College of American Pathologists

  Press Release


Published on July 20, 2009

Contact: Sue Masaracchia-Roberts

College of American Pathologist Cancer Protocols Endorsed by Canadians

Northfield, IL.—The Canadian Association of Pathologists announced, on Tuesday, July 14, at the end of their 60th annual meeting in Halifax, that the Association unanimously endorsed the adoption of the Cancer Protocols created by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) in collaboration with a broad range of medical professionals including the Canadian Association of Pathologists. The official announcement was made at a press conference held in Halifax on Wednesday, July 15. This is the first time another country has uniformly endorsed any medical protocols to be used nationwide.

The College of American Pathologists produces cancer protocols as a resource to pathologists to aid in effectively reporting surgical pathology findings necessary to provide quality patient care. The protocols consist of cancer case summaries (checklists) accompanied by background documentation. The background documentation includes detailed outlines, explanatory notes, and references, and it is presented for information only. The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (ACS CoC) has recognized the value of the CAP cancer checklists in caring for cancer patients. As of January 1, 2004, in the United States, it mandated that pathologists at CoC-approved cancer programs include the scientifically validated or regularly used data elements of the checklists in their surgical pathology reports on cancer specimens.

Over the past year, the Canadian Association of Pathologists has boldly and proactively taken steps to improve their cancer outcomes. The College’s Protocols assist pathologists in providing clinically useful and relevant information when reporting results of surgical specimen examinations and are a significant benefit to the patients both organizations serve.

According to the president of the College of American Pathologists, Jared N. Schwartz, MD, PhD, FCAP, who was present during the proceedings and vote, “They want to continue to have our help. This was a huge step for our colleagues to the North.”

“This collaboration is a unique international partnership between some of the brightest medical scientists in the health care profession,” said Dr. M. Elizabeth Hammond, MD, FCAP, a member of the Council of Scientific Affairs at the College, who was involved in this press conference, along with Mahul B. Amin, MD, FCAP, Chair of the Cancer Committee for the College. Dr. Hammond added “It employs the multidisciplinary best practices, skills and talents of those actively involved in the assessment of cancer pathology.” Dr. Hammond served as co-chair of the HER2 committee and was one of the original authors of the Cancer Protocols.

“Over the course of our annual meeting, about 200 pathologists from across the country gathered to discuss issues and determine ways to improve how we care for our patients,” said Laurette Geldenhuys, MD, president of the Canadian association. “This is one important step to addressing the shortcomings in our health system.”

“We are delighted to collaborate with the Canadians for improved patient care,” added Dr. Hammond.

For additional information, please contact:

Sue Masaracchia-Roberts
Media Relations Manager, College of American Pathologists
800-323-4040, ext. 7319 phone; 847-772-8653 cell; or or
Danièle Saintonge
Association Manager, Canadian Association of Pathologists
613-730-6230 or 1-800-668-3740 ext. 230 phone or

About the College of American Pathologists

The College of American Pathologists (CAP) 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 pathologists and is widely recognized as the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The CAP is an advocate for high quality and cost-effective patient care. More information about Cap can be found at

About the Canadian Association of Pathologists

The Canadian Association of Pathologists (CAP) is the national voice of Canadian pathologists. Founded in 1949, it is a voluntary professional organization of laboratory physicians and scientists representing more than 1,000 members. The CAP’s mission is to provide national leadership in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine through the promotion of excellence in practice, education and research, and through the fostering of integrity and high standards of ethical behaviour. The CAP will also promote collegiality, advocate for high quality and standards for patient care, and advocate for the professional interests of laboratory physicians and scientists. The CAP will provide continuing professional development to its membership.