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New Staging System Developed for Lung Cancer

Staging of non-small cell lung cancer based on anatomic extent of disease

THURSDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have developed a new staging system for non-small cell lung cancer based solely on the anatomic extent of disease, an update from the previous edition published in 2002, according to a special feature in the July issue of Chest.

Frank C. Detterbeck, M.D., and colleagues from Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., describe the development and final recommendations of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) for the non-small cell lung cancer staging system. The seventh edition of the staging system will be published this year, they note.

The authors write that an international database of lung cancer cases and their prognoses was created to develop the staging system. The new staging system is based on the TNM system used for most cancers, where the T describes the extent of the primary tumor, N describes the extent of involvement of regional lymph nodes, and M describes the extent of spread to distant sites.

"In conclusion, the IASLC staging classification is unquestionably a major advance," Detterbeck and colleagues write. "The size of the database, the broad international spectrum, the careful and detailed analysis, as well as the internal and external validation, are tremendous achievements and relatively unique among types of cancer."

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