Clinical Significance of the Proposed Pathologic Criteria for Invasion by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer in Resected Nonmucinous Lung Adenocarcinoma

J Thorac Oncol. 2024 Mar;19(3):425-433. doi: 10.1016/j.jtho.2023.10.013. Epub 2023 Nov 2.


Introduction: Accurate diagnostic criteria for tumor invasion are essential for precise pathologic tumor (pT) staging. Recently, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) Pathology Committee suggested a new set of criteria for assessing tumor invasion, but the clinical usefulness of the proposed criteria has not been evaluated.

Methods: The study included 1295 patients with resected part-solid lung adenocarcinoma from January 2017 to December 2019 at the Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. The revised pT stage was determined by the extent of the newly measured invasive component using the IASLC criteria. The primary outcome was to compare the performance of the revised pT stage with the original pT stage in predicting recurrence-free survival and proof of invasion status (i.e., recurrence or lymph node metastasis). The secondary outcome was the correlation with radiologic surrogates of tumor invasiveness (consolidation-to-tumor ratio and maximum standardized uptake value) and pathologic risk factors.

Results: The re-evaluation resulted in a 22% downstaging and 2.5% upstaging of pT, which improved the correlation with radiologic (consolidation-to-tumor ratio and maximum standardized uptake value) and pathologic risk factors. The revised pT staging allowed for more accurate discrimination of recurrence-free survival than the original pT staging (c-index = 0.794 versus 0.717). Moreover, the revised pT staging significantly improved the prediction of recurrence or lymph node metastasis (area under the curve = 0.818 versus 0.741, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study evaluating the clinical significance of the IASLC-proposed criteria for invasion. The proposed IASLC criteria offered better alignment with clinicopathologic risk factors and improved prognostication. Further studies are warranted to assess the impact of the IASLC criteria on treatment decisions and patient outcomes.

Keywords: Invasion; Lepidic; Lung adenocarcinoma; Pathologic tumor stage; Prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung* / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung* / surgery
  • Adenocarcinoma* / surgery
  • Clinical Relevance
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies