The new, 7th Edition of the TNM (tumor, nodes, metastases) staging system for lung cancer came into use earlier this year and has led to changes in the staging of about 15% of lung cancers compared with what they'd have been staged as under the 6th edition.
Last Friday I saw a patient in clinic who was referred to me after presenting to the emergency room with shortness of breath. He has a large pleural effusion, and eventually needed a thoracoscopic surgery to drain the effusion and pleurodese the lung (this eliminates the space around the lung so no fluid can collect there).
This week I happened to see a man in my clinic who I had first met at the time of his diagnosis with metastatic lung cancer more than five years ago. He's from another part of Washington state, and this was his first time back with me to revisit treatment options.
At this year's ASCO meeting, I had the opportunity to review and provide commentary on several presentations from other researchers, all on the topic of how to refine our ability to predict how patients will do after surgery for stage I - IIIA NSCLC, with an idea that this information can help guide decisions about who should receive chemo and who shouldn't.