Gastric Cancer Staging 

Updated: Jan 04, 2017
  • Author: Terence D Rhodes, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
  • Print

TNM Classification for Gastric Cancer

The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) tumor/node/metastasis (TNM) classification and staging system for gastric cancer are provided below. [1] Note that these are based on the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual, 7th Edition (2010). Although the 8th edition has been published, implementation of the new system has been delayed until January 1, 2018. The AJCC advises that, "All newly diagnosed cases through December 31st 2017 should be staged with the 7th edition." [2]

Table 1. TNM Classification for Gastric Cancer (Open Table in a new window)

Primary tumor (T)
TX Primary tumor cannot be assessed
T0 No evidence of primary tumor
Tis Carcinoma in situ: intraepithelial tumor without invasion of the lamina propria
T1 Tumor invades lamina propria, muscularis mucosae, or submucosa
T1a Tumor invades lamina propria or muscularis mucosae
T1b Tumor invades submucosa
T2 Tumor invades muscularis propria
T3 Tumor penetrates subserosal connective tissue without invasion of visceral peritoneum or adjacent structures
T4 Tumor invades serosa (visceral peritoneum) or adjacent structures
T4a Tumor invades serosa (visceral peritoneum)
T4b Tumor invades adjacent structures
Regional lymph nodes (N)
NX Regional lymph node(s) cannot be assessed
N0 No regional lymph node metastasis
N1 Metastasis in 1-2 regional lymph nodes
N2 Metastasis in 3-6 regional lymph nodes
N3 Metastasis in seven or more regional lymph nodes
N3a Metastasis in 7-15 regional lymph nodes
N3b Metastasis in 16 or more regional lymph nodes
Distant metastasis (M)
M0 No distant metastasis
M1 Distant metastasis

Table 2. Anatomic stage/prognostic groups (Open Table in a new window)

Stage T N M
0 Tis N0 M0
IA T1 N0 M0
IB T2 N0 M0
T1 N1 M0
IIA T3 N0 M0
T2 N1 M0
T1 N2 M0
IIB T4a N0 M0
T3 N1 M0
T2 N2 M0
T1 N3 M0
IIIA T4a N1 M0
T3 N2 M0
T2 N3 M0
IIIB T4b N0 M0
T4b N1 M0
T4a N2 M0
T3 N3 M0
IIIC T4b N2 M0
T4b N3 M0
T4a N3 M0
IV Any T Any N M1