The definitive diagnosis and classification of individual cancers underpins the care of individual cancer patients, as well as research into cancer causation, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Traditionally, cancer classification has been based on consensus of histopathological opinion, with very limited consideration of molecular pathology. But new technologies are now transforming the field of pathology more rapidly than at any other time during the past 30 years, and it has become increasingly clear that the traditional approach to cancer classification is insufficient. Our understanding of cancer at a molecular level has now reached the point that this information must be included in diagnoses. Digital pathology and image analysis are also producing new insights, providing quantitative justification of many existing diagnostic criteria while challenging others. The rapid improvement in computer technology, including artificial intelligence, is already producing clinically applicable aids to diagnosis, and this trend is likely to accelerate.

There is an urgent need to integrate these facets of diagnosis into cancer classification internationally, and to update the WHO Classification of Tumours on a regular basis. IARC has been responsible for the WHO Classification of Tumours, also known as the WHO Blue Books, since the 3rd edition (2000–2005), which covered all organ sites in 10 volumes. The characteristics of each cancer type, including diagnostic criteria, pathological features, and associated molecular alterations, are described and illustrated in a strictly disease-oriented manner to provide the international standards for diagnosis and cancer research.

The WHO Classification of Tumours Group at IARC is responsible for the publication of the WHO Classification of Tumours series, and is pleased to announce the launch of the 5th edition with publication of the first volume on Digestive Tumours in July 2019. This will be followed by the launch of a new website and the next book in the series, on Breast Tumours, in September.


WHO Classification of Tumours - News

IARC Publications: Digestive System Tumours

Digestive System Tumours

11/07/2019 Digestive System Tumours
WHO Classification of Tumours, 5th Edition, Volume 1
Edited by the WHO Classification of Tumours Editorial Board

Digestive System Tumours is the first volume in the 5th edition of the WHO series on the classification of human tumours. This series (also known as the WHO Blue Books) is regarded as the gold standard for the diagnosis of tumours and comprises a unique synthesis of histopathological diagnosis with digital and molecular pathology. These authoritative and concise reference books provide indispensable international standards for anyone involved in the care of patients with cancer or in cancer research, underpinning individual patient treatment as well as research into all aspects of cancer causation, prevention, therapy, and education.
More information

Second Editorial Board Meeting: Soft Tissue and Bone Tumours

20/05/2019
WHO Classification of Tumours of Soft Tissue and Bone, 5th edition
Second Editorial Board Meeting: Soft Tissue and Bone Tumours
6–8 May 2019
Lyon, France

Second Editorial Board Meeting: Breast Tumours

21/01/2019
WHO Classification of Breast Tumours, 5th edition
Second Editorial Board Meeting: Breast Tumours
9–11 December 2018
MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA

First Editorial Board Meeting: Soft Tissue and Bone Tumours

21/01/2019
WHO Classification of Tumours, 5th edition
First Editorial Board Meeting: Soft Tissue and Bone Tumours
12 December 2018
MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA