Send to

Choose Destination
J Surg Oncol. 2011 Mar 1;103(3):248-56. doi: 10.1002/jso.21827.

A descriptive analysis of gastric cancer specimen processing techniques.

Author information

Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Adherence to guidelines for adequate gastric cancer specimen assessment is poor in North America. Inadequate staging and poor prognosis were noted in some series when these guidelines are not met. Recent advances have been made in standardizing cancer pathology reports in Canada; however, the uptake of these reporting systems is unknown for gastric cancer. A survey of pathologists in Ontario was performed to outline the processing techniques and practices for assessing gastric cancer specimens.


A survey was designed through a collaboration of surgical oncologists, general surgeons, pathologists, and research staff. Pathologists were identified using the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and MD Select databases. Participants were surveyed online or by mail-out.


The response rate was 40.2% (147/366). Vascular invasion, perineural invasion, and signet ring cells were all reported as being examined for by the majority of pathologists. Fat clearing solution and keratin immunohistochemical techniques were not reported as being consistently utilized. Less than 70% of pathologists indicated using a form of synoptic report.


Variations in practice and technique were observed. This may or may not reflect differences in quality of care or simply preferences for achieving equivalent results in the absence of standardized procedures. Education, evidence-based procedural guidelines and further research are required to provide infrastructure and support for pathologists and surgeons involved in the care of gastric cancer patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center