D Rice, K Chansky, A Nowak, H Pass, H Kindler, L Shemanski, I Opitz, S Call, S Hasegawa, K Kernstine, C Atinkaya, F Rea, P Nafteux, VW Rusch, Mesothelioma Domain of the IASLC Staging and Prognostic Factors Committee, advisory boards and participating institutions
J Thorac Oncol
INTRODUCTION: Nodal categories for malignant pleural mesothelioma are derived from the lung cancer staging system and have not been adequately validated. The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer developed a multinational database to generate evidence-based recommendations to inform the eighth edition of the TNM classification of malignant pleural mesothelioma. METHODS: Data from 29 centers were entered prospectively (n = 1566) or by transfer of retrospective data (n = 1953). Survival according to the seventh edition N categories was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier survival curves and Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. Survival was measured from the date of diagnosis. RESULTS: There were 2432 analyzable cases: 1603 had clinical (c) staging, 1614 had pathologic (p) staging, and 785 had both. For clinically staged tumors there was no separation in Kaplan-Meier curves between cN0, cN1 or cN2 (cN1 versus cN0 hazard ratio [HR] = 1.06, p = 0.77 and cN2 versus cN1 HR = 1.04, p = 0.85). For pathologically staged tumors, patients with pN1 or pN2 tumors had worse survival than those with pN0 tumors (HR = 1.51, p < 0.0001) but no survival difference was noted between those with pN1 and pN2 tumors (HR = 0.99, p = 0.99). Patients with both pN1 and pN2 nodal involvement had poorer survival than those with pN2 tumors only (HR = 1.60, p = 0.007) or pN0 tumors (HR = 1.62, p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: A recommendation to collapse both clinical and pN1 and pN2 categories into a single N category comprising ipsilateral, intrathoracic nodal metastases (N1) will be made for the eighth edition staging system. Nodes previously categorized as N3 will be reclassified as N2.