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IntroductionThere are gaps in the evidence base of tumour classification despite being essential for cancer diagnosis, treatment and patient care. The WHO in charge of the production of an updated international classification, the WHO Classification of Tumours (WCT), aims to adapt evidence gap map (EGM) methodology to inform future editions of the WCT, by providing a visual summary of the existing evidence.Methods and analysisBibliographical references used in the WCT fifth edition of Tumours of the Lung (Thoracic Tumours volume) will be used as search results of a literature search. A descriptive analysis of the cited evidence for tumour types and descriptors will be drafted and plotted in EPPI-Reviewer to develop a visual evidence map. The resulting EGM will reflect the number of cited studies in the size of the spheres, and the level of evidence by applying a four-colour code (red=low level evidence, orange=moderate level, green=high level and blue=unclassifiable). Overview of the findings will be provided in narrative form and a report will discuss the overall stage of cited research in the WCT and will include analysis of gaps, under-researched categories of tumour descriptors and pockets of low-level evidence.Ethics and disseminationNo ethics approval will be required as this is a study of previously published material. Findings of the EGM will be published and used to guide editors, stakeholders and researchers for future research planning and related decision-making, especially for the development of future editions of the WCT.PROSPERO registration numberCRD42022302327.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open



Publication Date





e061240 - e061240