Current and future cancer staging after neoadjuvant treatment for solid tumors.

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Until recently, cancer registries have only collected cancer clinical stage at diagnosis, before any therapy, and pathological stage after surgical resection, provided no treatment has been given before the surgery, but they have not collected stage data after neoadjuvant therapy (NAT). Because NAT is increasingly being used to treat a variety of tumors, it has become important to make the distinction between both the clinical and the pathological assessment without NAT and the assessment after NAT to avoid any misunderstanding of the significance of the clinical and pathological findings. It also is important that cancer registries collect data after NAT to assess response and effectiveness of this treatment approach on a population basis. The prefix y is used to denote stage after NAT. Currently, cancer registries of the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer only partially collect y stage data, and data on the clinical response to NAT (yc or posttherapy clinical information) are not collected or recorded in a standardized fashion. In addition to NAT, nonoperative management after radiation and chemotherapy is being used with increasing frequency in rectal cancer and may be expanded to other treatment sites. Using examples from breast, rectal, and esophageal cancers, the pathological and imaging changes seen after NAT are reviewed to demonstrate appropriate staging.





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Byrd, David R, James D Brierley, Thomas P Baker, Daniel C Sullivan and Donna M Gress (2021). Current and future cancer staging after neoadjuvant treatment for solid tumors. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 71(2). pp. 140–148. 10.3322/caac.21640 Retrieved from

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Daniel Carl Sullivan

Professor Emeritus of Radiology

Research interests are in oncologic imaging, especially the clinical evaluation and validation of imaging biomarkers for therapeutic response assessment.

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