CRGC News Broadcast NB-2021-020
October 18, 2021
Field Testing: Invitation to Participate

The Senior-Level and Mid-Level Tactical Groups (SLTG and MLTG), which includes representations from all standard setters (Canada, CoC, NPCR, and SEER), along with representatives from AJCC, NCRA, and NAACCR, now requires that field testing be done for proposed new data items, or major changes, before implementation in the registry field. For 2019 and 2020, this process included “feasibility testing,” which is evaluating proposed site-specific data items (SSDIs), including clarifying codes and coding instructions, before implementation.

For 2021 field testing, we are adding a new section which is for “accessibility testing,” to determine if information for a potential data item is available in the registry community prior to developing the data item.

The SLTG and MLTG strongly encourage your participation in this effort, which we believe will facilitate better communication with registrars in the field and provide critical information to groups/standard setters working on these proposed and potential data items.

The Field Testing will be implemented using the same software used for the SEER Reliability Studies, with some modifications. Participation in the Field Testing will not be required by any of the standard setters but is strongly encouraged. This is your chance to comment on data items prior to implementation.

There are three new SSDIs and a proposed update to an existing data item that are being proposed for implementation in 2023.


For all data items in the feasibility section of the study, participants will be provided the preferred answer and rationale after completion of each question, along with an opportunity to comment on the preferred answer and rationale. In addition, there will be questions regarding the Field Test process and recommendations for future improvements.

The new portion of this study is the accessibility section. This portion of the Field Testing will ask questions about whether particular information is available for a potential SSDI. These will be questions only (no coding). The purpose of this portion of the Field Testing is to determine if the information is widely available prior to developing a new data item.

Each of these sections have multiple questions about the frequency of the specific cancer and if the types of reports are available. To find this information would require searching through your databases. If you are limited to time yet know that this information is available in your registry, please provide this information in the last question for that test, which is (for example): Any comments regarding p16 for Anus. Listed here are the 4 potential SSDIs that we are looking at this year.

  • Anus: p16
  • Lung: PD-L1
  • Melanoma Skin: PD-L1
  • Colon and Rectum: HER2

Note: The earliest these would be developed into SSDIs if found to be readily available in the cancer registry community would be 2024. They would have to go through the 2022 Field Testing for “Feasibility testing” first to evaluate the codes and coding instructions.

  • Continuing Educate (CE) credits will be available.
  • Study participants do not need to complete the study all in one session, they can save the work completed and come back to it later.
  • The study will take a total of 2-3 hours to complete.
  • The field testing will take place from 5 a.m. Pacific Time, November 1, 2021 to 9 pm Pacific, December 15, 2021. Participants must have access to the SEER reliability studies site (https://reliability.seer.cancer.gov) during this period. 
  • Registration for Field Testing will open on October 15, 2021.

If you have participated in a previous reliability study (2014 or later), use your same login. If you have not participated in a previous reliability study, you will need to create an account. To create a new account please follow the Create an Account link on the sign-in page (https://reliability.seer.cancer.gov).

Please email reliability@imsweb.com for technical questions and Jennifer Ruhl (ruhlj@mail.nih.gov), co-chair of the SSDI work group, for related questions.
If you have questions or concerns regarding any of the content of this CRGC News Broadcast please contact me.

Mignon Dryden, CTR
Director, E-Reporting
Cancer Registry of Greater California