Important biomarker update

The imminent transition from the Collaborative Stage v2 system to the AJCC TNM staging standard has spurred a lot of discussion among the cancer registry standard-setting organizations regarding the collection of biomarker information.


Once the decision was made to transition from Collaborative Stage, which begins with cases diagnosed on January 1, 2016 and beyond, the CS Transition Group (CSTG) was formed as an information sharing and planning forum. According to a recent newsletter published by the CSTG, this group “will provide a collaborative opportunity to identify the issues involved in the transition and to share the tasks involved in developing best practices for both the overall cancer surveillance community and the individual agencies/organizations in addressing this change.”


Members of the CSTG include:

•  Statistics Canada /Canadian Council of Cancer Registries
•  CoC


In an effort to facilitate a seamless transition to TNM staging, NAACCR is assisting in the coordination of a number of activities tied to this change. For example, NAACCR assembled a short-term working group to consider how tumor markers and prognostic factors, which are currently transmitted as Collaborative Staging (CS) Site Specific Factors (SSF’s), will be transmitted once CS is no longer supported. According to the CSTG, the NAACCR working group met this past February “to review the data transmission layout structure to assess the pros and cons of maintaining the current structure of collecting stage-related items — including SSFs — within schemas, or whether the collection of these data items would be more efficient outside of a schema structure.”


All of this activity is summarized in the CSTG’s 2016 Collaborative Stage Transition Newsletter. This edition, dated March 18, 2014, lists all of the associated activities of the participating organizations. Finally, this newsletter, along with all future editions, will be available on many of the cancer registry organization’s websites, including the Commission on Cancer (CoC) and NCRA.