A Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) has been signed by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) with the Canadian Association of Pathologists (CAP-ACP) and the Royal College of Pathologists Australasia (RCPA). The MOU was signed towards forging a collaboration in the development of cancer datasets, also called protocols.
The CAP Cancer Protocols are designed as a guideline for definitive cancer reporting.
This collaboration agreement not only allows pathologists from many different countries to participate actively in developing cancer protocols, but also helps better define staging parameters for cancer specimens.
These MOUs bring together three highly regarded groups of medical experts from across the globe, allowing them to more efficiently develop cancer protocols that are more likely to receive widespread adoption. This agreement aims to further improve cancer data information for research and comparison and raise reporting standards internationally. This landmark collaboration holds benefits in cancer diagnosis and treatment for both patients and specialists.
Since 1986, the CAP has been publishing cancer reporting guidelines, which later evolved into cancer protocols, as a resource to pathologists for reporting surgical pathology findings.
"Currently, the use of cancer protocols continues to challenge all pathologists in cancer centers. Our goal is to leverage this new level of international collaboration to overcome this challenge," said Stephen N. Bauer, MD, FCAP, president of the CAP. "Our focus is on enhancing and changing the face of cancer reporting through our collective ideas and resources. Going forward, our ability to share, store, and work with health information in a variety of systems will accelerate progress in countless ways."
The RCPA determined collaboration would make sense to economize efforts and increase potential results. Based on the work and commitment to excellence of both organizations, collaboration with the CAP was logical.
"This MOU formally recognizes the important collaboration we are undertaking with our pathology colleagues in North America. It represents a significant step forward in ensuring that the pathology report for every cancer patient around the world is standardized to the same high level of detailed information and in the same clear format," said Associate Professor Paul McKenzie, MB BS, FRCPA, president of RCPA.
"An accurate and complete pathology report is essential in correctly diagnosing a patient''s cancer and planning appropriate therapy," says John R. Srigley, MD, FRCPC, FCAP, head of the pathology and laboratory medicine program at Cancer Care Ontario. He also serves as pathology lead for the Canadian Partnerships Against Cancer''s National Staging Initiative. "With so many data fields to cover, a checklist-based synoptic pathology report is much easier to complete. Just as important, it is much easier for the clinician to read and understand the report with confidence. It reduces the need for interpretation of narratives and helps surgeons and oncologists decide on the best treatment for their patients. Synoptic reports also facilitate the use of pathology information by other important groups such as cancer registrars."
"The pathologist plays a central and critical role in providing patients with the best care possible. We are involved in every step of the patient''s cancer journey, from screening and prevention through diagnosis and prognosis, treatment, cure, and palliative care," said Laurette Geldenhuys, MD, CAP-ACP president. "Having cancer protocols that continue to evolve and reflect Canadian and international expertise, and are responsive to new advances in personalized medicine are crucial to better patient care and the best possible outcomes for our patients."
"This agreement allows cancer datasets to be reported in a standardized manner across each country," said Associate Professor David Ellis, MB BS, FRCPA, chair of the Australasia Project Group for the National Structured Pathology Reporting for Cancer Project, "and, as a result, enables diagnostic information to be shared more easily between countries, which is where the MOU fits in."
Dr. Bauer added, "When all reports are designed consistently, containing clear headlines that identify the diagnosis right up top, when the language is clear, and the page uniformly formatted, it is easier for busy physicians to find what they need. The effort we make to refine and synthesize information in our pathology reports fosters progress in patient care, research, and public health. We are delighted with this spirit of collaboration and its importance to international quality patient care."
About the Canadian Association of Pathologists (CAP-ACP)
The Canadian Association of Pathologists (Association canadienne des pathologistes), is the national voice of Canadian pathologists. Founded in 1949, it is a voluntary professional organization that advances the interests of the profession and promotes high quality standards for patient care by providing national leadership and promoting excellence in pathology and laboratory medicine practice, education and research. For more information about the CAP-ACP, visit www.cap-acp.org
About the College of American Pathologists (CAP)
The College of American Pathologists is a medical society that serves more than 17,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world. It is the world''s largest association composed exclusively of board certified pathologists and is widely recognized as the leader in laboratory quality management. The CAP is an advocate for high-quality and cost-effective patient care. More information about the CAP can be found at www.cap.org
About the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA)
The RCPA is the leading organization representing pathologists in Australia, and includes the territories of New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. Its mission is to train and support pathologists and improve the use of pathology testing to achieve better health care. Additional information about RCPA is available at http://www.rcpa.edu.auabout.htm.