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Stage classification is an important underpinning of management of patients with cancer, and rests on a combination of three components: T for tumor extent, N for nodal involvement, and M for more distant metastases. This article details an initiative to develop proposals for the first official stage classification system for thymic malignancies for the 8th edition of the stage classification manuals. Specifically, the results of analysis of a large database and the considerations leading to the proposed N and M components are described. Nodal involvement is divided into an anterior (N1) and a deep (N2) category. Metastases can involve pleural or pericardial nodules (M1a) or intraparenchymal pulmonary nodules or metastases to distant sites (M1b).

Copyright (C) 2014 by the European Lung Cancer Conference and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.