- Stage classification provides a consistent language to describe the anatomic extent of disease and is therefore a critical tool in caring for patients. The Staging and Prognostic Factors Committee of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer developed proposals for revision of the classification of lung cancer for the eighth edition of the tumor, node, and metastasis (TNM) classification, which takes effect in 2017.
- It can be difficult to distinguish between a second primary and a metastasis in patients with lung cancer who have more than one pulmonary site of cancer.
- Application of tumor, node, and metastasis (TNM) classification is difficult in patients with lung cancer presenting as multiple ground glass nodules or with diffuse pneumonic-type involvement. Clarification of how to do this is needed for the forthcoming eighth edition of TNM classification.
- Separate tumor nodules with the same histologic appearance occur in the lungs in a small proportion of patients with primary lung cancer. This article addresses how such tumors can be classified to inform the eighth edition of the anatomic classification of lung cancer. Separate tumor nodules should be distinguished from second primary lung cancer, multifocal ground glass/lepidic tumors, and pneumonic-type lung cancer, which are addressed in separate analyses.
- Patients with lung cancer who harbor multiple pulmonary sites of disease have been challenging to classify; a subcommittee of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Staging and Prognostic Factors Committee was charged with developing proposals for the eighth edition of the tumor, node, and metastasis (TNM) classification to address this issue.