What is the stage grouping of the tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) staging system for non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

AJCC prognostic groups for NSCLC comprise 4 stages, with further subdivision of stages into subtypes. These stages have important therapeutic and prognostic implications, which are discussed later.

Stage grouping of the TNM system is as follows:

  • Stage 0 - TisN0M0
  • Stage IA1- T1miN0M0 / T1aN0M0
  • Stage IA2 - T1bN0M0
  • Stage IA3 - T1cN0M0
  • Stage IB - T2aN0M0
  • Stage IIA - T2bN0M0
  • Stage IIB - T1aN1M0 / T1bN1M0 / T1cN1M0 / T2aN1M0 / T2bN1M0 /  T3N0M0
  • Stage IIIA - T1aN2M0 / T1bN2M0 / T1cN2M0 / T2aN2M0 / T2bN2M0 /T3N1M0 / T4N0M0 / T4N1M0
  • Stage IIIB - T1aN3M0 / T1bN3M0 / T1cN3M0 / T2aN3M0 / T2bN3M0 / T3N2M0 / T4N2M0 
  • Stage IIIC - T3N3M0 / T4N3M0
  • Stage IVA - Any T, any N, M1a or M1b
  • Stage IVB - Any T, any N, M1c
  • M1a designates metastasis within the thoracic cavity
  • M1b designates a single extrathoracic metastasis
  • M1c designates multiple extrathoracic metastases

Go to Imaging in Lung Cancer Staging and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Staging for complete information on this topic.

See also Lung Cancer Staging -- Radiologic Options, a Critical Images slideshow, to help identify stages of the disease process.


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