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  • Author: Shirish M. Gadgeel x
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Gregory P. Kalemkerian and Shirish M. Gadgeel

For many years, small cell lung cancer (SCLC) has been staged using the Veterans Affairs classification system, which includes only 2 stages: limited (primary tumor and regional lymph nodes within a tolerable radiation field) and extensive (anything beyond limited stage). The TNM staging system used for non-small cell lung cancer is also prognostic for SCLC and should be integrated into the classification scheme for patients with SCLC. The staging workup for SCLC has traditionally included contrast-enhanced CT scans of the chest and abdomen, bone scan, and MRI or CT scan of the brain. Recent data suggest that PET can improve both staging accuracy and treatment planning in patients with SCLC, although further prospective studies are needed to fully define its role.