Lung cancer staging

J Surg Res. 2004 Mar;117(1):92-106. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2003.11.006.


The staging of lung cancer is a continuously progressing field, with advances in technology not only improving prognostic accuracy, but fundamentally changing pre-operative investigation algorithms. Noninvasive staging is currently undergoing revolutionary developments with the advent of Positron Emission Tomography, whereas Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery has already been established as an essential, minimally invasive diagnostic tool for invasive histological staging. Molecular staging may transform future lung cancer staging, promising extremely accurate substaging, and potentially prompting a revision of our anatomically based conceptualization of lung cancer spread. This review presents an appraisal of current lung cancer staging modalities, and presents an overview of recent developments in molecular staging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology*
  • Endosonography
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mediastinoscopy
  • Mediastinum
  • Neck
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods*
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted
  • Thoracotomy
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Biomarkers