The IASLC Mesothelioma Staging Project: Improving Staging Of A Rare Disease Through International Participation

Journal of Thoracic Oncology: Official Publication of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 2016 September 23 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Pass H, Giroux D, Kennedy C, Ruffini E, Cangir AK, Rice D, Asamura H, Waller D, Edwards J, Weder W, Hoffmann H, van Meerbeeck JP, Nowak A, Rusch VW; IASLC Staging and Prognostic Factors Committee, Advisory Boards and Participating Institutions


For nearly 40 years, there was no generally accepted staging system for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). In 1994, members of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG), in collaboration with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), proposed a tumor, node and metastasis (TNM) staging system based on analyses of outcomes in retrospective surgical series and small clinical trials. Subsequently accepted by the American Joint Commission on Cancer (AJCC) and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) for the 6th editions of their staging manuals, this system has since been the international staging standard. However, it has significant limitations, particularly with respect to clinical staging and to the categories for lymph node (N) staging. Here we provide an overview of the development of the IASLC MPM staging database which was designed to address these limitations through the development of a large international dataset. Analyses of this database, described in papers linked to this overview, are being used to inform revisions in the 8th editions of the AJCC and UICC staging systems.