Correct staging of the different pediatric tumors is critical. A proper treatment plan has to be informed by the extent of disease.
There are unique staging systems for most of the solid tumors and these have evolved over time and continue to change.
These systems are based on the extent of disease.
Staging Assessment using tumor extent:
|T||Local spread of primary Tumor||
Size of tumor
Are adjacent organs involved?
Lymph Node metastases
Are draining lymph nodes involved?
Lungs, liver and bones are often the site of distant metastatic disease in pediatric patients.
Pediatric oncology uses additional factors to assess the extent and "severity" of disease, such as:
- Surgical factors:
- Did the tumor rupture during resection?
- Was the tumor completely resected?
- Were the surgical margins positive for microscopic disease?
- Is there remaining "gross" residual disease?
- Pathology - is an unfavorable pathological subtype present?
- Cytogenetics - is an unfavorable cytogenetic marker present?
These features are used sometimes to stratify patients into different "risk categories" and this determines treatment protocols.
For example :