Cancer Protocols

For more than 20 years, the CAP Cancer Reporting and Biomarker Reporting Protocols have provided structure for consistent and meaningful information that enables health care professionals to manage and study clinical data for improved patient care.

Proven Value of Synoptic Reporting

Structured synoptic reporting (SSR) using tools like CAP Cancer Protocols can improve patient outcomes. Per a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, “use of SSR improved patient care in those with CRC [colorectal cancer] by providing more complete reports of higher quality, which had significant effects on the delivery of adjuvant therapy and patient outcomes.” The authors also concluded that “implementation of SSR for CRC [colorectal cancer] resulted in increased completeness of pathology reports, higher-quality pathology evaluation, and better outcomes for patients. These findings support the widespread introduction of SSR in oncology.” 3

In a separate article in the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, “the introduction of a synoptic report dramatically improved the completeness of reporting of rectal cancer among both non-GI and GI pathologists.” 2

Synoptic Reporting Using the CAP Cancer Protocols

The CAP Cancer Protocols helps ensure that all pathology reports contain necessary data elements to improve patient care. By requiring those specific data elements, synoptic reporting ensures more accurate reports that communicate findings in a clear, standardized format to clinician colleagues, researchers, and other users of the data.1 Designed with our member pathologists and patients in mind, our Cancer Reporting Protocols benefit thousands of CAP member pathologists and other medical professionals by ensuring complete, uniform reporting of malignant tumors. Choose from digital or print/PDF versions to help your laboratory achieve better patient outcomes.

Current Cancer Protocols

View current protocols and download templates

Cancer Protocols Units of Measure

Read more about the CAP Notice regarding Units of Measurement in the CAP electronic Cancer Checklists (eCC) and CAP Cancer Protocols.

Cancer Protocol Review Process

Learn how the CAP develops protocols and conducts the protocol revision process

Synoptic Reporting

Download the definition of Synoptic Reporting with Examples.

Cancer Reporting Education Programs

Improve your cancer reporting skills and earn CME credit through CAP anatomic pathology education programs—Performance Improvement Program in Surgical Pathology (PIP), Virtual Biopsy Program (VBP), Digital Slide Program in Dermatopathology (DPATH), Hematopathology Online Education (HPATH), and Practicum in Cancer Surgical Pathology (PCSP).

Online Resources



  1. “Synoptic Reporting: Evidenced-Based Review and Future Directions.” JCO® Clinical Cancer Informatics.
  2. “What Impact Has the Introduction of a Synoptic Report for Rectal Cancer Had on Reporting Outcomes for Specialist Gastrointestinal and Nongastrointestinal Pathologists?” Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
  3. “Improvement of Care in Patients With Colorectal Cancer: Influence of the Introduction of Standardized Structured Reporting for Pathology.” JCO® Clinical Cancer Informatics.

Cancer reporting made simple

Integrate the Cancer Protocol & Biomarker Templates into your LIS workflow.

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