Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, I wrote an editorial for the Annals of Surgical Oncology to challenge our clinicians and registry communities to create codes and other applications that would capture data relating to coronavirus infection in our cancer patients. I was delighted that our cancer registrars throughout the United States answered the challenge using codes created in STORE for NCDB submission, as well as other surveillance opportunities. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the data that you have generated will be vitally important in following this unique population of cancer patients infected by the virus.
Although collecting these two years of data collection is a start, the pandemic is far from over. While the Commission on Cancer and NCDB have not mandated collection of COVID-19 data for 2022, I would urge all to continue collecting this information at your local institutions. This is especially necessary to evaluate the mitigation effects of vaccination and boosters in our cancer populations, as well to assess the currently unknown consequences of the Omicron variant and future unknown varieties of the virus.
I salute all of our talented cancer registrars in playing such an extremely important role throughout this pandemic. I wish all of you and your loved ones a healthy, safe and productive 2022!