New standards for Canadian health-care providers delivering outpatient chemotherapy treatment

First of its kind initiative results from collaboration between oncology nurses, physicians, pharmacists and accreditation experts

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is pleased to collaborate in the development of new standards for health-care providers delivering systemic chemotherapy treatment. Developed with Accreditation Canada, the Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies, and the Partnership, the new Ambulatory System Cancer Therapy Services standards mark an important step in building a comprehensive quality program for the safe delivery of chemotherapy treatment in Canada.

Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells, with the goal of eradicating the disease and prolonging the lives of people with the disease. It works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells and can ease cancer symptoms by shrinking tumors that cause pain or pressure. It can also harm healthy cells that divide quickly.

“Chemotherapy is an important cancer treatment and many of the 177,8001 Canadians that are expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year will require it at some point during the management of their disease,” says Esther Green, provincial head of nursing and psychosocial oncology at Cancer Care Ontario and a member of the Advisory Committee that developed the new standards. “These new Ambulatory Systemic Cancer Therapy Services standards will help make sure that regardless of where a patient lives, they will continue to receive consistent, safe, and accessible treatment as close to home as possible.”

The new national accreditation standards represent a first of its kind initiative that resulted from a unique collaboration between oncology nurses, physicians, pharmacists, accreditation experts and others who were invited by the Partnership and Accreditation Canada to participate on the Advisory Committee. The standards were developed to address existing gaps and to create the ability to provide consistent care in the delivery of ambulatory chemotherapy across the country.

“These new standards provide an important foundation in the development of tools that will help support health-care providers in assuring the highest quality treatment for Canadians,” added Dr. Heather Bryant, Vice President, Cancer Control at the Partnership.

Read the new Ambulatory System Cancer Therapy Services standards document.


1 Canadian Cancer Statistics 2011.  Toronto, ON, Canadian Cancer Society: 2011.