A committee of national experts, led by a Cleveland Clinic researcher, has established first-of-its-kind guidelines to promote more accurate and individualized cancer predictions, guiding more precise treatment and leading to improved patient survival rates and outcomes.
These new guidelines are changing the traditional approach of cancer staging methods for cancer treatment. The new risk calculators — which will complement the existing staging system — will enable physicians to more accurately and precisely determine the best treatment for individual patients.
The current cancer staging system (stages I-IV), otherwise known as TNM, has been used for decades and is a simple way to universally assess cancer progression in patients around the world. However, many believe that the system is outdated, lumping all cancer patients into 4 stages, which do not account for individual differences in risk factors–such as genetics, age, gender, and lifestyle. As a result, a patient who is, for example, a “bad” stage 3, might be undertreated for a cancer that is likely to metastasize. On the other hand, a “good” stage 3 patient might receive more aggressive treatment than is necessary, which can lead to toxic side effects on the heart, kidneys or other organs.
Now that the guidelines have been established, researchers across the world will be invited to submit their cancer risk formulas for review by AJCC, with the potential of changing the face of cancer treatment for millions of people worldwide.
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Read the full article via CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians