the voluntary accreditation, Cleveland Clinic’s rectal cancer programme had to meet 19 standards.

Among the standards included the presence of a rectal cancer multidisciplinary team (RC-MDT) with clinical representatives from radiology, radiation oncology, surgery, pathology, and medical oncology.

Out of the 19 standards, 13 address clinical services including CEA testing, MRI and CT imaging for cancer staging.

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Among the most important clinical standards required is that all rectal cancer patients have to be present at both pre- and post-treatment RC-MDT meetings.

Cleveland Clinic Comprehensive Colorectal Cancer Program co-director Matthew Kalady said: “We are very proud that our team received this recognition. Rectal cancer requires the expertise of many medical and surgical specialties, and working together as one team is critical so that patients receive the most appropriate and highest-quality care.

“We have always approached rectal cancer care with a multidisciplinary approach, and receiving this accreditation affirms that our management of patients with rectal cancer meets the highest standards.”

The programme was developed through a collaboration between the ACS Commission on Cancer (CoC), an ACS quality programme, and the Optimizing the Surgical Treatment of Rectal Cancer (OSTRiCh) Consortium, in addition to the American College of Radiology (ACR), the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), and the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

It is based on global models that lay emphasis on programme structure, patient care processes, performance improvement and measures.

ACS Cancer Programs  medical director David P. Winchester said: “When a cancer center achieves this type of specialized accreditation it means that their rectal cancer patients will receive streamlined, modern evaluation and treatment for the disease. Compliance with our standards will assure optimal care for these patients.”