August 23, 2013
After careful consideration, the American Joint Committee on Cancer AJCC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Commission on Cancer (CoC), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have determined that it is not feasible to continue support of Collaborative Staging beyond diagnosis year 2015. Beginning with cases diagnosed in 2016 support of Collaborative Stage will cease and CDC, CoC and NCI will transition to direct coding of the AJCC TNM staging. We believe that direct coding of AJCC along with the careful collection of clinically significant biomarkers and prognostic factors will provide our programs with a more precise and stable method for the collection of staging data that is positioned to keep pace with future medical advances. The Canadian Council of Cancer Registries (CCCR) is aware of the forthcoming changes and has started a process to determine how staging will continue in Canada.
2014 and 2015 will be a transition period for all of us. During this transition the Collaborative Stage v2.05 Data Collection System will be used. At the same time the AJCC, CDC, CoC, NCI and CCCR will devote resources and support for training and other activities to ensure the continued collection of high quality data. Training will focus on procedures for directly coding clinical and pathological AJCC T, N, and M and stage group, as well as identifying optimal methods to capture biomarkers and prognostic factors. Although planning for this transition is just beginning we will be depending on the surveillance community, in coordination with NAACCR and NCRA, for expertise and insights into effective training development and delivery; and the needed changes in reporting standards and software as we move forward. Together we will build new processes which will ensure the continued collection of high quality data to inform research based on more meaningful clinical information and improve our ability to support best practices for patient care.