The 8th Edition AJCC Cancer Staging Manual is Available

The 7th Edition AJCC Cancer Staging Manual: Do you speak ocular tumor?

The 7th edition, AJCC manual (left) was created by over 50 eye cancer specialists from countries on all four continents. In addition, each included their local ophthalmologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and pathologists. What happened was creation of the first such international consensus guidelines for eye cancer staging. For the first time, eye cancer specialists had a common language with which to describe their patient's tumors and compare their research. It was adopted by most of the major scientific journals by incorporation into their instructions for authors  This 4-year work was a direct result of a dedicated group known as the The AJCC-UICC Ophthalmic Oncology Task Force.


8th Ed. AJCC Cancer Staging : "The Change We are Making in the World"



The Ophthalmic Oncology Task Force

As Chair of the Committee, Dr. Finger believes “what is made by the community will be used by the community.” This is why every effort was made to include as many specialists from ophthalmic oncology, ocular plastic, reconstructive surgery, radiation oncology, pathology, geneticists, epidemiologists and additional allied groups as possible. The committee’s purpose was to make a useful TNM-based classification system (for clinical local and systemic risk assessment), research, and pathology. Each chapter conforms to what is used throughout medicine, for other similar tumors, tumor registries, and worldwide cancer centers. The 8th edition brings ophthalmic oncology into the mainstream of cancer research.

The 8th edition AJCC Staging System provides clinically useful definitions of tumor size, location, and metastatic disease for almost all eye cancers. The use of this common language allows eye cancer specialists to compare treatments on equivalently sized, ‘‘staged’’ tumors. Clearly the use of this staging system will improve participation in clinical trials.

Who Uses the AJCC-UICC Staging System?

The Ophthalmic Oncology Task Force has undertaken an additional effort to promote the widespread use of the 8th edition, Staging System. It has been or will be presented at all of the major national and international ophthalmologic, ophthalmic pathology, ophthalmic plastic, and ocular oncology subspecialty societies for its diffusion.

The peer-reviewed ophthalmology journals Archives of Ophthalmology, American Journal of Ophthalmology, British Journal of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology, and Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery have added AJCC classification to their instructions for authors.

Ophthalmology Is now Understood by World Wide Oncology!

The AJCC and UICC are large, broadly supported organizations. For example, the AJCC is supported by the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology, American College of Surgeons (ACS), College of American Pathologists (CAP), United States National Cancer Institute (NCI), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American College of Physicians, American Society for Therapeutic Radiology (ASTRO), caBIG, American Head and Neck Society, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery, American Urological Association, National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCI-Canada), National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA), National Comprehensive Cancer Network, North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, Society of Gynecologic Oncology, Society of Surgical Oncology, Society of Urologic Oncology, and the UICC.

In addition, the UICC complements the AJCC by reaching cancer-related organizations in 103 countries including 27 in Africa, 74 in the Asia/Pacific region, 91 in Europe, 41 in Latin America/the Caribbean, 20 in the Middle East, and 40 in North America as well as 5 multinational associations.

Most importantly it has been adopted by specialty eye cancer centers around the world!


The AJCC-UICC Ophthalmic Oncology Task Force demonstrated how eye cancer specialists can work together to create a common language.  As part of the AJCC, and the UICC, the 8th edition staging systems will be used by tumor registries and clinical cancer centers around the world.

General information about the AJCC manual and link

  • The AJCC Cancer Staging Manual is the gold standard to help the cancer patient management team determine the correct stage for patients and allowing the most appropriate care plan 
  • The AJCC Cancer Staging Handbook is the gold standard to help the cancer patient management team determine the correct stage for patients and allowing the most appropriate care plan

The AJCC Cancer Staging Manual and Handbook, prepared by the American Joint Committee on Cancer, are used by physicians and health care professionals throughout the world to facilitate the uniform description and reporting of neoplastic diseases. Proper classification and staging is essential for the physician to assign proper treatment, evaluate results of management and clinical trials, and to serve as the standard for local, regional and international reporting on cancer incidence and outcome.

The Seventh Edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual brings together all the currently available information on staging of cancer at various anatomic sites and incorporates newly acquired knowledge on the etiology and pathology of cancer. As knowledge of cancer biology expands, cancer staging must incorporate these advances. The current revision provides evidence-based staging based upon the established tenets of TNM classification supplemented by selected molecular markers. Relevant markers supported by evidence and of sufficient impact for treatment decisions have been included to define stage, for example Gleason’s Score and PSA in prostate cancer.

Organized by disease site the 8th edition features much-anticipated, major evidence-based revisions to many chapters including breast, colon, prostate, kidney, and sections on ophthalmologic malignancies.

User-friendly enhancements include:

  • A revised and expanded presentation of the principles and rules of TNM staging 
  • A concise summary of changes in the TNM classification and "Staging at a Glance" opening each chapter to provide a snapshot of staging and coding details 
  • Numerous new line drawings illustrating key sites throughout the text 
  • Full color text to highlight elements of TNM, stage groupings and prognostic factors 

Editions of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual and Handbook remain concensus guidelines and thus essential references for oncologists, pathologists, surgeons, cancer registrars and medical professionals worldwide to ensure that all those taking care of cancer patients are fully versed in the language of cancer staging.

Written for:

Surgeons, oncologists, pathologists, cancer registrars

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