The 3rd English edition of the Japanese classification of biliary tract cancers was released approximately 10 years after the 5th Japanese edition and the 2nd English edition. Since the first Japanese edition was published in 1981, the Japanese classification has been in extensive use, particularly among Japanese surgeons and pathologists, because the cancer status and clinical outcomes in surgically resected cases have been the main objects of interest. However, recent advances in the diagnosis, management and research of the disease prompted the revision of the classification that can be used by not only surgeons and pathologists but also by all clinicians and researchers, for the evaluation of current disease status, the determination of current appropriate treatment, and the future development of medical practice for biliary tract cancers. Furthermore, during the past 10 years, globalization has advanced rapidly, and therefore, internationalization of the classification was an important issue to revise the Japanese original staging system, which would facilitate to compare the disease information among institutions worldwide. In order to achieve these objectives, the new Japanese classification of the biliary tract cancers principally adopted the 7th edition of staging system developed by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC). However, because there are some points pending in these systems, several distinctive points were also included for the purpose of collection of information for the future optimization of the staging system. Free mobile application of the new Japanese classification of the biliary tract cancers is available via http://www.jshbps.jp/en/classification/cbt15.html.
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