College of American Pathologists Cancer Protocols: From Optimizing Cancer Patient Care to Facilitating Interoperable Reporting and Downstream Data Use

JCO Clin Cancer Inform. 2021 Jan:5:47-55. doi: 10.1200/CCI.20.00104.


The College of American Pathologists Cancer Protocols have offered guidance to pathologists for standard cancer pathology reporting for more than 35 years. The adoption of computer readable versions of these protocols by electronic health record and laboratory information system (LIS) vendors has provided a mechanism for pathologists to report within their LIS workflow, in addition to enabling standardized structured data capture and reporting to downstream consumers of these data such as the cancer surveillance community. This paper reviews the history of the Cancer Protocols and electronic Cancer Checklists, outlines the current use of these critically important cancer case reporting tools, and examines future directions, including plans to help improve the integration of the Cancer Protocols into clinical, public health, research, and other workflows.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Electronic Health Records
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Pathologists
  • Pathology, Clinical*
  • Patient Care
  • Review Literature as Topic
  • United States