Structured pathology reports using standardized datasets and proformas are of proven value in improving pathologic reporting of tumors. They ensure that all relevant and proven tumor-related parameters, which are necessary for tumor staging and patient management and prognostication, are recorded in a consistent format which is readily available to clinicians and from which elements can be easily extracted. However, the elements included in cancer datasets and proformas differ in various countries which commission their own datasets; this results in difficulties in comparing data between different countries when benchmarking is undertaken. As discussed in one of the papers in this issue, one of the main aims of the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR) is to ensure that cancer datasets and proformas are consistent between different countries with the resultant aim that the same data elements will be collected worldwide. This will facilitate future research and benchmarking.
As series champion for gynecological cancer datasets of the ICCR, it has been my pleasure to co-ordinate the development of the various datasets and the resultant articles in this special issue of International Journal of Gynecological Pathology. The first article co-authored by Tim Helliwell, Meagan Judge, George Birdsong, David Ellis, and John Srigley and entitled “The International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR): 10 years progress in the development of cancer pathology datasets” charts the development, history and purpose of the ICCR and how it has evolved since its inception in 2011 This article, as well as others in this issue, details the basic process of dataset development from identifying the expert panel to final publication. The remaining articles relate to the development of the 4 new gynecological cancer datasets and updates to the 3 previously published datasets. All of the datasets now align with the recently published 2020 World Health Organisation (WHO) Classification and Blue Book on female genital tumors and with the latest updates on cancer staging systems. All the datasets include proformas which facilitate synoptic reporting and detailed explanatory text and references regarding each of the core and noncore elements included. The datasets are quality assured and evidence-based and have been produced by a panel of internationally recognized expert pathologists and a single clinician in each specific field who make up the Dataset Authoring Committees (DACs). The datasets have been subjected to international open consultation and all are freely available for worldwide noncommercial use at the following website: http://www.iccr-cancer.org/datasets.
The 4 new gynecological cancer datasets relate to the more uncommon gynecological neoplasms. These comprise the vulval and vaginal cancer datasets for which I have been chair of the DAC, the gestational trophoblastic neoplasia dataset chaired by Pei Hui and the uterine malignant and potentially malignant mesenchymal tumors dataset chaired by Marisa Nucci.
The endometrial cancer dataset was 1 of 4 datasets initially produced by the ICCR and first published in 2013; given the significant new developments with regard to the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) molecular Classification of endometrial cancer and other parameters, a major update in this dataset was warranted. The new endometrial cancer dataset development was chaired by Xavier Matias-Guiu. There are also updates to the cervical cancer dataset (chaired by Kay Park) and the fallopian tube/ovary/primary peritoneal carcinoma dataset chaired by Blake Gilks. Both these datasets contain significant new information from the previous versions which were first published in 2017 and 2015, respectively.
I would like to thank the chairs of the various DACs, the ICCR representative on the gynecological datasets Sigurd Lax and all the expert pathologists and clinicians who contributed to the datasets through being members of the DACs. I am also extremely grateful to Fleur Webster, Meagan Judge and Christina Selinger from the ICCR for their wonderful assistance in all aspects of the datasets development. I would also like to thank the Board of Directors of International Society of Gynecological Pathologists (ISGyP) for their provision of financial support towards the development of the datasets.