by Steven D. Wexner, M.D., PhD(Hon), FACS, FRCS, FRCS(Ed), FRCSI(Hon)
Patients with rectal cancer in the United States owe a debt of gratitude to members of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland.
Specifically, the concept of the rectal cancer multidisciplinary team initially introduced by Bill Heald with the assistance of Phil Quirke and Gina Brown. As everyone knows, this has been successfully implemented across numerous European countries. The Calman-Hine report led to an improvement in outcomes in rectal cancer surgery. Despite or perhaps because of differences in size, population, and the health care system in the United States, we have lagged far behind our colleagues in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Europe in this regard.
The new National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer program in the United States would not have been created without the important precedent established by the ACPGBI together with others in the UK. The efforts of Phil Quirke and Gina Brown have been replicated by the collaboration among the ACS CoC, the American College of Radiology, and the College of American Pathologists; the latter effort championed by Colorectal Disease editorial board member, Mariana Berho.
I encourage ACPGBI members to review our NAPRC standards and to derive satisfaction knowing that these standards are founded upon your successful rectal cancer MDT initiatives in the UK, Ireland, and Europe.
I look forward to the opportunity to share with you how this program has successfully improved outcomes for our patients once those data become available.