CAP cancer protocols

The College of American Pathologists (CAP) is the leading organization for board-certified pathologists. CAP serves patients, pathologists and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the worldwide practice of pathology and laboratory medicine. CAP contributes to the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR) for the development of global evidence-based core data sets.

For more information, please visit the ICCR website and latest versions of the CAP Cancer Protocols:

TNM tumour classification

Effective care for cancer patients means considering the cancer’s site of origin, its histological type, and its extent. The globally accepted method for describing the extent of cancer is the Tumour-Node-Metastasis classification system. TNM is based on the anatomical extent of disease, and is an important component of both patient care and research.

The seventh edition of TNM Classification of Malignant Tumours has been published by the International Union against Cancer (UICC) and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC).

For more information, please visit the UICC and AJCC websites:

NAACCR specifications

Established in 1987, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, Inc. (NAACCR, Inc.), is a professional organization that develops and promotes uniform data standards for cancer registration. The NAACCR also provides education and training, certifies population-based registries, and aggregates and publishes data from central cancer registries. The NAACCR promotes the use of cancer surveillance data and systems for cancer control and epidemiologic research, public health programs and patient care to reduce the burden of cancer in North America.

For more information on publications, training, and standards and registry operations, please visit:

Collaborative stage

The Collaborative Stage Data Collection System is a carefully selected, medically relevant set of data items that describe how far a cancer has spread at the time of diagnosis. Most of the data items have traditionally been collected by cancer registries, including tumor size, extension, lymph node status, and metastatic status. New items were created to collect information necessary for the conversion algorithms, including the evaluation fields that describe how the collected data were determined, and site/histology specific factors that are necessary to derive the final stage grouping for certain primary cancers.

For more information, please visit:


Last updated: April 17, 2014