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December 2018

Staging Systems to Predict Metastatic Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Unsatisfactory for Clinical Use, but Some Less So?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomic Research, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • 2University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson
  • 3College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • 4Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • 5Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(12):1391-1392. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.3940

Disease staging systems play 2 critical roles in oncology. In the first instance, these systems summarize the extent of a patient’s cancer at the time of diagnosis and disease progression, by including information on the tumor characteristics at the primary site (eg, location, size, histologic features, etc) as well as locoregional (lymph node involvement) and distant metastatic state. Second, clinicians use these systems to evaluate treatment options, assess prognosis, and plan their patients’ care. Ideally, staging systems should have strong prognostic value so that clinicians can inform patients, with a reasonable degree of certainty, about the course of their disease and eligibility for adjuvant and therapeutic interventions.

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