Information about the size of a cancer tumour and how far it has spread is vital in ensuring that patients are given the most appropriate treatment.
Professor Malcolm Mason, Honorary Consultant Oncologist at Velindre Cancer Centre said: “When doctors first diagnose a cancer, they carry out tests to check how big the cancer is and whether it has spread into surrounding tissues. They also check to see whether it has spread to another part of the body.”
“This process is known as cancer staging and is vital in ensuring that patients are given the appropriate treatment.”
Most hospitals and medical centres worldwide use what is known as the ‘TNM Staging Classification’ - an internationally agreed means of classifying the stage of a cancer - giving doctors a common language to describe the size and spread of cancers.
Classification of cancer tumours using the TNM Staging Classification means treatment results can be accurately compared between research studies worldwide and guidelines for treatment standardised between different hospitals and cancer centres.
Velindre Cancer Centre will now lead the TNM review process which gathers and evaluates all new scientific evidence.
Professor Mason who is leading the scheme at Velindre Cancer Centre added, “We have a unique opportunity in Velindre to design and shape the future of cancer staging with worldwide impact.”
“In Wales, cancer is the second biggest cause of death and the incidence of cancer is forecast to increase by 2% per year. We have ambitious plans to transform the way we provide cancer services so that they are comparable with the best in the world. But our ambitions don’t stop there. We also plan to be a leader in cancer education, research, development and innovation. Our role in cancer staging is an exciting step in that direction.”
Bernadette Coles, head of library services at Velindre will run the annual, systematic search of all published scientific articles.
“It’s my job to find the information which will help us determine whether and how the TNM classification should be changed in the light of the latest evidence.”
“We‘ll help promote the latest and most accurate scientific evidence for medical staff and patients alike”, said Bernadette.
Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport Vaughan Gething said: “I’m delighted Velindre Cancer Centre is taking an international lead on the classification system for cancer, which is testament to its world-leading skills and reputation.”
Velindre Library Services
Source: Velindre Cancer Centre