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Lung Cancer Health Center

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Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage Information for NSCLC

Table 1. Stage Grouping Comparisons: Sixth Edition Versus Seventh Edition Descriptors, T and M Categories, and Stage Groupingsa,b

Sixth Edition T/M Descriptor (cm)Seventh Edition T/MN0N1N2N3
T = primary tumor; N0 = no regional lymph node metastasis; N1 = metastasis in ipsilateral peribronchial and/or ipsilateral hilar lymph nodes and intrapulmonary nodes, including involvement by direct extension; N2 = metastasis in ipsilateral mediastinal and/or subcarinal lymph node(s); N3 = metastasis in contralateral mediastinal, contralateral hilar, ipsilateral or contralateral scalene, or supraclavicular lymph node(s); M = distant metastasis.
a Cells in bold indicate a change from the sixth edition for a particular TNM category.
b Reprinted with permission from Goldstraw P, Crowley J, Chansky K, et al.: The IASLC Lung Cancer Staging Project: Proposals for the revision of the TNM stage groupings in the forthcoming (seventh) edition of the TNM classification of malignant tumours.J. Thorac Oncol 2:706-14, 2007.
T4 (same lobe nodules)T3IIBIIIAIIIAIIIB
M1 (ipsilateral lung)T4IIIAIIIAIIIBIIIB
T4 (pleural effusion)M1aIVIVIVIV
M1 (contralateral lung)M1aIVIVIVIV
M1 (distant)M1bIVIVIVIV

AJCC Stage Groupings and TNM Definitions

The AJCC has designated staging by TNM classification to define NSCLC.[19]

Table 2. Definitions of TNM Occult Carcinomaa

a Reprinted with permission from AJCC: Lung. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 253-70.
Occult carcinomaTX, N0, M0TX = Primary tumor cannot be assessed, or tumor proven by the presence of malignant cells in sputum or bronchial washings but not visualized by imaging or bronchoscopy.
N0 = No regional lymph node metastasis.
M0 = No distant metastasis.
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