Quality of pathology reporting is crucial for cancer care and registration : a baseline assessment for breast cancers diagnosed in Belgium in 2008
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Breast. - Edinburgh
, p. 143-152
University of Antwerp
Objectives: Given the crucial role of pathology reporting in the management of breast cancers, we aimed to investigate the quality and variability of breast cancer pathology reporting in Belgium. Materials and methods: Detailed information on non-molecular and molecular parameters was retrieved from the pathology protocols available at the Belgian Cancer Registry for 10,007 breast cancers diagnosed in Belgium in 2008. Results: Substantial underreporting was shown for several clinically relevant non-molecular parameters, such as lymphovascular invasion. High-volume laboratories performed only slightly better than others, and analyses at the individual laboratory level showed clear inter-laboratory variability in reporting for all volume categories. Information on ER/PR and HER2 IHC was mentioned in respectively 91.7% and 90.8% of evaluative cases. HER2 ISH data were available for 78.5% of the cases judged to be 2+ for HER2 IHC. For cases with different specimens analysed, discordance between these specimens was highest for HER2, followed by PR. For HER2, results obtained from different laboratories were even less concordant. In addition, inter-laboratory differences were noted in the used ER/PR scoring systems, the proportion of ER-/PR+ cases, and the relation between histological grade and ER/PR positivity. Data on Ki67 were only available for 43.8% of the investigated cases, and showed inconsistent use of cut-off values. Conclusion: Breast pathology reporting in Belgium in 2008 was suboptimal and showed considerable inter-laboratory variability. Synoptic reporting has been proposed as a facilitator towards increased reporting quality and harmonization, but the lack of aligned informatics remains a major hurdle in its concrete implementation. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.