In 1998, The Collaborative Staging Task Force was convened to address the issue of discrepancies in staging guidelines among the three major cancer staging systems used in the United States. This project is sponsored by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (NCI-SEER), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Program of Cancer Registries (CDC/NPCR), National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA), North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the Canadian Cancer Society/National Cancer Institute of Canada (CCS/NCIC).
The initial focus of the task force was to develop a translation or other method of conversion between the TNM staging system of the AJCC and the SEER Summary Staging System. Such a translation would eliminate duplicate data collection by cancer registrars reporting to clinical (facility-based) and epidemiologic (central) registries. Along with addressing the concerns of clinicians for more clinically relevant data as well as the public health sector's concerns about data reproducibility over time; and provide a higher degree of compatibility between the systems that would expand data-sharing opportunities.
The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) maintains overall management of the Collaborative Staging System. AJCC staff provides the overall administrative and technical support for all CS activities. The CS Governance Committee includes representatives in leadership positions from the standard-setting organizations involved in the Collaborative Stage Data Collection System.
David P. Winchester, MD, FACS
Donna Gress, RHIT, CTR
Education and Product Development Administrator
Written correspondence should be sent to:
633 N. St. Clair Street
Chicago, IL 60611-3211