A protocol for the pathologic examination and reporting of specimens from patients with gastric carcinoma has been developed by the Cancer Committee of the College of American Pathologists and a multidisciplinary task force of specialists dealing with patients with gastric carcinoma. The protocol incorporates all basic pathology data of diagnostic and prognostic significance appropriate for the treatment of patients with gastric carcinoma. The purpose of the protocol is to serve as a basis for the development of checklists, as on outline for full narrative reporting, as a basis for research protocols, or as a guide for other types of synoptic or reporting formats. The protocol is stratified to accommodate the surgical procedures usually employed for gastric carcinomas, including acquisition of cytologic specimens, incisional endoscopic biopsy, excisional biopsy, and gastric resection (partial or complete). Explanatory notes detailing specific procedures and rationales for documentation of specific pathologic data are included in the protocol. The protocol uses the staging system for gastric carcinoma defined by the American Joint Committee on Cancer and the International Union Against Cancer.