Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States, and accurate staging plays a vital role in determining prognosis and treatment. The recently revised eighth edition of the TNM staging system for lung cancer defines new T and M descriptors and updates stage groupings on the basis of substantial differences in survival. There are new T descriptors that are based on the findings at histopathologic examination, and T descriptors are reassigned on the basis of tumor size and extent. No changes were made to the N descriptors in the eighth edition of the TNM staging of lung cancer, because the four N categories that are based on the location of the diseased nodes can be used to consistently predict prognosis. The eighth edition includes a new M1b descriptor for patients with a single extrathoracic metastatic lesion in a single organ (M1b), because they have better survival and different treatment options, compared with those with multiple extrathoracic lesions (M1c). Examination with fluorine 18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT is the standard of care and is an integral part of the clinical staging of patients with lung cancer. To provide the treating physicians with accurate staging information, radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians should be aware of the updated classification system and should be cognizant of the site-specific strengths and limitations of FDG PET/CT. In this article, the eighth edition of the TNM staging system is reviewed, as well as the role of FDG PET/CT in the staging of non–small cell lung carcinoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging