Virchows Archiv

, Volume 473, Issue 5, pp 655–656 | Cite as

Advancing synoptic cancer reports beyond English: the University of Bern/PathoLink approach

  • Yara Banz
  • Sabina Berezowska
  • Laurence de Leval
  • Laura Rubbia-Brandt
  • Markus Tolnay
  • Holger Moch
  • Aurel Perren
  • Ekkehard HewerEmail author
Letter to the Editor

Synoptic reporting (SR) increases completeness and improves the understanding of pathology reports for tumours as compared to the more traditional “narrative” style. Furthermore, it is an important step towards higher levels of structured data capture [1]. SR is defined by a set of required data elements (RDE) specific for each tumour type and a characteristic paired format of RDE and response. The College of American Pathologists (CAP) requires accredited pathology laboratories to report many cancer types in a synoptic format and for this purpose publishes a comprehensive set of protocols [2]. More recently, the International Collaboration for Cancer Reporting (ICCR)—sponsored amongst others by the European Society of Pathology—has started to publish synoptic protocols with the aim to “produce internationally standardised and evidence-based datasets for the pathology reporting of cancer” [3].

One arguably underestimated challenge with regard to widespread implementation of SR is...



The work was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation SNF: 31BL30_172718.

Author contributions

YB, SB, AP and EH contributed to the University of Bern approach to translating and implementing synoptic protocols described herein. LdL, LRB, MT, HM and AP set up the medical and scientific framework of the PathoLink project. EH drafted the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

428_2018_2431_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 18.7 kb)


  1. 1.
    Ellis DW, Srigley J (2016) Does standardised structured reporting contribute to quality in diagnostic pathology? The importance of evidence-based datasets. Virchows Arch 468:51–59. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    College of American Pathologists. Accessed 26/06/2018
  3. 3.
    International Collaboration for Cancer Reporting. Accessed 26/06/2018
  4. 4.
    Pathologisch-Anatomisch Landelijk Geautomatiseerd Archief. Accessed 26/06/2018

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PathologyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of PathologyLausanne University Hospital (CHUV)LausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Division of Clinical PathologyGeneva University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institute for Medical Genetics and PathologyUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of Pathology and Molecular PathologyUniversity Hospital ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations