The clinical implications of integrating additional prognostic factors into the TNM

Donald Earl Henson*, Arnold M. Schwartz, Dechang Chen, Dengyuan Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives The management of solid tumors is governed by host and tumor factors that traditionally have incorporated TNM staging with additional pathologic, biologic, and clinical host factors. Beyond the anatomic-based TNM, increasingly new prognostic and predictive factors are being discovered that have important survival and treatment implications. However, because the TNM is based on a "bin" model, additional prognostic factors would rapidly overwhelm the current system. This communication demonstrates the clinical implications and improved patient prognosis derived from a new algorithmic model based on clustering analysis. Methods A new algorithm is described that integrates additional factors into the TNM and calculates survival. Results The results indicate that additional factors can be integrated into the TNM staging system providing additional patient stratification without changing the TNM definitions. Adding prognostic factors to traditional TNM staging increases substratification of given stages and identifies and separates favorable and unfavorable clinical outcomes for specific TNM stages. Conclusion Integration of additional prognostic factors into the TNM by a clustering algorithm can change the stratification of patient outcome. This may guide the clinician to select a more rational management program based on the additional factors and improve cohort selection for clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-394
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • TNM
  • combinations
  • prognostic factors
  • staging
  • survival rates


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