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National Cancer Database (NCDB)

Database Name: National Cancer Database (NCDB)


Data Source

Hospital-based data collected by the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer (CoC). Hospital registries report data to the CoC.

Overview of data contents

Demographic information including age, race/ethnicity, state, county level socioeconomic status, and insurance status. Clinic variables include histology, stage, grade, and site-specific factors. Facility-type and location (state) is also included. Treatment data (radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, lymph node dissection) are included and treatment dates are also available.

Patient ages included

Ages >=0

Practice setting

Data are collected by registry staff from medical records.

Date range available


Relevant Work

Example publications

Chen, A.Y., et al., The impact of health insurance status on stage at diagnosis of oropharyngeal cancer. Cancer, 2007.110(2):p. 395-402. 

Fedewa, S.A., et al., Delays in adjuvant chemotherapy treatment among patients with breast cancer are more likely in African American and Hispanic populations: a national cohort study 2004-2006. J Clin Oncol, 2010.28(27):p.4135-41.

Halpern, M.T., et al., Association of insurance status and ethnicity with cancer stage at diagnosis for 12 cancer sites: a retrospective analysis. Lancet Oncol, 2008. 9(3):p. 222-31.


Cost estimate(s)

Free of charge. Must submit an application and be a member of the Commission on Cancer Hospital.

Contact/website information


Ease of use

Datasets are large. Analysis requires SAS or similar software program. Missing data are an issue as are changes in codes. Requires an experienced data manager/analyst.

Data analysis

Missing data are an issue, must check for data inconsistencies and completeness. Duplicate cases must be excluded from the dataset. Overall survival can be assessed, but higher loss to follow up than SEER.


It affords a more detailed treatment analyses. Comorbidity data are available as well, although comorbidity may be under-estimated as it is only collected from inpatient data. Insurance status can be analyzed. Overall survival can be assessed, but there is a higher loss to follow up than SEER.


Questionable generalizability as data is only collected from CoC hospitals and safety-net hospitals are underrepresented. Comorbidity data are only available after 2004. Cause of death is not included. Incidence and mortality rates cannot be assessed.