The College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) have announced a new partnership to optimize patient care and foster excellence in the practices of pathology and oncology through interprofessional education, advocacy, quality improvement, international outreach, and practice guideline development.

As diagnosing cancer becomes more complex, communication between pathologists and clinical oncologists has become critical for accurately diagnosing cancer, optimizing cancer treatment, and advancing cancer research. CAP and ASCO aim to improve the development, application, interpretation, and dissemination of pathology tests in cancer care—including tumor markers and molecular diagnostics.


Gene N. Herbek, MD, FCAP

“More-accurate diagnoses and precise treatments through molecular diagnostics offer new hope for the millions of patients battling cancer each year,” says CAP President Gene N. Herbek, MD, FCAP. “A healthy flow of information between oncologists and pathologists is critical to meeting each patient’s unique goals and needs during cancer treatment.”

CAP serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide. The organization’s laboratory improvement program accredits 7,600 laboratories and provides proficiency testing to 20,000 laboratories worldwide.

With more than 35,000 members, ASCO is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. The organization is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs, and peer-reviewed journals.

CAP and ASCO plan to collaborate on a range of projects aimed at sharing the skills and strengths of both organizations, and their respective members, to improve the integration of clinical oncology and pathology, and to optimize the use of pathology services and tests in the care of cancer patients.


Peter Paul Yu, MD, FACP, FASCO

“Oncology and pathology professionals and their patients will benefit from closer collaboration and mutual understanding between these two specialties,” says ASCO President Peter Paul Yu, MD, FACP, FASCO. “ASCO’s partnership with CAP has the potential to greatly facilitate advances in cancer research that could improve the quality of patient care.” Initiatives on which CAP and ASCO will likely collaborate include:

  • Continuing medical education (CME) on the use, interpretation, and application of molecular diagnostic tests;
  • Joint evidence-based practice guidelines for oncologists and pathologists;
  • International workshops in which oncologists and pathologists from low- and middle-income countries can learn and share what is needed to advance cancer diagnosis and characterization across practice settings; and
  • Advocacy and patient information about cancer diagnostics and other issues affecting the optimal use of pathology services in oncology practice.

The first-ever formal collaboration between CAP and ASCO was launched through a jointly signed memorandum of understanding. The organizations will continue to update members and other stakeholders as the details of undertakings between the two medical specialty societies unfold. For further information, visit the College of American Pathologists and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.