The objective of this project is to establish a pathological and genetic classification and grading of human tumours that is accepted and used worldwide. Without clearly defined clinical and histopathological diagnostic criteria and, more recently, genetic and expression profiles, epidemiological studies and clinical trials are difficult to conduct. This project therefore has a substantial impact in not only pathology communities, but also cancer registration, epidemiology studies, clinical trials, and cancer research in general.

IARC has been responsible for this book project since the 3rd edition (2000–2005), which covered all organ sites in 10 volumes. Diagnostic criteria, pathological features and associated genetic alterations were described in a strictly disease-oriented manner. For each volume, 10 000–35 000 copies were printed and distributed worldwide.

The Section of Molecular Pathology at IARC is responsible for the publication of the 4th edition of the WHO/IARC Classification of Tumours series.


WHO/IARC Classification of Tumours - News

Publication Schedule

WHO Classification of Tumours of the Female Reproductive Organs, Spring 2014

WHO Classification of Tumours of the Lung, Pleura, Thymus, and Heart, Spring 2015


WHO Classification of Tumours of Soft Tissue and Bone, Fourth edition

IARC WHO Classification of Tumours, No 5
Fletcher, C.D.M., Bridge, J.A., Hogendoorn, P.C.W., Mertens, F.
This authoritative, concise reference book provides an international standard for oncologists and pathologists and will serve as an indispensable guide for use in the design of studies monitoring response to therapy and clinical outcome. Diagnostic criteria, pathological features, and associated genetic alterations are described in a strictly disease-oriented manner. Sections on all recognized neoplasms and their variants include new ICD-O codes, epidemiology, clinical features, macroscopy, pathology, genetics, and prognosis and predictive factors.
Order at WHOPress