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Datasets and Tissue Pathways

The College's Standards and Datasets for Histopathology Reporting on Cancers and Tissue Pathways have been written to help pathologists work towards a consistent approach for the reporting of the more common cancers and to define the range of acceptable practice in handling pathology specimens.

The table below provides links to the cancer dataset documents and to the 'tissue pathways' for non-malignant diseases for each site.

NICE has accredited the process used by The Royal College of Pathologists to produce its Cancer Datasets and Tissue Pathways guidance. Accreditation is valid for five years from July 2012 and is retrospectively applicable to documents produced using the processes described in our 2012 guidelines for writing datasets and tissue pathways. All guidance produced following the accredited process bears the NICE accreditation mark. More information on accreditation can be viewed at

Click for more information on datasets, tissue pathways and the Working Group on Cancer Services, including guidance for authors.

Cancer datasets Tissue pathways

General introduction (Aug 2008)

Breast (Oct 2005)

Breast (Apr 2009)

Bone and soft tissue
Primary bone tumours (Feb 2015)
Soft tissue sarcomas (Mar 2014)

Bone and soft tissue
Bone and soft tissue specimens (Feb 2011)

Cardiovascular system

Cardiovascular system (Oct 2008)


Exfoliative cytology and FNA cytology (Jan 2010)

Central nervous system, including the pituitary gland (Apr 2011)

Nervous system and muscle
Non-neoplastic neuropathology specimens (Jan 2015)

Endocrine system
Adult adrenal gland (Jan 2012)
Parathyroid (Oct 2010)
Thyroid (Feb 2014)
Gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumours (Sep 2012)

Endocrine system (Jan 2012)

Ocular retinoblastoma (Dec 2014)
Conjunctival melanoma (Oct 2007)
Uveal melanoma (Jan 2015)

Non-neoplastic ophthalmic pathology specimens (Feb 2015)

Gastrointestinal tract
Bile ducts and pancreas (May 2010)
Colorectum (Jul 2014)
Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (Feb 2012)
Liver (Jun 2012)
Oesophagus (Feb 2007)
Stomach (Jan 2007)

Gastrointestinal tract
Liver biopsies (Mar 2014)
Gastrointestinal & pancreatobiliary pathology (Nov 2009)

Gynaecological tract
Cervix (Apr 2011)
Endometrium (Feb 2014)
Ovary (Nov 2010)
Uterine sarcoma (Dec 2014)
Vulva (Nov 2010)

Gynaecological tract (Jan 2015)

Placenta (Sep 2011)

Head and neck (Nov 2013)
Oral cavity
Nodal excisions & neck dissection
Nasal cavities & paranasal sinuses
Salivary gland

Head and neck
Head and neck pathology (May 2014)


Lung cancer (May 2014)
Mesothelioma (Apr 2013)
Thymic epithelial tumours (Feb 2013)

Lung and thorax
Tissue pathway for non-neoplastic thoracic pathology (June 2013)

Nephroblastoma (Oct 2007) (new edition in consultation, June 2015)
Peripheral neuroblastic tumours (Dec 2010)


Lymph nodes and bone marrow lymphomas
(Apr 2002) (new edition in preparation, Mar 2015)

Lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow trephine biopsies (May 2008, amended Aug 2010)

Adnexal carcinomas and lymph nodes (Jul 2014)
Basal cell carcinoma (May 2014)
Malignant melanoma (May 2014)
Merkel cell carcinoma (May 2014)
Invasive squamous cell carcinoma (May 2014)

Microsoft Word (33k)Skin cancer electronic reporting tool and

Adobe PDF (42k)Reporting tool user guide (June 2014)

Inflammatory and non-neoplastic dermatoses and non-neoplastic lesions (Sep 2008)

Urinary tract and testis
Adult kidney (Nov 2006)
Penis (July 2015) New button
Prostate (Oct 2009)
Testis (May 2014)
Urinary collecting system (Apr 2013)

Urinary tract and testis
Medical renal biopsies (May 2013)
Urological specimens (May 2010)


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