International Organizations Partner to Spread Awareness of Revised Lung Cancer Staging Criteria

International Organizations Partner to Spread Awareness of Revised Lung Cancer Staging Criteria

Press Release
Jan 22, 2018

The IASLC and BTOG Join to Ensure Optimal Healthcare for Lung Cancer Patients Worldwide

Who: Two leading international lung cancer organizations, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and British Thoracic Oncology Group (BTOG), are partnering to use the BTOG annual conference, held January 24-26, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland, to highlight and inform about changes to the international system of staging lung cancer. New changes take effect in the United Kingdom and Ireland this month. Experts on the new staging system will be available for questions from the media.  Dr. Richard Booton is Lead Lung Cancer Clinician & Chair, Thoracic Oncology Board, GM Clinical Lead for Lung Cancer Screening at Manchester Thoracic Oncology Centre and North West Lung Centre & University Hospital of South Manchester, Member of the BTOG Steering Committee, Chair of the IASLC Communications Committee and IASLC Regent for UK and Ireland.  Dr. John Edwards is Consultant Thoracic Surgeon at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, Chair of BTOG Board of Trustees and IASLC Member.  Dr. Matthew Callister is Consultant Respiratory Physician at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds, Member of BTOG Steering Committee and IASLC Member.

What: The Second Edition of the IASLC Staging Manual in Thoracic Oncology reports on the latest revisions of the tumor, node and metastasis (TNM) classifications of thoracic malignancies, namely, lung cancer, malignant pleural mesothelioma, carcinoma of the esophagus and of the esophago-gastric junction and thymic epithelial tumors. 

Why: Staging lung cancer correctly ensures the best care for patients. BTOG and the IASLC are collaborating to reach lung cancer specialists in the UK and Ireland. Media are welcome to attend the availability to ask questions and learn more.

Where: Clayton Hotel, Burlington Road, Dublin, Meeting Room 4, 1st Floor

When: Friday 26th January 2018 – 10:30 to 11:00

History:  In 1998, the IASLC established its Lung Cancer Staging Project, an effort to collect a significant, international database of lung cancer cases and their anatomical classifications. The IASLC collected and published a large amount of data regarding the size of tumors, lymph node involvement and metastatic status which is then presented to the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) for evaluation. Before the IASLC Staging Project, data collected for staging of lung cancer came from a smaller group of patients, almost exclusively based in the U.S.

The new database, which informs the Eighth Edition of the TNM Classification of Lung Cancer, consists of 94,708 patients diagnosed around the world from 1999-2010. The objective was further explore and analyze the impact on prognosis of tumor size and of the different T descriptors; the prognostic significance of tumor burden in hilar and mediastinal lymph nodes; and the confirmation of the revised M1 categories (M1a and M1b) of the seventh edition of the classification along with the prognostic impact of number and anatomic location of metastases.

The main differences of this second edition of the IASLC Staging Manual in Thoracic Oncology are:

  • It contains information on the four above-mentioned neoplasms, instead of the first edition's sole focus on lung cancer and mesothelioma
  • Besides the chapters describing the basic TNM classifications of the four thoracic malignancies, there are chapters on the history of the TNM classifications of the four tumors that give a lot of background information on the development of their staging systems
  • There are original chapters on the new recommendations proposed by the IASLC for classifying lung cancers presenting with multiple lesions, for measuring tumor size and for coding the newly described adenocarcinoma in situ and minimally invasive adenocarcinoma, as well as on prognostic factors
  • There are color atlases graphically describing the TNM classifications of the four thoracic malignancies
  • Additional chapters assist in the classification of tumors with characteristics that do not fit in the present official descriptors 

 The Journal of Thoracic Oncology published 30 articles as part of the presentation of the new staging system.

For more information, please visit:

About the IASLC
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated solely to the study of lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes more than 6,500 lung cancer specialists across all disciplines in over 100 countries, forming a global network working together to conquer lung and thoracic cancers worldwide. The association also publishes the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the primary educational and informational publication for topics relevant to the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of all thoracic malignancies. Visit for more information.

About BTOG 

British Thoracic Oncology Group was established in 2002.  The British Thoracic Oncology Group (BTOG) is now themulti-disciplinary group for health care professionals involved with thoracic malignancies in the UK and Ireland.  BTOG represents all the disciplines involved in thoracic malignancies throughout the UK and Ireland – medical and clinical oncologists, respiratory physicians, surgeons, radiotherapists, radiologists, pathologists, nurses, pharmacists, primary care community smoking cessation, public health and scientists.  The Vision of BTOG is to ensure equitable access to optimal care for patients with all thoracic malignancies in the UK and Ireland.  The Mission of BTOG is to support and educate health care professionals, creating a professional community to exchange ideas, information and innovation and to foster the development of research.  The overall aim is to represent the needs of patients and improve their outcomes.  Visit for more information.