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Editorials |

The Staging System for Non-small Cell Lung Cancer: Time for an Overhaul?

David J. Barnes, MB, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Newtown, NSW, Australia ,  Dr. Barnes is Associate Professor, University of Sydney, and Respiratory Physician, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Correspondence to: David J. Barnes, FCCP, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Medical Center, 100 Carillon Ave, Newtown 2042, NSW, Australia; e-mail: davidb@med.usyd.edu.au



Chest. 2007;131(4):948-949. doi:10.1378/chest.06-3126
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The current staging system for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has served us well for a number of years.1 It has helped us in the evidence-based planning of treatment, the discussion of prognosis with our patients, and also the conduct and interpretation of clinical trials. The advent of positron emission tomography (PET) scanning has clearly improved the accuracy of this staging, with the outcome being both the upstaging and downstaging of our patients. It will be interesting to see whether upstaging via PET scanning (with subsequent exclusion of some patients from futile surgery) will result in better 5-year survival rates for patients undergoing surgery.

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