Opportunities for Improvement in Pathology Reporting of Childhood Nonrhabdomyosarcoma Soft Tissue Sarcomas:  A Report From Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Study ARST0332

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Objectives: Treatment of soft tissue tumors in young patients relies on the diagnostic information conveyed in the pathology report. We examined pathology reports from Children’s Oncology Group ARST0332 for inclusion of data elements required in published guidelines.

Methods: Pathology reports for 551 eligible patients were examined for required data elements defined by the College of American Pathologists, including tissue type, procedure, tumor site, tumor maximum diameter, macroscopic extent of tumor, histologic type, mitotic rate, extent of necrosis, tumor grade, margin status, use of ancillary studies, and pathologic stage.

Results: Only 65 (12%) of 551 reports included all required data elements. Of reports containing synoptic templates, 57% were complete.

Conclusions: This study reveals significant opportunity to improve the quality of pathology reports in young patients with soft tissue tumors. Use of templates or checklists improves completeness of reports.

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