Staging of bladder cancer.
Urothelial carcinoma of the urinary bladder is a heterogeneous disease with multiple possible treatment modalities and a wide spectrum of clinical outcome. Treatment decisions and prognostic expectations hinge on accurate and precise staging, and the recently published American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) Staging Manual, 8th edition, should be the basis for staging of urinary bladder tumours. It is unfortunate that the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) 8th edition failed to incorporate new data which is considered in the AJCC 8th edition. Thus, the AJCC 8th edition is the focus of this review. Several critical changes and clarifications are made by the AJCC 8th edition relative to the 7th edition. Although the most obvious changes in the 8th edition are in the N (i.e. perivesical lymph node involvement now classified as N1) and M (i.e. M1 is subdivided into M1a and M1b) categories, several points are clarified in the T category (e.g. substaging of pT1 should be attempted). Further optimisation, however, is required. No particular method of substaging pT1 is formally recommended. In this review, these modifications are discussed, as well as points, which require further study and optimisation.