Patient Care

URMC Recognized by American College of Surgeons National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer

Mar. 19, 2019
Fergal Fleming, M.D.
Fergal Fleming, M.D.

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) has earned a three-year accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC), a program launched in 2017 and administered by the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

URMC is only the sixth institution in the country and the only one in New York and the Northeast to receive this accreditation so far.

To earn the voluntary accreditation, URMC met 19 standards, including the establishment of a rectal cancer multidisciplinary team (RC-MDT) that includes clinical representatives from surgery, pathology, radiology, radiation oncology, and medical oncology.

Marcus Noel, M.D.
Marcus Noel, M.D.

Thirteen of those standards address clinical services that the program was required to provide, including CEA testing, MRI and CT imaging for cancer staging, and ensuring a process whereby the patient starts treatment within a defined timeframe. One of the most important clinical standards requires all rectal cancer patients to be presented at both pre- and post-treatment RC-MDT meetings.

“The NAPRC accreditation is a testament to our commitment to multidisciplinary care and to providing cutting-edge treatments for rectal cancer,” said Fergal Fleming, M.D., a colorectal surgeon and associate professor of Surgery and Oncology, who led the efforts to achieve this accreditation. “Because rectal cancer and its treatment can have significant impact on a person’s life, our program is dedicated to ensuring that our patients receive the most appropriate care and to meeting their needs and goals.”

“We are committed to improving outcomes for our patients, and this accreditation solidifies URMC and its Wilmot Cancer Institute as the premier center for rectal cancer care,” said Marcus Noel, M.D., a medical oncologist and assistant professor of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology, who helped lead the accreditation efforts. “By offering innovative clinical trials and therapies, we are helping to shape the future of rectal cancer care, not just in upstate New York, but around the country.”

The NAPRC was developed through a collaboration between the ACS Commission on Cancer (CoC), an ACS quality program, and the Optimizing the Surgical Treatment of Rectal Cancer (OSTRiCh) Consortium, as well as 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 successful international models that emphasize program structure, patient care processes, performance improvement, and performance measures. Its goal is to ensure that rectal cancer patients receive appropriate care using a multidisciplinary approach.

“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,” said David P. Winchester, MD, FACS, Medical Director of ACS Cancer Programs.


About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit

About University of Rochester Medical Center

One of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, the University of Rochester Medical Center forms the centerpiece of the University of Rochester’s health research, teaching and patient care missions. URMC’s flagship facility, Strong Memorial Hospital, is designated by the New York State Department of Health as a Level One regional trauma and burn center. It is home to nationally renowned clinical care and research, including Upstate New York’s only cardiac and liver transplant programs, the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Rochester, and the Wilmot Cancer Institute, Upstate’s premier cancer center providing comprehensive cancer care with expertise in precision medicine, complex cancers and clinical trials.