What is New in the 2019 World Health Organization (WHO) Classification of Tumors of the Digestive System: Review of Selected Updates on Neuroendocrine Neoplasms, Appendiceal Tumors, and Molecular Testing

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2021 Jun 1;145(6):664-677. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2019-0665-RA.


Context.—: The 5th edition of the World Health Organization classification of digestive system tumors discusses several advancements and developments in understanding the etiology, pathogenesis, and diagnosis of several digestive tract tumors.

Objective.—: To provide a summary of the updates with a focus on neuroendocrine neoplasms, appendiceal tumors, and the molecular advances in tumors of the digestive system.

Data sources.—: English literature and personal experiences.

Conclusions.—: Some of the particularly important updates in the 5th edition are the alterations made in the classification of neuroendocrine neoplasms, understanding of pathogenesis of appendiceal tumors and their precursor lesions, and the expanded role of molecular pathology in establishing an accurate diagnosis or predicting prognosis and response to treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Appendiceal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Appendiceal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Appendix / metabolism
  • Appendix / pathology
  • Digestive System / metabolism
  • Digestive System / pathology
  • Digestive System Neoplasms / classification
  • Digestive System Neoplasms / genetics
  • Digestive System Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Genomics / methods
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / genetics
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / pathology*
  • World Health Organization