Hungarian Radiology

[Theoretical basis of tumor staging The significance of imaging in oncological diseases]


FEBRUARY 20, 2004

Hungarian Radiology - 2004;78(01)

[The general goal for staging patients with any cancer is to determine the overal extent of disease prior to choice of therapy. It has been well documented that biological behavior of any cancer and, therefore, the prognosis of the patient is strongly linked to the extent of the tumor, the presence or absence of lymphatic dissemination as well as systemic metastases. The staging systems have undergone a number of modifications. Classifications of TNM system identifies the depth of tumor invasion (T), the status of regional lymph nodes (N) and the distant metastases. These three parameters are then incorporated into the final clinical stage. There are further modifications which influence the patient survival, e.g. biological, genetical, hystological factors, tumor grade. All cancer cells show dysregulation of cell cycle controll. As the cancer proliferates and the tumor reaches approximately 1-2 mm in diameter further growth recquires the development of new blood vessels (neo-angiogenesis). Intensity of tumor growth has a prognostic influence to the patient's life and depends on the tumor doubling time, which classifies tumors into slow, intermadiate and rapid growing types. The diagnostic impact of imaging is based on the ability of a technique to detect and evaluate the cancer accurately. The very high accuracy and reproducibility of cross-sectional imaging, paticularly computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) make these methods extremely important in the detection, staging and in the evaluation of the tumors. The revolutionary advances in detection and treatment of malignant disease have led to an increasing role of the radiologist as a member of the multidisciplinary cancer team.]



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