Strategies for clinical implementation of TNM-Immunoscore in resected nonsmall-cell lung cancer

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Immunoscore is a prognostic tool defined to quantify in situ immune cell infiltrates and appears highly promising as a supplement to the tumor–node–metastasis (TNM) classification of various tumors. In colorectal cancer, an international task force has initiated prospective multicenter studies aiming to implement TNM-Immunoscore (TNM-I) in a routine clinical setting. In breast cancer, recommendations for the evaluation of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) have been proposed by an international working group. Regardless of promising results, there are potential obstacles related to implementing TNM-I into the clinic. Diverse methods may be needed for different malignancies and even within each cancer entity. Nevertheless, a uniform approach across malignancies would be advantageous. In nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), there are several previous reports indicating an apparent prognostic importance of TILs, but studies on TILs in a TNM-I setting are sparse and no general recommendations are made. However, recently published data is promising, evoking a realistic hope of a clinical useful NSCLC TNM-I. This review will focus on the TNM-I potential in NSCLC and propose strategies for clinical implementation of a TNM-I in resected NSCLC.

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