The 7th lung cancer TNM classification and staging system: Review of the changes and implications

World J Radiol. 2012 Apr 28;4(4):128-34. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v4.i4.128.


Lung cancer is the most common cause of death from cancer in males, accounting for more than 1.4 million deaths in 2008. It is a growing concern in China, Asia and Africa as well. Accurate staging of the disease is an important part of the management as it provides estimation of patient's prognosis and identifies treatment sterategies. It also helps to build a database for future staging projects. A major revision of lung cancer staging has been announced with effect from January 2010. The new classification is based on a larger surgical and non-surgical cohort of patients, and thus more accurate in terms of outcome prediction compared to the previous classification. There are several original papers regarding this new classification which give comprehensive description of the methodology, the changes in the staging and the statistical analysis. This overview is a simplified description of the changes in the new classification and their potential impact on patients' treatment and prognosis.

Keywords: Lung cancer staging; Lung neoplasms; Neoplasm staging.