Albert C. Broders' paradigm shifts involving the prognostication and definition of cancer.

  title={Albert C. Broders' paradigm shifts involving the prognostication and definition of cancer.},
  author={James R. Wright},
  journal={Archives of pathology \& laboratory medicine},
  volume={136 11},
  • James R. Wright
  • Published 30 October 2012
  • Medicine
  • Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine
CONTEXT In the 19th and early 20th centuries, cancer was defined by the demonstration of invasion and metastases, based upon gross findings at surgery or autopsy. Although histopathologic examination of tumors became possible with greater and greater resolution over time, the definition of cancer remained the same. Tumors with features suggesting the biological "potential" to invade and metastasize were not cancers until they had achieved their potential. Prognostication based upon… 

Figures from this paper

Albert C. Broders, tumor grading, and the origin of the long road to personalized cancer care

A brief historical vignette celebrates the 100th anniversary of Albert C. Broders’ first paper, showing that numerical tumor "grading" allowed him to predict patient prognosis, and the starting point for the long road to personalized cancer care.

Tumor Staging for Renal Pathology

It has been almost 100 years since Albert Broders and Cuthbert Dukes introduced the concepts of tumor grading and anatomic extend of disease (stage) in the prognostication of cancer to withstood the test of time for tumors of diverse organ systems.

Grading of diffuse astrocytic gliomas: Broders, Kernohan, Zülch, the WHO… and Shakespeare

The grading of diffuse astrocytic gliomas has been a critical topic in neuro-oncology for the past century, with the field using grading to estimate prognosis, guide clinical care, and engage in clinical and experimental studies to move the discipline forward.

Grading of adult diffuse gliomas according to the 2021 WHO Classification of Tumors of the Central Nervous System

  • T. Komori
  • Medicine
    Laboratory Investigation
  • 2021
Controversial issues surrounding legacy grading systems and newly identified potential genetic markers of adult diffuse gliomas are discussed and perspectives on future grading systems are provided.

CINSARC signature as a prognostic marker for clinical outcome in sarcomas and beyond

CINSARC is an expression‐based signature related to mitosis and chromosome integrity with prognostic value in a wide range of cancers additional to sarcoma and its development is welcome in any cancers where the prognostication needs to be improved.

Cytopathology: Why did it take so long to thrive?

The author concludes that the first hiatus is explained by the 19th Century pathology establishment's strong opposition to the doctrine of the uniqueness of cancer cells that was being pushed by only a few maverick pathologists; in fact, for many mainstream pathologists, cancer was rigidly defined by cell behavior and not cell morphology well into the 20th Century.

Concepts and misconceptions regarding clinical staging models.

Many of the authors’ conclusions draw heavily on 2 ideas that are not core to most staging models, namely that staging is largely about established disorder and that disease progression is predominantly described by severity, with co-morbidities treated as separate entities.

Behavior of Cutaneous Adnexal Malignancies: a Single Institution Experience

The majority of tumors were of eccrine sweat gland derivation, especially porocarcinomas, have a high risk of nodal involvement and may be considered for sentinel node biopsy, and larger tumor size were significantly associated with worse overall survival.

Founders of Pediatric Pathology: Ward Thomas Burdick (1878–1928)

  • James R. Wright
  • Medicine, Psychology
    Pediatric and developmental pathology : the official journal of the Society for Pediatric Pathology and the Paediatric Pathology Society
  • 2016
Ward Burdick, who practiced as a pediatric pathologist at the Children's Hospital of Denver, was one of the two primary organizers of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists in 1921-22, which was formed to raise the standards of practice in Clinical Pathology.



Microscopic grading of cancer and its practical implication.

  • W. Edmundson
  • Medicine
    Archives of dermatology and syphilology
  • 1948
The conclusions and observations of Hansemann form the basis on which Broders applied the grading of cancer to clinical work, announced in 1920, and many years afterHansemann's work was forgotten and relegated to the shelf of academic curiosity.

Carcinoma, carcinoma in situ, and "early lesions" of the uterine cervix and the urinary bladder: introduction and definitions.

The designation of carcinoma would be restricted to those epithelial lesions that meet the histological criteria for malignancy, that invade the subepithelial or supporting connective tissue, and that metastasize and/or kill the patient (unless prevented from doing so by the introduction of appropriate treatment).

Classic articles in colonic and rectal surgery. Albert Compton Broders 1885-1964. Prognosis in carcinoma of the rectum. A comparison of the Broders and Dukes methods of classification.

A valuable single criterion by which the surgeon can usually decide, before operation, the probable length of life of a patient following radical extirpation of malignant lesions has been provided by one of us, namely the numerical microscopic grading of such tumors.

The final diagnosis of President Cleveland's lesion.

The malignant nature of the President's tumor was questioned by many over the past years, even to the point of suggesting various benign diagnoses, ranging from inflammatory conditions like a gumma to a slow-growing salivary gland tumor.

Varying Degrees of Malignancy in Cancer of the Breast

A number of attempts have been made to grade the malignancy of different breast tumors by distinguishing their histological characteristics, such as adenocarcinoma, medullary, scirrhus, colloid, etc., but with the exception of adenOCarcinomas and colloid these divisions have proved of little value in prognosis.


The importance of bringing into the category of carcinoma certain so-called entities that for the most part have remained outside of this category and to exclude from this category epithelial hyperplasia that is not of carcinomatous nature is stressed.

A Brief History of Head and Neck Pathology

The years 1968 and 1974 mark major events for the emergence of Head and Neck Pathology into a clear-cut discipline.

Carcinoma in situ and evaluation of epithelial changes in laryngopharyngeal biopsies.

The characteristics of carcinoma in situ or intraepithelial carcinoma of the larynx and pharynx is now widely recognized, and with few minor variations there is general agreement as to the histologic requirements for the diagnosis.

The classification of cancer of the rectum

The scope and limitations of histological grading by Broders' method are discussed and the conclusions reached that grading of a tumour is also of value for prognosis, though not when applied to fragments removed for diagnosis.


The literature regarding verrucous carcinoma of the oral cavity is reviewed, as this unusual variant of squamous cell carcinoma continues to present a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge to the clinician.