AJCC Letter to the Cancer Registrar Community

Mar​ch 28th, 2018

Dear Members of the Cancer Registry and Surveillance Community:

Many of you recently completed a survey on the implementation of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, Eighth Edition.  We hear you, we are truly sympathetic, and we are committed and available to help with the difficulties you are encountering with the number of corrections to the manual.

The AJCC Executive Committee is meeting in April 2018 to carefully review the results of the implementation survey and develop an action plan for mitigating these issues.

We are making every effort to ensure that physicians have the most up-to-date information when making their treatment decisions with their cancer patients, and that cancer data collectors have the resources they need to accurately record and submit data to their standard setters. Over the past 18 months, we have worked closely with the NAACCR Site Specific Data Item Task Force and licensed electronic health record vendors to prepare software for the January 1, 2018 implementation date.​ 

While there have been many changes to the manual, the print version still provides accurate rules for classification, anatomy descriptions, and survival data. There are a number of free resources on www.cancerstaging.org that can be used to supplement the instructional content of the manual. These resources are always up-to-date, and sometimes provide more detailed information than the print manual. We recommend saving, printing, or bookmarking the online resources and referring to them in addition to the instructional content of the manual.

All corrections will be included in the third printing of the Manual, which will be available from our publisher, Springer, in April 2018. If you pre-ordered this text, it will start shipping as soon as it is in stock. We do not advise ordering manuals from Amazon at the moment, as we cannot guarantee that you will receive the corrected 3rd printing.

Many of you are aware of cancer staging applications and publications available in the various app stores. While many of these developers have licensed AJCC content for their products, AJCC does not validate their final product. The AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, the resources available at www.cancerstaging.org, and the AJCC API are the only resources officially endorsed by AJCC.

As a final note, we made many significant, evidence-based changes between 7th Edition and 8th Edition – from creating new staging systems and improving existing ones to the way we structured chapters and deliver staging forms. None of these changes were made lightly, and each change we make is ultimately for the benefit of patients today and in the future. 

Thank you all for your patience and understanding, and more importantly for the critical work you do to improve patient care.

Sincerely, 

David R. Byrd, MD, FACS

AJCC Chair

Robert K. Brookland, MD, FACR, FACRO

AJCC Vice-Chair 

David P. Winchester, MD, FACS

AJCC Executive Director​


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