Cancer treatment to get a boost with latest classification

Cai Wenjun
The most recent thoracic cancer classification, which will be implemented internationally in January, will aid clinical practice and dramatically improve treatment outcomes.
Cai Wenjun

A local expert involved in the 9th international edition of the thoracic cancer classification, which will be adopted globally in January, stated that classifying advanced cancer patients can regulate clinical practice and significantly enhance treatment outcomes.

Dr Fang Wentao from Shanghai Chest Hospital, the only Chinese expert involved in the new classification for lung cancer, said more accurate and detailed staging can help doctors make better treatment plans, do more scientific prognostic evaluation, and guide clinical performance.

"The five-year survival rate for terminal lung cancer patients has grown from 30 percent to 40 percent after adopting the international guidance in earlier editions. Scientific staging can improve patient treatment and recovery with focused and individualized therapy," Fang said.

It took around seven years to finish the new edition to reflect the most recent developments in all thoracic cancer diagnosis and treatment experiences worldwide.

The latest version includes a more diverse set of data, with 124,581 cases collected from 78 medical centers in 25 countries. China itself accounts for around 20,000 of the cases.

"The new edition emphasizes the significance of staging accuracy and pathological evaluation," Dr Fang said. "The new N2 (metastasis in ipsilateral mediastinal and/or subcarinal lymph node(s)) lets doctors do more tests before, during, and after surgery to make sure that terminal patients get a more specialized and accurate treatment."

Shanghai Chest Hospital officials said that they will promote and incorporate the new edition into its clinical practice as soon as possible to improve treatment and accelerate the growth of thoracic cancer research and innovation.

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